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11am Chelsea transfer news LIVE: Kai Havertz BOOST, Reguilon in ADVANCED TALKS, Chilwell too expensive, Zaha £30m

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11am chelsea transfer news live kai havertz boost reguilon in advanced talks chilwell too expensive zaha 30m
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CHELSEA are reportedly holding advanced talks with Real Madrid’ left-back Sergio Reguilon after Leicester demanded an £80m-plus fee for Ben Chilwell.

The Blues are also said to be in a strong position to snap up Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz after Bayern Munich confirmed they are no longer in the race for the German’s signature.

Follow all the latest transfer updates from the Bridge below…

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English football divided over whether to ‘take a knee’ before matches

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english football divided over whether to take a knee before matches

English football is divided over whether it is still relevant to ‘take a knee’ before matches.

What began during Project Restart as a unanimous gesture of support for the anti-racism movement after the shocking death of George Floyd in America in May, is now causing confusion for many players.

Several clubs have decided that it will lose significance if continued indefinitely and on Saturday in 16 out of 37 matches in the top four divisions, players did not kneel before kick-off. 

There has been a split over whether clubs should continue to take a knee before matches start

There has been a split over whether clubs should continue to take a knee before matches start

There has been a split over whether clubs should continue to take a knee before matches start

In 6 out of 37 matches in the top four divisions on Saturday players did not kneel beforehand

In 6 out of 37 matches in the top four divisions on Saturday players did not kneel beforehand

In 6 out of 37 matches in the top four divisions on Saturday players did not kneel beforehand

It went ahead in all four Premier League matches and at every game in the Championship except Norwich v Preston. But the picture was less clear in League One and League Two where the majority did not take a knee. Out of 23 matches in the lower two leagues players did not take the knee in 15 of them.

QPR have reiterated their commitment to fighting racism and social injustice after their players and Coventry’s declined to take the knee, as has been habitual in televised games, before Friday night’s Championship clash on Sky TV.

Manager Mark Warburton and chief executive Lee Hoos have both spoken in support of player protests to highlight racial inequality.

But they insist that taking the knee is an issue for players and that the club should be judged their record rather than the gesture itself. Both teams agreed with the referee that they weren’t going to take the knee before the game and Warburton said: ‘We have absolute respect for such an important cause and all of our players, to a man and staff, followed the lead [last season] and took the knee. 

‘Some teams have been saying at the end of lockdown, that we’ve done it now. So we’re saying there should be guidance from the EFL.

Mark Warburton defended his QPR team who were one of several teams that did not kneel

Mark Warburton defended his QPR team who were one of several teams that did not kneel

Mark Warburton defended his QPR team who were one of several teams that did not kneel

‘When I came off the pitch last night and was made aware that some were saying QPR’s behaviour might have been inappropriate, I was appalled.

‘We had the first game against Nottingham Forest last week and both clubs said: ‘We’ve done it. We’re full of respect for the cause but we don’t want it to become a token gesture.’ Our players are saying: ‘Are we doing it every game?’

‘As in the clap for carers, it tends to lose its power over time. But when clap for carers stopped, there’s no less respect for carers.

‘We abhor all forms of discrimination and I don’t think there’s a more-diverse club in football. It’s important that we’re seen to have BAME [Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic] representation, given the work we do in our community, which is a very diverse. Any suggestion that the club has acted inappropriately should be met with a powerful response on our part.’

Hoos was adamant that the stance of the players was not an endorsement of those seeking to belittle taking the knee or the message behind Black Lives Matter. He said: ‘People who say ‘All Lives Matter’ just don’t get it and to suggest that QPR support that kind of thinking that would be perverse.’

After their match with Bournemouth on Saturday, Middlesbrough’s assistant Kevin Blackwell said: ‘Myself and people from Bournemouth spoke about it and we decided we would both take a knee.

‘We need guidance from the Football League about this. There’s a point now where we have got to decide ‘is this relevant? Are people getting the meaning across?’ I would like to see people now do things about it rather than sit down and talk about it. We need actions taken for the right reasons.’

Sheffield Wednesday and Watford took the knee at Hillsborough and Owls boss Garry Monk said: ‘We want to keep awareness of it in the spotlight and not let it fade away.’ Brentford’s Thomas Frank added: ‘I didn’t know some teams didn’t do it, I think it’s a good cause and we all should support it.’

Sanjay Bhandari, the chairman of Kick It Out, insisted that they wanted action rather than a debate about gestures.

‘We encourage the players to continue to protest in whatever form they feel comfortable and to do so free of the risk of sanction, whether that protest is taking a knee, wearing a badge or any other form,’ he said.

‘The form of protest and who protests is not the issue and should not detract from the real issue. The real issue is meaningful action to create sustainable change. We need to focus on the targets for greater representation in football leadership and coaching; and on mobilising everyone to stand against the rise in hate, especially online.’

