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Tottenham Recorded A Dominant 2-0 Win Over Brentford As Antonio Conte Made It Three Games Unbeaten

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Spurs took the lead in their first top-flight meeting with Brentford in fortuitous fashion as Sergio Canos deflected into his own net after 12 minutes, the Bees’ first ever own goal in the competition.

Thomas Frank’s side did not manage a shot on target until the 63rd minute, though that proved in vain when Son Heung-Min doubled the lead two minutes later.

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Conte’s side – who are unbeaten in 12 matches against London rivals Brentford in all competitions, dating back to 1948 – move up to sixth and are within touching distance of the top four.

Alvaro Fernandez denied Lucas Moura in the opening stages, but Spurs were soon ahead when Pontus Jansson headed Son’s cross against team-mate Canos, who turned into his own net by no fault of his own.

Bryan Mbeumo responded by sending a speculative long-range volley wide before Sergio Reguilon looped a header off target and Fernandez pushed Son’s low effort away.

Harry Kane raced through one-on-one after the interval but was thwarted by Fernandez, while Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg inexplicably prodded wide following the England captain’s low delivery.

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Ivan Toney then drilled tamely into Hugo Lloris’ hands before Spurs doubled their advantage as Son tapped in Reguilon’s cross to cap an expert counter-attack started by Kane.

Frank’s side rarely troubled Spurs’ goal in the closing stages as Conte oversaw his second league victory in as many games at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

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Jurgen Klopp green lights Newcastle deal for Liverpool man as Howe fails in bid for Brighton star

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Newcastle are reportedly in the clear to push through a deal for Liverpool’s Nat Phillips after their efforts to prise a defender away from Brighton were swiftly rejected.

The Magpies are gearing themselves up for a frantic end to the transfer window. With Chris Wood and Kieran Trippier brought in, Eddie Howe wants more quality on board to aide their survival fight.

Ideally, the Newcastle boss would like to strengthen three positions: midfield, centre-half and left-back.

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His efforts to land a prized Germany man to fill his left-back void, however, have on Wednesday taken a signficant backwards step. That comes after a deal for Bayer Leverkusen left-back Mitchel Bakker also fell short.

The hunt to bolster the midfield, however, does look more promising. Indeed, Newcastle are seemingly in the mix to sign an exciting Brazil international.

Perhaps most pressing of all, however, is the need to add a new central defender.

So far, this has proven a month of frustration for Howe, with efforts to sign Diego Carlos, Sven Botman and James Tarkowski all failing to get over the line.

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As such, reports on Wednesday morning claimed Newcastle had submitted an offer to sign Brighton’s Dan Burn. The 6ft 7in centre-half has done well for Graham Potter’s side in recent times. As such, the Magpies reportedly submitted an £8m offer to the Seagulls for the 29-year-old on Wednesday morning.

However, the Daily Mail reports that the bid has been swiftly rejected by Brighton.

As such, the Mail claims it is uncertain whether Howe will look to increase his offer in a bid to twist Brighton’s arm.

Furthermore, Newcastle could have more joy if they were to pursue a move for Phillips.

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The centre-half, 24, has slid down the pecking order this season. Phillips answered the call last season when Liverpool’s campaign threatened to unravel amid a spate of injuries in defence.

Magpies chasing initial loan deal

Rhys Williams and loanee Ozan Kabak played their part, but Phillips became the main man at the back, helping to steer Liverpool towards Champions League qualification.

But the signing of Ibrahima Konate and the return of their injured stars has seen Phillips marginalised this year. He is yet to play a single minute in the Premier League this campaign. As such, talk of a January exit began to swirl.

West Ham are among those keen, but are yet to make their move.

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Now, as per the Liverpool Echo, Newcastle are ‘considering’ a loan move for Phillips before the winter window shuts.

This deal would include an ‘obligation to buy’ in the summer if the Magpies stay up. Liverpool’s asking price for Phillips is still £15m.

