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Premier League manager power rankings – Solskjaer slides, Wilder rises as every boss rated



No prizes for guessing who sits top of the Premier League manager power rankings as we enter the business end of the campaign with the title race all but over already courtesy of Jurgen Klopp’s all-conquering Liverpool.

The Reds are unbeaten after 25 games – having dropped just two points all season – and are surely a matter of weeks from ending a 30-year wait for a domestic title and writing their names into Anfield folklore once again.

Manchester City have paid the price for failing to bolster their defence following Vincent Kompany’s departure last summer but Pep Guardiola can’t escape blame for the dismal drop-off which means Liverpool are barely visible on the horizon.

Express Sport are on hand to rate and slate Klopp, Guardiola and co. a third of the season on from our original Premier League manager power rankings.

20 – Daniel Farke (Down four places)

Norwich were always going to be in for a battle to avoid relegation but tactical naivety and failing to learn crucial lessons hasn’t helped them.

19 – David Moyes (New entry)

West Ham’s second manager of the season insists he’s all about winning, though few Hammers fans remember the feeling with a return to the Championship now a very real prospect.

18 – Dean Smith (Down five places)

John McGinn’s injury has hit Aston Villa hard and a scrap to stay up was likely from day one, but the boyhood Villan has not covered himself in glory during his debut year as a top-flight boss.

17 – Roy Hodgson (Down six places)

Crystal Palace will review their manager’s position at the end of the season and a parting of ways might be what’s best for all involved.

16 – Eddie Howe (Down 10 places)

From being linked with the Arsenal job to question marks over his future at Bournemouth, it’s been a tough few months for the highly-rated gaffer and his struggling Cherries side.

15 – Graham Potter (Down seven places)

Fourth-bottom of the Premier League form table over the past 14 games, Brighton might be wondering if handing him a new long-term contract just months on from his appointment was the right decision.

14 – Mikel Arteta (New entry)

It’s early days in his tenure and performances are improving but the Arsenal boss will know results have to be better given the resources at his disposal.

13 – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (Down one place)

More time is the Manchester United mantra but the sand might start slipping away a little faster if the gap to the top four doesn’t close quickly and with Mauricio Pochettino waiting in the wings.

12 – Sean Dyche (Down two places)

Burnley’s boss gets some flak for their topsy-turvy form but you don’t take seven points off Leicester, Manchester United and Arsenal in consecutive games by accident.

11 – Nigel Pearson (New entry)

Watford were dead and buried before Christmas but are on for a Lazarus-like resurrection if they now manage to beat the drop follow the Marmite manager’s miracle working.

10 – Pep Guardiola (Down one place)

Manchester City are on course to finish second but the Spaniard’s incessant tinkering has not done anything to help them close the gap on the runway champions elect.

9 – Ralph Hassenhuttl (Up nine places)

Survived a stay of execution after the 9-0 pummelling against Leicester and has since propelled Southampton towards a top-half finish.

8 – Carlo Ancelotti (New entry)

Everton are sailing in the right direction once again under the leadership of their wily old captain and his well-proven approach.

7 – Jose Mourinho (New entry)

Tottenham couldn’t have got much worse but it takes some doing to galvanise a squad which had sunk so low and then lost the services of a talisman like Harry Kane mid-way through the season.

6 – Steve Bruce (Up one place)

It’s not been pretty but the lifelong Magpie has ensured Newcastle will be soaring in the top flight once again next season.

5 – Frank Lampard (Down two places)

Chelsea’s transfer ban would have hamstrung many a more-experienced gaffer but the Blues legend has got on with the job and then some.

4 – Nuno Espirito Santo (Up one place)

Wolves have got a Champions League-level manager on their hands and it won’t be long before he’s competing at that level – with them or not.

3 – Brendan Rodgers (Down one place)

Leicester’s fleeting title hopes fading and subsequent drop off shouldn’t take away from what’s been the result of a masterplan coming together nigh-on perfectly.

2 – Chris Wilder (Up two places)

Sheffield United have stunned just about everyone on their return to the Premier League and their boyhood-fan boss can almost count himself unfortunate to sit second.

1 – Jurgen Klopp (No change)

Liverpool personnel will mop up at every award ceremony this season and nobody deserves more credit than their charismatic German manager.

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Barcelona make Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang transfer decision amid Arsenal exit rumours




“He’s already one of Arsenal’s highest earners, I think he’s the second highest after Mesut Ozil.

“But the issue is this is a team that’s rebuilding and they’re rebuilding to be competitive in a couple of years’ time.

“If keeping Aubameyang is going to mean a long-term contract that takes him up to 34 or 35 years old and ties you up with a ton of money, that might not be the right thing for Arsenal.

“So I think it’s going to depend on what sort of suitors are out there, who’s looking for a centre-forward?”

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Arsenal ready to pay £21m release clause amid Bukayo Saka talks but face Tottenham issue




Arsenal are reportedly ready to trigger the release clause of Getafe full-back Marc Cucurella. The Gunners could be forced to sign a new left-sided player with Bukayo Saka refusing to commit to a new deal as of yet. That could still change though and Mikel Arteta is hopeful that the young prodigy will stay at the Emirates Stadium.

Nonetheless, plans are already being drawn up for the summer window when the club are expected to bring several new faces through the door.

According to Spanish outlet COPE, Arsenal are just one of a number of clubs willing to pay the £21million (€25m) release clause of Cucurella.

That could leave the decision in the hands of the 21-year-old, who is on loan from Barcelona but that Getafe will sign for £5m (€6m) by exercising an option in his loan deal.

Arsenal face firm competition though with Tottenham also amongst the clubs willing to prise the young Spaniard away from La Liga.

JUST IN: Man Utd handed Jadon Sancho transfer boost after Liverpool update emerges

Cucurella is a player that Arteta has followed closely since his first coaching job with Manchester City.

In 2017, the current Premier League champions were keen on bringing him to the Etihad Stadium, but a move failed to materialise.

Getafe have been the surprise package in this season’s La Liga and are currently just outside the top four in fifth place.

The Madrid-based side beat Ajax 2-0 in the first-leg of their Europa League Round of 32 clash on Thursday.

Cucurella has been one of their standout performers this season and Barcelona know even though they do not want to keep him they can turnover significant profit.

Arsenal are hoping to tie up Saka to a new deal amid interest from Liverpool, but the 18-year-old has already said he is leaving talks to his representatives.

Arteta is hopeful the situation will get resolved sooner rather than later: “That is something the club has to get sorted.

“My priority is that he continues to play like he is doing and he keeps developing. He is always asking the right questions.

“He is a very brave guy. Every time he gets into the final third, he is trying to cause problems for the opponent. He deserves these chances, he is doing very well and that’s why he is in the team.

“He’s great for the club. If we can get players from the academy and give them real chances even when we have other people fit, it shows we believe in them. He’s responded well.”

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Tottenham and Arsenal among host of European clubs interested in Marc Cucurella 




Tottenham and Arsenal among host of European clubs interested in Barcelona full-back Marc Cucurella 

Tottenham and Arsenal are among a host of European clubs keeping tabs on Marc Cucurella.

The 21-year-old is currently on loan at Getafe from Barcelona and has impressed for La Liga’s fifth-place side. 

And according to Cadena Cope – via Football Espana – the two Premier League sides have the left back on their radar, as do Sevilla, Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Monchengladbach.  

Tottenham and Arsenal are among a host of clubs interested in signing Marc Cucurella

Tottenham and Arsenal are among a host of clubs interested in signing Marc Cucurella

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