The Daily Telegraph - Business : 2020-09-22

Sport Football : 12 : 4

Sport Football

4 The Daily Telegraph Tuesday 22 September 2020 ** Sport Football Levy set to play hardball with clubs keen on Alli 3 By Matt Law Daniel Levy, the Tottenham Hotspur chairman, is ready to play hardball with any clubs interested in signing Dele Alli before the transfer window shuts. Paris St-Germain have held talks over a move for Alli after he was left out of Tottenham’s past two squads. Antonio Conte, the Inter Milan manager, is also a huge admirer, but the Italian club may struggle to finance even a loan deal. Levy is adamant that he will not be pushed into a corner over Alli’s future and will not allow the 24-year-old to leave easily or cheaply, although a season-long loan could be considered. Sources believe it is unlikely any club will make the kind of bid that will persuade Levy to consider a permanent sale and that a loan is more likely. Levy is happy for Alli to remain at Tottenham and fight for his place, but a loan could suit all parties if the England internatio­nal continues to be frozen out by head coach Jose Mourinho. Mourinho’s recent treatment of Alli has left some of his team-mates stunned, while the player himself is understood to be confused and upset. With the European Championsh­ip taking place next summer, Alli cannot afford to sit on the substitute­s’ bench all season if he wants to win back his England place. And he is also desperate to progress his club career, which is why it is understood he would currently consider a move if Tottenham did accept some sort of offer. 7 11 Wilder counts cost of more pain at Villa MIDLANDS FOOTBALL CORRESPOND­ENT at Villa Park By John Percy his staff, plus the analysts sitting in the stand, put their hands to their heads in disbelief. The decision went to the video assistant referee and was confirmed. United had 77 minutes to defend against a Villa side already dominating the game, but their defending was brilliant, and desperate, in equal measure. Jack O’Connell, the centre-half, had an excellent evening in front of the watching England manager Gareth Southgate. Twelve minutes before half-time came the other crucial moment, after a quick United counter-attack ended with Targett bringing down Basham. Lundstram stepped up but Martinez, making his Villa debut after a £20 million move from Arsenal, produced an outstandin­g save, diving to his right to push the ball away. United appeared comfortabl­e early in the second half, with Villa lacking creativity, so the opening goal came out of nowhere in the 63rd minute. With only their second effort on target, Konsa capitalise­d on a rare lapse in concentrat­ion from United’s defenders to head the ball into the corner, from Mings’s flick. The pressure was now on United to show more ambition, but they never looked likely to equalise. Villa should have killed off the game long before the final whistle, with Jack Grealish, Trezeguet and John McGinn all missing chances. A satisfacto­ry start for Villa, with Martinez already appearing a shrewd signing after an authoritat­ive, calm performanc­e in goal. “Keeping a clean sheet and getting the three points – what a start,” said Martinez. Abramovich held stakes in players Aston Villa Sheffield United decision, while also claiming that Matt Targett should have been sent off for the foul on Chris Basham which led to United’s penalty. He said: “You look at it and it’s Premier League football and you wonder what’s going off. “I wanted to clear up [with the referee] the decisions he made. Why wasn’t there a look at the monitor? Why wasn’t there interventi­on from Var? “Both boys are grappling there. The linesman never once raises his flag for a foul. It’s a really harsh decision. “The penalty – Egan gets sent off 35 yards from goal, Targett makes no effort to win the ball. “The double jeopardy is only when the opposition player makes a challenge for the ball, the ball is four yards away, so unless he’s got spider legs he can wrap around … and he hasn’t because I’ve watched it. “We have to stop shooting ourselves in the foot, we’re giving teams handouts.” The flashpoint came in the 12th minute, after a huge pass from Tyrone Mings sent Watkins into a race with Egan as the Villa striker chased the ball. Egan was clearly struggling and appeared to pull Watkins back at least once, with Scott giving the United captain a straight red card. As the card appeared, Wilder and Konsa 63 By Ben Rumsby Chris Wilder will be viewing future visits to Villa Park with a sense of foreboding, after another excruciati­ng experience for Sheffield United. Two seasons ago they tossed away a 3-0 lead to draw, while in June it was the infamous ‘ghost goal’. This time it was a pivotal red card incident as United were sentenced to a second Premier League defeat of the season. John Egan was dismissed by the referee, Graham Scott, for a tussle with Aston Villa’s £28million record signing Ollie Watkins, denying the forward a clear goalscorin­g opportunit­y as he bore down on goal. United midfielder John Lundstram then had a first-half penalty brilliantl­y saved by Villa debutant Emiliano Martinez and another nightmaris­h evening against Dean Smith was complete when Ezri Konsa scored. Wilder has now suffered six defeats in a row, stretching back to the poor finish from last season, but must always fear the worst when he arrives at Villa’s home. The United manager insisted Egan’s dismissal was the wrong Roman Abramovich, the Chelsea owner, held secret stakes in players not owned by the club, a BBC investigat­ion has found. They included Peruvian winger Andre Carrillo when he twice played against Chelsea in the Champions League in 2014, according to the corporatio­n, which said Abramovich held rights in players through a company based in the British Virgin Islands. Any investment­s in overseas players would have pre-dated Fifa outlawing third-party ownership in 2015, something that was banned within the Premier League seven years earlier. The BBC said a leak of documents revealed that Abramovich was behind an offshore company called Leiston Holdings, which partowned players Chelsea were said to have had first option of signing. A spokesman for Abramovich told the BBC: “The fact that transactio­ns may have been confidenti­al does not mean they were unlawful or otherwise in breach of then applicable rules or regulation­s.” Aston Villa (4-3-3) Martinez 8; Cash 6, Konsa 7, Mings 7, Targett 6; McGinn 5, Douglas Luiz 6, Hourihane 6 (Davis 62, 5); Trezeguet 5, Watkins 6, Grealish 7. Steer (g), Taylor, Nakamba, El Ghazi, Elmohamady, Hause. Targett, Cash, McGinn. (3-5-2): Ramsdale 6; Basham 6 (McBurnie 68, 6), Egan 5, O’Connell 8; Baldock 7, Lundstram 7, Berge 7, Fleck 6 (Osborn 64, 6), Stevens 6; McGoldrick 5 (Ampadu, 32), Burke 5. Foderingha­m (g), Sharp, Robinson, Norwood. Egan. Lundstram. Graham Scott (Oxfordshir­e). Substitute­s Booked Sheffield United Substitute­s Sent off Booked Referee

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