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Harry Kane will be ecstatic that Gareth Bale is coming to share the goalscoring burden

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harry kane will be ecstatic that gareth bale is coming to share the goalscoring burden

Harry Kane has shouldered the responsibility for so long, I think he’ll be ecstatic Gareth Bale is coming in to share the burden.

In terms of achievement, they aren’t equals. Bale has four Champions League titles.

But I don’t think it’ll bother Kane. Every player has an ego but he will also be selfishly thinking with Bale around, Spurs have a better chance of delivering a trophy and competing for a top-four place.

Harry Kane will be ecstatic that Tottenham have signed former star Gareth Bale on loan

Harry Kane will be ecstatic that Tottenham have signed former star Gareth Bale on loan

Harry Kane will be ecstatic that Tottenham have signed former star Gareth Bale on loan

The 31-year-old has joined from Real Madrid for the season and his arrival has been welcomed

The 31-year-old has joined from Real Madrid for the season and his arrival has been welcomed

The 31-year-old has joined from Real Madrid for the season and his arrival has been welcomed

Most players like to look around the dressing room and feel reassured they’ve got top people around them.

I had that with Steven Gerrard and Michael Owen at Liverpool, and Kane will benefit from seeing Bale alongside him. Instead of feeling that unless he scores, Spurs may not win, I expect Kane’s level to rise having a world-class player next to him.

People talk about Bale at Real, but I think his success with Wales is an equally good indicator. He’ll be able to knuckle down and play whichever way Jose Mourinho wants.

Kane has had to shoulder the attacking burden for Spurs since breaking into the team in 2014

Kane has had to shoulder the attacking burden for Spurs since breaking into the team in 2014

Kane has had to shoulder the attacking burden for Spurs since breaking into the team in 2014

Real usually dominate the ball and Bale doesn’t have to think too much about defensive duties. But on the international stage, he was ready to lead and disciplined enough to fit into a team pattern when the opposition might be better.

He’s only 31 and been lightly used for 18 months so I don’t think he should be found physically wanting whether Mourinho wants his forwards to press, play counter-attack or play between the lines.

I think Bale’s most effective position will be wide on the right of a 4-3-3 but if Mourinho wants to go 4-2-3-1, he could do a job as No 10.

Kane and the rest will find a Galactico happy to be one of the team. It’s a terrific signing.

With Bale in the side, Kane will be confident Spurs can win major silverware this season

With Bale in the side, Kane will be confident Spurs can win major silverware this season

With Bale in the side, Kane will be confident Spurs can win major silverware this season

Thiago – the right signing at the right price for Liverpool 

There is no doubt in my mind Thiago Alcantara is coming to Liverpool as a first XI player — I doubt very much he’s had any conversations with Jurgen Klopp about sitting on the bench this season.

He has great feet, passes well, has super awareness and can play in any of the midfield positions. I don’t see any risk at under £30million because he only had a year left on his Bayern contract.

I do think Gini Wijnaldum’s departure has an air of inevitability about it now because Liverpool will have seven or eight players challenging for three positions, which means too many unhappy faces for the balance of the squad.

There aren't many ways Klopp could have made Liverpool better but Thiago certainly will

There aren't many ways Klopp could have made Liverpool better but Thiago certainly will

There aren’t many ways Klopp could have made Liverpool better but Thiago certainly will

There aren’t many ways Klopp could made this Liverpool even better but I think Thiago will. He’s fit enough to do the work required of Liverpool’s midfield and has that ability to play progressive passes.

He can do a job where Fabinho played last season or if Fabinho is in the team, he can operate higher up the pitch.

Liverpool’s recruitment has been outstanding, finding hungry players itching to reach the top. But now they’re at the summit, I can see the sense in bringing in ready-made, particularly when they are bargains. 

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IT’S MELTDOWN – Government warned that fans need to return or financial consequences will be severe

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its meltdown government warned that fans need to return or financial consequences will be severe

The Government have been warned that the delay in allowing fans back into stadiums is a ‘nightmare’ which risks jeopardising the entire English football pyramid because of the impending financial catastrophe.

Test events, now limited to 1,000 fans due to new Government restrictions, took place at seven EFL games on Saturday including Championship clubs Norwich and Middlesbrough.

But West Ham’s Karren Brady says they could host 20,000 at the London Stadium safely and experts warn that without a change in Government thinking a sporting financial meltdown is imminent.

The Government have been warned that supporters need to return to stadiums soon

The Government have been warned that supporters need to return to stadiums soon

The Government have been warned that supporters need to return to stadiums soon

Tuesday’s cabinet meeting is seen as crucial in determining whether the Government will go ahead with the planned October 1 date for readmission of some fans, though it looks increasingly likely the best the Premier League can hope for is test events of about 2,500 fans.

