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Transfer news LIVE: Newcastle’s ‘move for Phillips OFF’, Chelsea eye Benzema OR Firmino, Henderson exit TWIST – updates

Villa set up Kosta deal

Aston Villa are close to signing Kosta Nedeljkovic from Crvena Zvezda in a deal worth £6.5m plus add-ons.

The 18-year-old right-back has made 12 league appearances this season and only made his Crvena Zvezda first-team debut in August.

But he impressed Villa scouts during four Champions League appearances against RB Leipzig, Manchester City and Young Boys.

Unai Emery wants a youthful right-back to compete with Matty Cash.

However Nedeljkovic will not appear for Villa this season as he will be loaned back to the Serbian giants to complete his breakthrough season.

Instead the teenager will join up at Villa’s Bodymoor Heath training ground for pre-season training before trying to push Cash for a first team place.

Former European Cup winners Crvena Zvezda have negotiated a sell-on clause worth 12 per cent of any future profit Villa make by selling the youngster on.

Red Devils eye ‘Wan-Bissaka for Olise swap’

Manchester United would consider swapping right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka for Crystal Palace winger Michael Olise.

That’s the suggestion from ESPN – despite AWB having turned his Old Trafford fortunes around this season.

It’s also been claimed that Frenchman Olise would prefer joining Arsenal to United, with Liverpool and Chelsea also regarded as big admirers.

And the 22-year-old reportedly has a release clause of £60million.

On the other hand, Palace have been linked over the last year with a possible move to bring Wan-Bissaka back.

Tonight’s Best Fifa Football Awards winners

Lionel Messi won the top male player’s gong as SIX Manchester City stars were named in the best XI.

City chief Pep Guardiola was named best manager, with Barcelona’s Spain midfielder Aitana Bonmati winning the women’s player award.

WINNERS

Men’s Player: Lionel Messi
Men’s coach: Pep Guardiola
Goalkeeper: Ederson

Men’s XI: Thibaut Courtois; Kyle Walker, John Stones, Ruben Dias; Bernardo Silva, Jude Bellingham, Kevin de Bruyne; Lionel Messi, Erling Haaland, Kylina Mbappe, Vinicius Jr

Women’s player: Aitana Bonmati
Women’s coach: Sarina Wiegman
Women’s goalkeeper: Mary Earps

Women’s XI: Mary Earps; Lucy Bronze, Olga Carmona, Alex Greenwood; Keira Walsh, Alessia Russo, Lauren James, Ella Toone; Aitana Bonmati; Alex Morgan, Sam Kerr

‘Utd and Chelsea bid for Evan’

Manchester United and Chelsea have reportedly bid for Evan Ferguson – the Brighton striker also admired by Arsenal.

Football Transfers claim United and the Blues hoped to pounce for the 19-year-old on loan as he’s often been on the bench this season after his explosive form last term.

But it’s also said that the Seagulls quickly rejected the advances.

Ferguson is on a long-term contract and Brighton rate him at around £100million.

Ratcliffe must ‘hit the ground running’

Paul Merson insists Manchester United need a mixture of “stability” and change under Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

The Arsenal legend says “the new investors have to hit the ground running” but must stamp their authority with long-term plans.

Merson told Sky Sports: “They need change and they started that with the departure of Jadon Sancho on loan to Borussia Dortmund.

“With that deal, you have to believe the manager is staying long-term and in fairness, if you get rid of Ten Hag, how many managers are out there who you could get in as a replacement? Could you tempt a Carlo Ancelotti for a season or so? It’s debatable.

“What United do need is stability. They’ve done the changing manager thing a number of times since Sir Alex Ferguson left the club. It hasn’t worked.

“We’ve seen Mikel Arteta at Arsenal backed. When many were calling for change, the Gunners gave him a chance to stamp his authority at the club and look where they are now.”

In ‘awe’ of United duo

Chris Sutton admits he was in “awe” of Manchester United – when they had the two men he considers the Prem’s best ever midfielders.

Sutton placed Paul Scholes and Roy Keane ahead of Kevin de Bruyne in his top five, with Frank Lampard fourth, a spot in front of Patrick Vieira.

Sutton said: “At number two, Keane. I just would have loved to have been in that Manchester United team in that dressing room.

“I was in awe of him [and of] that whole United team. He was the leader, he was the catalyst, he was the go-to man, the driving force, so he would be in it too.

‘My number one would be Paul Scholes. I mean, what couldn’t he do? I think Scholes was every bit as good as De Bruyne in terms of passing range, ability and awareness.

‘He was maybe stronger in the tackle than Kevin De Bruyne. But I mean, it’s so difficult to choose. But if you look at Paul Scholes’ numbers, I think 11 Premier Leagues, he won.”

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