Barcelona president desperate to sign Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel as Ronald Koeman confirms moves to remove him as manager

Reports in Spain claim that Thomas Tuchel is Barcelona president Joan Laporta’s No1 choice to replace under-fire Ronald Koeman.

The Dutchman’s future has come under scrutiny following a series of losses in the Champions League, rounded off by his side’s 3-0 defeat to Benfica this week.

Reports also suggested Tuchel’s compatriot Jurgen Klopp was in the running should Laporta pull the trigger on Koeman.

And, according to Mundo Deportivo, Tuchel tops the list of names that Barca president Joan Laporta wants to take the Dutchman’s place in the Nou Camp dugout.

Laporta is so keen on Tuchel that he, along with Barca’s hierarchy have drawn up an action plan to get him to Spain, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Meanwhile, Koeman has admitted that rumours surrounding his exit from the club are probably true.

And although he hasn’t discussed his future with Barca’s president Joan Laporta, or even seen him for that matter, Koeman’s aware that he’s skating on thin ice.

Speaking before Barca take on Atletico Madrid tomorrow, Koeman said: “The president was here this morning, but I didn´t see him because I was preparing for the game.

“Nobody has told me anything, but I have eyes and ears and I know that things are being leaked. They are probably true, but nobody has told me,” reported the Daily Mail.

Thomas Tuchel makes mockery of England’s inclusion of injured Reece James in their squad, says “maybe Reece was called up to the England water polo team”

Thomas Tuchel has made mockery of England’s decision to inlude Reece James in the their squad, saying “I thought maybe Reece was called up to the England water polo team because he trains in the pool.”

James was named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man squad for October’s World Cup qualifiers despite limping off against Manchester City last weekend and missing the midweek trip to Juventus.

Tuchel believes the call-up must be a “misunderstanding” with the defender not in full training, and does not expect him to play for England, while James will also miss Chelsea’s match with Southampton on Saturday.

“I thought maybe Reece was called up to the England water polo team because he trains in the pool,” Tuchel said.

“I was a bit surprised, but I understand he was selected. This will not happen, because he’s training in the pool. It can only be a misunderstanding.”

Asked if anyone from England had got in touch before James was named in the squad, Tuchel replied: “Imagine if every international coach calls the [club] coach? Nobody could reach me anyway. The club is in touch, and [Chelsea technical director] Petr Cech sorts these things out. It can happen.”

Luis Suarez thanks Erling Haaland over gift he sent to his son

Atletico Madrid star Luis Suarez has thanked Borussia Dortmund superstar Erling Haaland for the birthday gift he sent to the Liverpool legend’s son.

Suarez’s son Benjamin turned eight years old and received a surprise present from Haaland, who gave him a dedicated shirt of his that he signed with: “Happy Birthday Benjamin”.

The star striker shared a picture of his child smiling from ear to ear with the shirt on social media and thanked the Manchester United transfer target by calling him a “top player”.

Suarez posted on Instagram: “Top player… Very grateful for the dedicated shirt for my son for his birthday! A grand gesture…

“Keep working hard and many thanks once more!!”

Haaland has continued where he left off at Dortmund with a whopping 11 goals and four assists in eight matches across all competitions.

The Norway international is still monitored by some of Europe’s top hitters, such as United.

The Red Devils failed to sign the 21-year-old last summer but will try again next year when his £67million release clause becomes active.

Former Chelsea striker Diego Costa named in betting scandal as police begin investigation

Diego Costa has been named as the footballer involved in an alleged betting scandal being probed by police.

The 32-year-old striker, currently playing for Brazilian side Atletico Mineiro, has been identified by national press in his homeland as the one of the people being investigated by detectives in his home state of Sergipe.

Police are yet to confirm the identities of those they believe are involved in the alleged wrongdoing.

But they have said that an unnamed footballer is one of the suspects under investigation.

Detectives went public with their operation on Thursday, saying they were probing the practice of alleged crimes, including money laundering and foreign exchange fraud involving online betting site Esportenet.

Unconfirmed local reports asserted Spanish international Diego Costa’s home was among the properties that had been searched.

There has been no official comment from Costa.

Jurgen Klopp reckons Manchester City as Europe’s best team, says he doesn’t mind playing draw with Guardiola’s side

Jurgen Klopp has hailed rivals Manchester City as Europe’s best team at the moment.

The Liverpool boss reckons City were unlucky to lose 2-0 against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League earlier this week.

Klopp believes City bossed the game against PSG and would’ve won if they took their chances.

And to dominate a PSG team filled with stars such as Lionel Messi, Klopp thinks shows why Pep Guardiola’s are the best side Europe has to offer.

The Germain said: “But when you think about the quality of the PSG team and the way Man City dominated them, that says a lot, that says a lot about the qualities.

“They are still really, for me, probably the best team in Europe in the moment and it’s a tough one.”

Klopp suggested that he doesn’t mind a draw when his side face Manchester City this weekend.

The Reds are sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League table one point ahead of City.

And sharing the spoils with rivals City would mean the Kop giants will still be unbeaten in the Prem.

Speaking ahead of the weekend clash, Klopp said: “A draw would mean we’re still unbeaten. Take it now? it’s early.

“Let’s play the game and ask me after that. So far the start is OK but it’s not that we think we couldn’t have done better.”