But EFL executives are warning they cannot live on handouts and tax deferrals for ever.

Lee Hoos, chief executive at Championship club QPR, says that it cost clubs tens of thousands to put on games at present, which is unsustainable.

QPR chief executive Lee Hoos says clubs are having to pay tens of thousands to stage games

QPR chief executive Lee Hoos says clubs are having to pay tens of thousands to stage games

QPR chief executive Lee Hoos says clubs are having to pay tens of thousands to stage games

Hoos said: ‘League One and Two are already talking about how long clubs can continue to put on games and lose money. The most amazing thing is how long it took for Wigan to go into administration.

‘If clubs get to a point where they have nothing coming through the gates and decide to terminate the season, that could be the end of the English football pyramid as we know it.

‘We need to have some revenue coming in. We’re not an industry that receives a Government bailout. We need the opportunity to stand on our own two feet.

‘Safety has to be the No1 priority. But there’s been a considerable amount of work with Sports Ground Safety Authority and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in terms of how we can do this safely. We have plans submitted with the local council to say this is how we could get people in. We’re just waiting for the OK.’

Experts warn that without a change in Government thinking a sporting financial meltdown is imminent

Experts warn that without a change in Government thinking a sporting financial meltdown is imminent

Experts warn that without a change in Government thinking a sporting financial meltdown is imminent

Test events of 1,000 fans took place at Norwich, Middlesbrough, Charlton, Blackpool, Shrewsbury, Forest Green Rovers and Carlisle on Saturday but the Premier League suspended their test events, saying 1,000 fans weren’t a large enough cohort to provide meaningful data.

Brady, who wrote in her newspaper column that Premier League clubs were collectively losing £80million a month in gate receipts, said: ‘It is becoming increasingly difficult to see what the delay in bringing back spectators to football is all about — except optics,’ she wrote. 

West Ham executive vice-chairman Karren Brady is eager for supporters to be let back in

West Ham executive vice-chairman Karren Brady is eager for supporters to be let back in

West Ham executive vice-chairman Karren Brady is eager for supporters to be let back in

‘A Premier League football stadium is the safest place you can be. Safer than your own living room. Our highly supervised environment means supporters are safer in there than if they were mixing informally in their own homes.’

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden is arguing the cause of the sports industry in cabinet but with further national restrictions now looking imminent to add to the rule of six, it remains to be seen whether a more nuanced message, that stadiums are safe, and the scale of the imminent financial disaster will cut through to the Prime Minister.

Dortmund show how it’s done with 10,000 crowd

By Lukas Rott

You could hear the excitement in Norbert Dickel’s voice. The Borussia Dortmund legend is now the announcer at Signal Iduna Park.

Giovanni Reyna had just opened the scoring in front of the 9,300 supporters. Dickel took the mike and, before declaring the scorer’s name, said: ‘I have waited so long to do this.’

We all have. Two Dortmund fans outside the stadium held a sign before the game which read: ‘Covid-19 is dying. BVB will never die’. You could see how much the supporters loved to be back.

10,000 fans were in attendance for Borussia Dortmund's game v Borussia Monchengladbach

10,000 fans were in attendance for Borussia Dortmund's game v Borussia Monchengladbach

10,000 fans were in attendance for Borussia Dortmund’s game v Borussia Monchengladbach

It was a strange atmosphere. There were 2,000 fans in the yellow wall instead of the usual 25,000. But they did their best to bring as much atmosphere as they could. They sang their songs as loud as they could. Huge cheers greeted the teams coming out. More when the Dortmund names were announced. Boos met the Gladbach players.

It was still so different. Fans on one side of the stadium could not hear the ones on the other so they sang their own songs. And with no away fans they could sing about Monchengladbach without fear of any reply.

By the end, with Dortmund three up, the Mexican wave had begun, even with a few gaps.

The celebrations felt more emotional. The hugs lasted longer. Having the fans back surely played a part in that. Goals were not celebrated quite so intensely when the stands were empty.

With fans at the ground, the celebrations for Dortmund's goals felt much more emotional

With fans at the ground, the celebrations for Dortmund's goals felt much more emotional

With fans at the ground, the celebrations for Dortmund’s goals felt much more emotional

Fans were excited but they respected the situation. They maintained their distance, even when goals went in. They stood in their own groups, sharing a look with the next nearest set of supporters but nothing more. After the final whistle, they were told to remain in their seats.

Stewards made sure all the conditions were met. They checked people were sanitising their hands and approached the few people who did not stay disciplined. Masks had to be worn when moving around the stadium and when queuing, even outside the ground. Fans had timetables for getting into the ground, they brought their IDs. Toilets used a one-way system.

People realise that the Covid situation changes daily. Cases are going up so everyone is just enjoying the moment. Everyone felt happy to be back.

Everyone felt safe.

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