Klopp won’t stand in Nat Phillips way

Jurgen Klopp, while he would prefer a cash sale now, is unlikely to stand in Phillips’ way.

The Reds have recalled Williams from Swansea as cover, allowing Phillips to head out the exit door.

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On the Englishman, Klopp said in December: “We cannot keep Nat Phillips forever, that’s clear. We needed him, just to be safe, for that half-year.

“We will see what happens in the window. He was fine doing it because he’s a great guy.

“People love him because of his heading but with his feet he is unbelievable. He’s a late starter, but his development is unbelievable. I would sign him for any club except Liverpool, because we have him.”

READ MORELiverpool make bold approach to take classy Juventus star on a free in summer 2022

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EXCLUSIVE: Newcastle turn to Everton man as centre-back options dwindle

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TEAMtalk understands that Everton defender Yerry Mina has emerged as a January transfer target for Newcastle United.

Eddie Howe’s primary defensive targets have so far been Burnley’s James Tarkowski and Lille star Sven Botman, but neither of those deals were possible.

Sevilla’s Diego Carlos has since emerged as the number one target. However, that deal has not yet been agreed and Newcastle are looking at other options instead.

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Now we can reveal that one of those the Magpies are keen on is Colombian ace Mina, although the recent sacking of Rafa Benitez could see the situation complicated.

Newcastle do still have room in their squad for two domestic loans – and Mina could fill one of those berths.

But it remains to be seen whether Everton would be happy to potentially strengthen a rival who are only seven points behind them in the table and still sit in the bottom three.


Howe the worst: Eddie’s record compared to Newcastle’s 12 other managers in the 21st Century

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Newcastle, West Ham join Szalai chase

Meanwhile, West Ham and Newcastle United have joined the list of clubs keen to sign Fenerbahce defender Attila Szalai in the January transfer window.

The centre-back, who turns 24 on Thursday, has garnered plenty of attention this season with his displays in Turkey. The Hungry international has made 17 starts among 19 top-flight appearances for the Yellow Canaries. And many top clubs have taken note.

Barcelona were linked in November last year but Chelsea seemed at the front of the queue for his signature. A report in early December claimed the Blues had all but sealed a deal for the stopper.

That was because Hungary manager Marco Rossi seemed to confirm that he was off to Stamford Bridge.

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Asked about his squad, the 57-year-old Italian said:  “It’s hard to name just one player, but right now I see very well Attila Szalai, who plays for Fenerbahce, but I think he is joining Chelsea.”

However, just a day later, Fenerbahce issued a rebuttal.

“The allegations regarding the transfer of our player Attila Szalai, which have been made public in the last few days, based on foreign press and social media, do not reflect the truth,” a statement read.

“Our club has not made any transfer negotiations regarding our successful football player Attila Szalai. Our player continues his work completely concentrating on the goals of our team. We present it to the public.”

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Attila Szalai Fenerbahce 2021 TEAMtalk1

That news opened the door for other clubs to get involved and the Hammers have now been linked, per Sky Sports. David Moyes is in the market for a central defender following Angelo Ogbonna’s season-ending injury.

And Szalai ticks all the boxes, as he is also a left-footed defender and is a decade younger than the Italian. But the north-east outfit are also keen.

Szalai to solve Newcastle problems

Newcastle are involved in a relegation fight after winning just one Premier League fixture this term. They have been unable to see out games from winning positions.

And that was the case again at the weekend. They let slip a 1-0 lead, with Joao Pedro bagging late on to earn Watford a point.

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Eddie Howe needs to improve his rearguard if he is to prevent the Magpies revolution hitting the buffers in May. Szalai, capped 23 times by Hungary, would not break the bank.

He is valued in the region of £17m – a price that has also attracted Serie A giants AC Milan.

READ MORE: Record Newcastle deal on as bid for Real Madrid star is ‘accepted’ as Man Utd man rejects loan

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