Italy football legends join Roberto Mancini, Thomas Tuchel’s chorus for Jorginho to be awarded Ballon d’Or

Arrigo Sacchi and Marcello Lippi have joined the chorus of football figures arguing that Jorginho should win the Ballon d’Or for his success with Italy and Chelsea.

The midfielder is one of the main candidates for the trophy, having won UEFA EURO 2020 and set a world record 37-match unbeaten run with Italy.

He also lifted the Champions League and European Super Cup at club level with Chelsea.

“Jorginho should receive the Ballon d’Or this year, not the usual suspects,” noted Lippi during the Festival dello Sport event in Trento.

“I absolutely agree,” added former Italy and Grande Milan boss Sacchi.

Azzurri CT Roberto Mancini had said as much during his press conference this weekend, as Italy secured third place in the Nations League.

“I think Jorginho ought to win the Ballon d’Or. He has won everything else and thoroughly deserves it. In fact, it would be strange if anyone else were to win it at this point.”

Tottenham eyeing “Chelsea flop” to replace Daniel Levy’s talisman

Tottenham are reportedly considering Juventus striker Alvaro Morata as a potential replacement for Harry Kane.

The England captain was pushing for a move to Manchester City all summer but did not get his transfer due to the Premier League champions failing to meet Spurs’ asking price.

But Fichajes now reports via FourFourTwo that Kane is still desperate to leave the club after failing to buy into new Tottenham manager Nuno Espirito Santo’s project.

And with Kane yet to notch a goal or assist in the league this season, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy could be open to parting with his long-time talisman while his stock is high.

That would leave the north Londoners short up front, but former Chelsea forward Morata is reportedly a player they are eyeing as an alternative.

Morata struggled in England with the Blues where he scored 24 across 72 matches and is widely remembered at Stamford Bridge for his lack of clinical finishing.

Spanish press blast match officials for allowing Kylian Mbappe’s winner in Nations League final as Busquets, Azpilicueta, others react

The Spanish press have slammed as an ‘injustice’ the decision to allow Kylian Mbappe’s winner for France to stand in the UEFA Nations League final.

Spain fell to a 2-1 defeat in the showpiece on Sunday night but the decisive goal came in controversial fashion.

Paris Saint-Germain star forward Mbappe slotted the ball home after clearly being in an offside position.

Footage of the incident showed that Mbappe was standing behind Spain’s last man when the ball was played.

However, the match officials – which included Premier League referee Anthony Taylor – felt that Spain defender Eric Garcia had deliberately touched the ball. Therefore, they treated everything after that moment as a new phase of play.

As it stands, the rules currently state that “a player in an offside position receiving the ball from an opponent who deliberately plays the ball, including deliberate handball, is not considered to have gained an advantage”.

Spain midfielder Sergio Busquets criticised VAR for allowing the 80th-minute winner to stand and the Spanish papers have also lamented the decision.

SPORT’s headline on Monday morning screamed: “Injustice.”

MARCA’s read: “They are changing football.”

Meanwhile AS remained positive about their national team’s display on Sunday night with the headline: “No title, but with a future.”

France newspaper L’Equipe ignored the controversial offside call on the front page of their edition on Monday.

Marca point this out on their website, with one sub-heading reading: ‘L’Equipe, no mention on offside.’

Speaking after the game Busquets said: “The referee told us that Eric Garcia wanted to play the ball and that kills the offside… But he wanted to play the ball because the ball would have reached Mbappe who was offside! It doesn’t make sense!”

Garcia added: “Mbappe is offside. The referee tells me that I tried to play the ball. What should I do? Step aside and let him run? Apparently that’s the rule.”

Cesar Azpilicueta told Sky Sports: “The referee is there to make decisions. What I’m more disappointed (about) is that the referee who makes the decision is not Mr Anthony Taylor who was here, it’s the one who is in the VAR. I think the monitor is there to use it.

“Every time we have meetings with the referees we say the same and I don’t know why he didn’t go to the monitor and see for himself if it’s deliberate play or not.

“The offside is very clear and the referee watching the reviews in the office says that he can play the ball, which I don’t think so.”

Spain boss Luis Enrique was equally as annoyed but kept his cards close to his chest, saying: “Difficult. I would like to talk but I’m not going into that. I’ve nothing to say.”

PSG chief says his club has not made Kylian Mbappe u-turn

Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo is adamant that his ‘jewel’ Kylian Mbappe will stay at the club beyond the end of the season.

And the Brazilian also believes that Real Madrid should be punished for their public pursuit of the Frenchman over the summer.

Mbappe, 22, recently made it known that he asked to leave PSG back in July.

He would be denied his transfer, despite a £154million offer coming from Madrid.

The forward’s contract is set to expire at the end of this season, however, taking the decision out of PSG’s hands.

But Leonardo, 52, remains bullish – telling Festival dello Sport: “Our idea is to extend Kylian Mbappe’s contract.

