Liverpool forward Sadio Mane wins race to be fit for Premier League opener

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Sadio Mane is fit and available for Liverpool’s Premier League opener at home to Norwich on Friday night.

Mane missed last weekend’s Community Shield against Manchester City after only returning from an extended break on Monday, but has trained with his team-mates this week.

James Milner has also been training after sitting out last weekend’s Wembley contest with a minor muscular complaint.

Norwich boss Daniel Farke will be without experienced centre-back Timm Klose, who has not recovered fully from a hip problem, as his side return to the Premier League.

Fellow defender Christoph Zimmermann has also been ruled out with a knee problem.

Midfield pair Alex Tettey and Louis Thompson are also expected to be absent.

Liverpool provisional squad: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk,
Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Milner, Salah, Mane, Firmino, Origi, Mignolet, Gomez, Lovren, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lallana, Wijnaldum, Shaqiri, Wilson, Brewster.

Norwich provisional squad: Krul, McGovern, Aarons, Byram, Godfrey, Hanley, Lewis, Heise, Roberts, Vrancic, Leitner, Hernandez, Cantwell, Buendia, Stiepermann, Trybull, McLean, Amadou, Drmic, Pukki, Srbeny, Idah.

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Burnley loan move for Chelsea's Danny Drinkwater in the works, says Sean Dyche

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Sean Dyche has revealed Burnley are working to bring Danny Drinkwater to the club on loan from Chelsea.

The midfielder was understood to be at the Clarets’ training ground on Thursday but Dyche insisted it was not yet a done deal just three hours before the deadline.

Asked about his likely transfer deadline day dealings, Dyche said: “There’s a maybe on Nakhi Wells going out and a maybe on Danny Drinkwater coming in.

“That’s not confirmed. There’s more than just the i’s to dot and t’s to cross. It’s got a reasonable chance but everyone needs to agree to get it done.”

After beginning his career with Manchester United, Drinkwater starred in Leicester’s stunning Premier League title-winning campaign, earning him a £35million move to Chelsea two years ago.

But he has made just five Premier League starts for the Blues and his only appearance last season came in the Community Shield a year ago.

If he can show anything like the form he produced for the Foxes, then Drinkwater would be a coup for Burnley, who lacked creativity in midfield last season in the absence of Steven Defour.

Defour missed most of last season through injury and is still some way away from a return following calf surgery.

Dyche said of Drinkwater: “I think it would be a challenge for him. I don’t think for one second he’d come here thinking that he walks in the team – or he’d be naive if he did. We like the players that have done well for us over time.

“We all know there’s no guarantees with any signing you make, you can only hedge your bets in the right way and I can only imagine after a quiet couple of years he’s hungry and he’s got a desire to prove himself, first of all to himself.

“He’s a good player, we all know that. But to prove to himself what he’s about and obviously that knocks on to the team, and that’s the idea.

“But first things first, we’ve got to get it done, and then second thing he’s got to be fit enough and ready enough and full of that desire to go and oust the people who are here.”

Wells joined Burnley two years ago from Huddersfield for £5million but is yet to start a game and looks set to return to QPR, where he spent last season, on loan.

Burnley sold goalkeeper Tom Heaton to Aston Villa but rebuffed interest from Leicester in England defender James Tarkowski.

“It’s a different club now than even as short as two or three years ago,” said Dyche.

“We’re not splashing it, as you know, massive net spend of about £5million in this window. But we are in a very healthy position on the other side. When people come knocking, we’re certainly not a club that needs to open the doors easily now, unless it’s right and it’s proper to do so.”

With Heaton out of the picture, Nick Pope looks set to reclaim the number one jersey, although Dyche insisted Joe Hart – and new signing Bailey Peacock-Farrell – are in the picture.

“I don’t put people in a pecking order,” he said.

“I think we’ve got three good keepers. Joe’s delivered a very strong pre-season so he’s obviously showing signs that he’s ready. Popey equally and then Bailey has come in to support that.”

New signings Erik Pieters and Jay Rodriguez, back at the club where he began his career, could make their debuts against Southampton on Saturday.

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New Man City signing Joao Cancelo aims to dislodge Kyle Walker from back-line

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New arrival Joao Cancelo is relishing the challenge of attempting to oust Kyle Walker from the right-back berth at Manchester City.

Cancelo is expected to provide stiff competition to the England defender after joining the Premier League champions from Juventus on Wednesday in a deal that saw Danilo head in the opposite direction.

Figures released by Juve indicate City paid 28.6million euros (£26.4m) to complete the transfer for the Portuguese, who put pen to paper on a six-year contract.

The 25-year-old, who can also operate on the left side of defence, said via a translator at his unveiling: “I’m aware that Kyle Walker is one of the best players, a great player.

“But I always love challenges and bringing myself to the limit so I’m going to compete with him and try to get my place in the starting XI.

“I always have the dream to be the best right-back and the best player in my position, I think only playing with the best can you achieve that and Manchester City has the best players, it is a great place to develop.

“At the end of the day it will be up to the manager to choose one or the other. But I can promise I will work hard to try to compete as best as I can.”

Cancelo, who was an unused squad member for Portugal as they toasted Nations League glory in June, is City’s third acquisition of the summer following the arrivals of Angelino and Rodri.

This will be Cancelo’s fourth club in as many seasons though he believes he will be at the Etihad Stadium for the long haul and admitted manager Pep Guardiola was a major factor in him signing for the club.

He said: “There are a lot of young players in the squad, for the present and the future as well, so I took the risk to join Manchester City. The Premier League is a competition that’s always fascinated me and one I’ve always liked.

“Pep Guardiola was also a big reason for me to join. I’ve always admired him and the way he plays since he started at Barcelona.

“It’s not by chance that Manchester City have won the last two Premier Leagues and Manchester City won all the domestic trophies in England last season.

“I love his style of play, his character, he’s very detail orientated. Everyone talks amazing about him so I’ll accept the challenge and hopefully he will make me a better player.”

Cancelo spent a little over a year at Juve, where he signed from Valencia for £35m, but revealed he formed a close bond with compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo.

He said: “I have a friend at Juventus in Cristiano Ronaldo, he helped me a lot while I was there, both personally and on the pitch.

“He’s an extraordinary person and for me he’s the best. We stay in touch, we talk, we are good friends but I thought at the time the best for me was to join Manchester City.”

Cancelo revealed the death of his mother in a car accident six years ago is a further motivation, adding: “When I lost her I was determined to try to make my dream come true.

“In the last four years I’ve been at four different clubs and always improving. I’m always fighting to be the best I can and I think I can achieve this here.”

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