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Elite defender set to snub Tottenham as alternative Premier League admirer emerges

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Virgil van Dijk challenging Alessandro Bastoni during Liverpool v Inter Milan

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola appreciates Inter Milan defender Alessandro Bastoni, who is less keen on rival suitors Tottenham Hotspur, reports claim.

Bastoni is one of the most promising talents in Italian football. Still only 22 years old, he has been a regular starter for Inter Milan in recent seasons. Last term, he helped them win the Serie A title.

However, Inter spent heavily to get in such a position. Ever since, it has been catching up with them somewhat.

As a consequence, they had to sell a few key players last summer. Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi left, for example, as did head coach Antonio Conte.

Although things have balanced out a bit since, they may still have to make sacrifices if they are to get the targets they want this year.

For example, they are one of the leading suitors for Torino defender Gleison Bremer. But to accommodate him, they may need to clear space.

That could lead to Bastoni being on the market, given that his contract only runs until 2024. They were hoping to extend his deal, but now may consider selling him instead.

Tottenham were recently linked with Bastoni in a move that could reunite him with Conte. However, FCInterNews have since claimed the left-footer does not approve of Tottenham as a destination; he wants to move to one of the European greats if anywhere.

They have also linked him with Bayern Munich. The Bundesliga giants have a more appealing pedigree among the European elite.

Man City to keep tabs on Bastoni?

The same goes for Manchester City, who have now been mentioned in relation to Bastoni by Corriere Dello Sport.

Guardiola is supposedly a major admirer of Bastoni. But there is no indication yet that this could convert into a transfer pursuit immediately. Still, this summer may be the best time to strike, so there could be further developments.

Man City are well-stocked at centre-back; they have Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte, John Stones and Nathan Ake. What’s more, Laporte and Ake are both left-footers as well, just like Bastoni.

Therefore, their need for the Italian may not be that immediate. But as a rising talent who already has much experience at senior level, he is definitely a player to keep an eye on.

READ MORE – EXCLUSIVE: Guardiola fears mount as clock ticks down on City duo attracting major interest

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Premier League  Gives Reason Why Jordan Ayew Was Not Sent Off Against Everton

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Jordan Ayew’s tackle on Anthony Gordon during Everton’s game against Crystal Palace was described as “reckless”, but was not believed to have warranted a red card through VAR.

The Blues found themselves 2-0 down at the break thanks to a header from Jean-Philippe Mateta and a strike from Ayew himself, just a couple of minutes after a hugely contentious challenge.

Right in front of the two dugouts, the Palace forward scythed down his opponent in what looked like a scissor motion.

Everton’s players were incensed and instantly surrounded referee Anthony Taylor. However, the official quickly had a yellow card in his hand and cautioned the Palace man.

The ECHO understands the decision was assessed by VAR Mike Dean, but it was decided that it did not meet the threshold for a red card. It was described as “reckless” which is classed as a yellow card offence.

This adds to a host of decisions that Everton have felt aggrieved by over the course of the season, including most recently a decision to not award Richarlison a penalty against Brentford shortly before Jarrad Branthwaite was handed a red card.

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Billy Sharp Headbutt Gets Nottingham Forest Fan Arrested

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A Nottingham Forest fan who headbutted Sheffield United captain Billy Sharp during a pitch invasion has been jailed for 24 weeks and been handed a 10-year football banning order, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said on Thursday.

Robert Biggs, 30, invaded the pitch after Forest won their Championship playoff semifinal against United and made a beeline for Sharp, who was standing by the touchline before he was knocked to the ground.

A 10-year football banning order is maximum length available to the courts.

The CPS authorised charges of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and Biggs pleaded guilty.

“This was an extremely serious and unprovoked assault with a professional footballer standing at the side of the pitch left requiring stitches,” Marianne Connally from the CPS said.

Billy Sharp: Fan arrested after 'headbutt assault' leaves Sheffield United  captain needing stitches

“Biggs has soured what should have been an incredible moment for the club and its fans. As a result of his actions, he won’t be able to enjoy seeing his club compete in the Premier League should Forest win the Championship playoff final.”

Sharp, who spent a season on loan at Forest, said he would not let one “scumbag” ruin his respect for the club’s fans.

“One mindless idiot ruined what was an unbelievable night of football,” Sharp wrote on Twitter.

Forest beat United on penalties to set up a Championship playoff final against Huddersfield Town at Wembley Stadium on May 29.

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