“Nothing has changed in our plans. Kylian is a jewel, he is incredibly perfect for PSG… then we’ve Kylian, Leo [Messi], Ney. We’ve never planned PSG future without Mbappe.”

Bukayo Saka hails Tammy Abraham for Roma move as former England star claims he’s big fan of ex-Chelsea striker

Bukayo Saka has hailed England team-mate Tammy Abraham for adjusting to life in Italy.

The forward left Chelsea for Roma in the summer, and his form earned him a recall into Gareth Southgate’s squad.

And he got a goal on his return on Saturday, helping England to a 5-0 victory over Andorra.

Saka said: “I’m really happy for Tammy.

“He’s my boy. I’m just really happy he got his goal because he’s been working really hard, he’s been in really good form out in Italy so I’m really happy for him.

“It is football and different challenges will come up and I feel he’s dealt with this one (moving to Roma) well so far, I just wish him the best and I’m happy he got his goal.”

Meanwhile, former Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe says he is a big fan of former Arsenal target Tammy Abraham.

Abraham – who attracted interest from the Gunners in the summer – eventually moved to Roma to revive his England career.

His form earned him a recall to Gareth Sotuhgate’s squad, and he scored in yesterday’s 5-0 win over Andorra.

Defoe said: “I am a big fan of Tammy Abraham, to be honest. Top player.”

Ballon d’Or: Lionel Messi set to snub old rival Cristiano Ronaldo as he’s identified player he will vote for

Lionel Messi will snub his old rival Cristiano Ronaldo when he next votes for the Ballon d’Or.

Messi told L’Equipe: “Obviously, I have two players in my team that I would vote for, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

“Afterwards, there are players at the individual level who have had a great season, like Lewandowski, Benzema.

“But it’s hard to say because what you have done at the collective level means a lot to win the Golden Ball.

“Lately, the titles have a lot of weight, if you won the Champions League, the Euro, the Copa America.

“I think in previous years, we looked more for the player of the year, the best player. But now the titles also have a lot of weight.”

Kai Havertz explains Romelu Lukaku’s importance to Chelsea

Kai Havertz has revealed the importance of Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea despite having to adjust his role in the team with the arrival of the Belgian at Stamford Bridge.

Lukaku rejoined Chelsea in the summer for a club-record £97.5m from Inter Milan and has since scored four goals in nine appearances in all competitions for Thomas Tuchel’s side.

Havertz told the Blues’ website “We have a lot of offensive players and sometimes we also switch the system.

“Sometimes I play as a No.10, sometimes as a No.9.

“I like the position I’m playing in this system very much, I’m enjoying it. It’s my favourite position, somewhere up front, and it’s very nice also to play these positions with these good players here.

“Romelu’s now maybe the point every defender is looking to. Sometimes two or three defenders are just on him, so it gives us a lot more space around him. He’s now had a few games here, so also it’s getting better when you are used to playing with him.

“Of course, he’s a brilliant striker. I think in the last few matches he showed this very much.”

Borussia Dortmund starlet “should join Liverpool instead of Chelsea”- Former Blues star

Jude Bellingham ‘should join Liverpool instead of Chelsea’, according to former Blues star Glen Johnson.

The Borussia Dortmund ace has been linked with a January move to the West Londoners but Johnson reckons the England international would be better of at Anfield where he would be ‘nurtured’.

Bellingham, 18, has been at Dortmund little more than a year but has impressed since breaking into the first-team.

He’s scored twice and provided five assists in 11 matches for the Bundesliga side this season.

And his performances last campaign earned him a call-up to England’s Euro 2020 squad and led to Chelsea’s interest.

SunSport exclusively revealed last month Manchester United are in pole position to sign the former Birmingham midfielder.

But when asked which of the Premier League’s biggest clubs would be the best destination for Bellingham, Johnson picked his most recent former team Liverpool.

The 37-year-old – who spent four years at Chelsea and six at Anfield – told Betting Odds: “I’d probably say Liverpool.”

Newcastle’s new owners move to buy Serie A giants Inter Milan, give condition to club owners

Newcastle’s new owners are also interested in buying Inter Milan, according to reports.

The Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund finally completed their controversial Magpies takeover yesterday, after a dispute was settled with Qatari broadcasters BeINSports.

Toon fans are already dreaming of a star-studded team, with their new billionaire owners set to invest heavily in the team.

But Newcastle may not be the only club the Public Investment Fund (PIF) choose to spend money on.

According to Calciomercato via Football Italia, the Saudi group are working on a deal to buy Inter Milan from the Suning Group.

They report that before going ahead, however, the PIF want assurances that Inter’s new stadium plans can go ahead without a hitch.

Raphael Varane hands Manchester United injury blow

Manchester United have been dealt a potential injury blow after Raphael Varane limped off against Spain.

The France defender, 28, lined up for his country in tonight’s Nations League final.

But as the first-half drew to a close, Varane went down without anyone around him.

Replays suggested the centre-back had stretched too much for a loose ball.

And medics rushed onto the field to give him treated.