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Arsenal transfer news: Bayern boss Hansi Flick responds to Jerome Boateng rumours

Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick has played down speculation linking Jerome Boateng with a move to Arsenal.

The German defender has emerged as a target for Mikel Arteta following the season-ending injury to Calum Chambers.

The veteran centre-back could prove to be a quick fix for the Gunners, but Flick has revealed the 31-year-old has impressed during the mid-season break.

“Jerome is a Bayern player. He has trained well during the winter break,” Flick said.

“I can’t wait to see what the next few weeks will be like. I’m not worrying if he’ll leave the club or not. I can’t imagine that at the moment.”

Chelsea have been linked with Bayern star David Alaba, though Ben Chilwell remains their first-choice target.

But with Leicester determined not to sell any key players in January, the Mirror have reported the Blues are considering making a £60m bid for Alaba, who has just 18 months remaining on his contract with the German champions.

But when questioned about Chelsea’s reported interest at his latest press conference, Flick simply responded: “He is not for sale.”

This news item was provided by the The Independent - Premier League website - the original link is:

Women’s Super League: Chelsea 3-1 Reading – Sam Kerr makes Blues debut

Sam Kerr's clever flick created Beth England's equaliser for Chelsea

Chelsea fought back to beat 10-player Reading as Sam Kerr marked her greatly anticipated debut in the Women's Super League with a classy assist in an eventful game at Kingsmeadow.

The Australia striker set up the hosts' equaliser with a perfectly weighted backheel into the path of Beth England to draw Chelsea level, before Guro Reiten's brilliant lob and Erin Cuthbert's close-range finish gave Chelsea an ultimately comfortable victory.

Earlier, England's most-capped international Fara Williams had stunned the Blues by drilling in the opener for the visitors, moments before Reading keeper Grace Moloney was sent off for a late challenge on Kerr right on the edge of the box.

That incident changed the game and Chelsea could have scored more but saw a lively Kerr miss two excellent chances, while Reading's substitute keeper Rachael Laws was in fine form to keep the scoreline at 3-1.

The result extended Chelsea's unbeaten WSL campaign to 10 matches, as the home crowd got their first glimpse of one of the highest-profile signings in the division's nine-year history.

Kerr, the record scorer in both the American and Australian leagues, signed for Chelsea in November but was not eligible to make her first appearance until Sunday.

An eventful debut for Kerr

Her WSL introduction almost got off to the perfect start inside 90 seconds, when she raced through on goal with her first touches of the ball in English football but stunned the expectant home crowd by clipping her strike over the crossbar.

But that was just the start of an incident-packed first appearance for the player who recently topped the Guardian's respected poll of the top 100 women's players in the world for 2019.

For the sending off of Moloney, Kerr's pace helped her get to the ball first before she was clattered by the on-rushing Royals keeper, and the 26-year-old from Western Australia required some treatment on the field after the collision.

Back on her feet, Kerr saw a low, close-range effort from a tight angle kept out by a good save from replacement keeper Laws, before showing her class with a clever backheel into England's path for the equaliser.

Kerr was sent flying by Reading goalkeeper Moloney, who was sent off for the challenge

After the break, Kerr was played clean through by England and had time to slot past Laws, but could not beat the keeper - but, from the clearance, the ball was eventually expertly lobbed into the corner from range by Norway's Reiten.

Scotland international Cuthbert poked in on the rebound after a neat team move down Chelsea's left for the third, before another good stop from Laws kept out England late on, after Chelsea keeper Ann-Katrin Berger had also done well to save from Millie Farrow.

Australia star Kerr, who was substituted with 13 minutes remaining to a warm ovation, had also crossed brilliantly for England earlier in the half, but Laws produced another good save.

Overall, Kerr's debut was impressive despite her missed chances, with her movement off the ball causing the Royals constant problems.

She found clever pockets of space and repeatedly managed to peel off her marker's shoulder, darting into space and showing glimpses of what her widely respected talents can deliver in the WSL over the course of her two-and-a-half-year contract.

This news item was provided by the BBC Sport - Football website - the original link is:

📸 Arsenal squad train ahead of Leeds game

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Check out our exclusive gallery of pictures as the boys prepare for our opening game in this year's Emirates FA Cup

Arsene Wenger
This news item was provided by the Arsenal FC News Feed website - the original link is:

Zlatan Ibrahimovic statue sawn off at ankles and toppled in Malmo

A shirt with the Swedish badge on was draped over the statue's face

Vandals have toppled a statue of former Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic by sawing it off at the ankles.

The statue, which is outside Malmo's stadium in Sweden, previously had its nose cut off after Ibrahimovic invested in a rival club in December.

The damage was discovered at 3.30am local time on Sunday, and there was graffiti reading "take away", written in Swedish, next to the statue.

Ibrahimovic, 38, made his professional debut for Malmo 20 years ago.

The statue's face was also covered by a shirt bearing the Swedish badge.

A spokesperson for the Malmo municipality's sport and recreation department told BBC Sport the statue has been taken away for repairs.

They added that the plan is to bring the statue back.

Malmo deputy mayor Frida Trollmyr told AFP: "I can understand that many people are disappointed in Zlatan's behaviour, but vandalising a statute is simply unworthy.

"Better to express your dissatisfaction in a democratic way."

The 3.5-metre bronze structure was sprayed with paint, set on fire and had a toilet seat put over its arm after it was announced that Ibrahimovic had bought 25% of the shares in Hammarby.

Police erected a fence around the statue, which was unveiled in October 2019, after an attempt to saw through its feet in December.

Ibrahimovic's house in Stockholm was also vandalised, with "Judas" painted on the front door.

The statue's artist Peter Linde has previously appealed for people to stop the vandalism.

Former Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, Paris St-Germain, Manchester United and LA Galaxy player Ibrahimovic has just re-signed for AC Milan.

He is expected to make his second debut for the Serie A side on Monday when they host Sampdoria.

This news item was provided by the BBC Sport - Football website - the original link is:

Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick insists David Alaba is 'not for sale' amid Chelsea interest

Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick insists David Alaba is “not for sale” after reports emerged that Chelsea were preparing to bid for the full-back.

Frank Lampard’s side have prioritised the signing of a new left-back with the 27-year-old widely considered one of the world’s best in the position. 

Ben Chilwell is Chelsea’s first-choice target, however, Leicester are determined not to sell any key players in January as the club looks to secure a spot in next season’s Champions League.

According to the Mirror, Chelsea are considering making a £60m bid for Alaba, who has just 18 months remaining on his contract with the German champions.

Questioned about Chelsea’s reported interest at a press conference, Flick simply responded: “He is not for sale.”

Flick also commented on Arsenal’s interest in centre-back Jerome Boateng, claiming that “he cannot imagine” the veteran defender leaving the club in January.

“He trained well on holiday and prepared himself,” he said. “He told me nothing [about wanting to leave].”

This news item was provided by the The Independent - Premier League website - the original link is: