MANCHESTER UNITED are continuing their pursuit of top target Jadon Sancho, but Borussia Dortmund are refusing to budge on their demands for a £108m fee.
Meanwhile the Red Devils are also considering sabotaging Chelsea's move for Leicester's Ben Chilwell.
Get all the latest updates and gossip from Old Trafford here...
Spectators will be made to sign up to a new code of behaviour.
It will make them take full responsibility for themselves and others by not attending if they have Covid symptoms or have been exposed to anyone with them.
And strict crowd management plans will be enforced with one-way entry and exit and staggered arrival times.
Seating will be socially distanced and hand washing and sanitiser stations set up.
But no trials are scheduled for the North West, which remains under stricter control.
CROWDS COMING BACK!
Football fans will finally begin returning to stadiums next month — but might not be allowed to sing.
A further easing of lockdown rules announced tonight will also see snooker lovers back in the Crucible this weekend for the World Championship.
Rugby matches and racing at Goodwood are also on the list of approved “pilot” events in the coming weeks.
But capacity will be capped and all fans will likely be urged not to chant or shout for fear of spreading the virus.
The new Premier League season starts on September 12.
Trials of allowing some fans back in stadiums will be tested later that month ahead of a planned full rollout in October…
WAIT ON JADON
Borussia Dortmund want to keep Jadon Sancho for another year — to start a bidding war next summer.
Manchester United are not giving up on the England winger, 20, and have put all other transfer business on hold to chase a deal.
But the German giants want to wait for the financial impact of coronavirus to clear so big guns like Barcelona and Real Madrid bid against United and they can get the top price.
The news will anger the Red Devils, who have been negotiating for two months and offered £70million rising to £110m.
But Dortmund wanted more up front, while the player has snubbed pay of £220,000 a week.
Sancho was sure he would be a United player by now but has not yet spoken about it publicly.
“I think it would be the same if this was to happen again at City.
“He has been brought in by their owners specifically to win the Champions League, whether he likes it or not.
“They were winning the Premier League before he arrived.
“So he hasn’t so far achieved anything at City that nobody else has.
“He can say what he wants about not being judged on the Champions League because he has to protect himself — but he has been brought in to win this tournament.
“I’m not saying he would be unsuccessful if he doesn’t manage to win it. But he would not have done what was on the tin.”
Rio Ferdinand almost choked on his ice cream as Pep Guardiola tried to convince the hundreds and thousands.
Manchester City boss Pep insisted this week he would not be a failure if he did not deliver the Champions League trophy to the Etihad.
But Ferdinand, who skippered Manchester United to Europe’s biggest honour in 2008 disagreed.
He said: “Listen, with the competitive spirit Guardiola has, the perfectionist he seems to be and the obsessive nature he has, he would not be happy if he walked away from City without winning the Champions League.
“He was probably more successful at Bayern Munich than he has been at City but the fact he didn’t win the Champions League in Germany will always taint his time there.
“That is due to the level he has operated at in the past and the standards he set himself at Barcelona…
THE KING N' GREEN
Bruno Fernandes has hailed the star quality of Mason Greenwood as Manchester United build a team for the future.
Fernandes said: “I think Mason has done a great season, of course. He’s young and he has great numbers this season.
“The age is just a number and you see Mason has done very well.
“He can do much more because of the qualities he has and he still has to grow up physically. He did fantastically this season and he will get better.
“He needs to play more and get more confidence from his team-mates and the staff and I think he will get much better because he has that quality.”
CAN'T PEREIR IT
Andreas Pereira is going to leave Manchester United despite Ole Gunnar Solskjaer pleading with him to stay, according to reports.
Brazilian outlet Esporte Interativo report he is on his way but the Norwegian “tried in vain” to make him stay.
He was recently linked with a move to Brazilian side Santos.
RUB OF THE GREEN
Mason Greenwood was pictured curling a beauty of a ball into the net during Man Utd training.
The youngster was in training ahead of United's Europa League semi-final against Sevilla on Sunday.
EA Sports have released their latest trailer for Fifa 21, ahead of the game’s October 6 release date.
The promo focuses on career mode, which appears to have had quite the revamp.
Vice-president of EA Nick Wlodyka told Goal: “The Career Mode is very important for this year.
“We’ve really made the biggest investments we’ve ever made to make sure we’re delivering exactly what our players are asking for.
“We’ve had so much feedback over the past few years from our players wanting to see more things they can control in career mode.
“We listened to what they want to be able to do, things they haven’t been able to do in the past.”
That will be a hammer blow to clubs down the football pyramid who are operating hand to mouth in order to survive.
League One and Two clubs will also see a dramatic reduction of prize money when they enter the competition, with a victory in the second round dropping in value from £54,000 to £34,000.
With big paydays in terms of plum draws against Premier League sides also off the table because of the lack of capacity crowds, the cut in prize fund will add to the misery of those hardest hit.
The winners of the FA Cup will collect £1.8million instead of the £3.6m Arsenal received for beating Chelsea earlier this month.
WHAT THE CUP?!
FA Cup prize money has been slashed by half for next season as the financial crash in football because of Covid-19 continues to bite.
The Football Association have been forced to lower the money forked out to teams across the competition – hitting those most in need the hardest.
Semi-pro and lower league teams are fighting for their survivals following the coronavirus pandemic and many were hoping a decent Cup run might be able to keep them alive.
Last year teams who won a game in the extra preliminary round were awarded £2,250 while the losers collected £750 – but those payments have been reduced to £1,125 and £325 respectively.
Winning a fourth qualifying round tie to make the First Round proper had been worth £18,750 to a club, but next season that reward is slashed to just £9,375…
Manchester United have been dealt a blow after Napoli were said to have agreed terms with Gabriel Magalhaes – with Kalidou Koulibaly now set to quit.
A host of Premier League clubs – including Arsenal and Tottenham – were interested in the £22million-rated Lille centre-back.
His brother and sister even started following the Gunners on Instagram.
But Napoli appear to have won the race for Magalhaes, according to Manchester Evening News.
DOR SLAMMED SHUT
Manchester United have been thrown yet another Jadon Sancho transfer warning, after a latest Dortmund chief declared “we are very happy he’s staying”.
Dortmund legend Sebastian Kehl, who now works within the club, has reiterated his delight that their No7 will in fact be staying for the 2020-21 campaign.
He told Kicker: “It was important to clarify this subject. Of course, we are aware of Jadon’s appeal [in the market] but we also know how important he is for our team.
“He is a player who can make the difference in every game. He had an outstanding past year with 17 goals and 17 assists [in the Bundesliga].
“He gives the team something extra and we are very happy that he is staying, as his team-mates have already stated in recent days.”
NO SMALL FEE – EXCLUSIVE
Manchester United are demanding £20million for Chris Smalling this summer – with Roma still desperate to snap him up.
The England defender, 30, returned to Old Trafford last week after his loan with the Serie A giants ended.
He still has two years left on his £130,000-a-week deal, which Roma were forced into paying a large chunk of.
SunSport understands the ex-Fulham ace would be willing to take a sizeable pay cut to secure a move away.
However, the Giallorossi are only willing to fork out around £15m for him, which United have rejected.
TAH VERY MUCH
Tahith Chong's loan move to Werder Bremen from Manchester United could be off, with the German side reportedly struggling to reach an agreement over the finances.
The Red Devils have shown a willingness to let the 20-year-old depart on loan this summer.
And Werder Bremen appeared all set to sign Chong on a two-year loan deal.
But according to Bild, the Bundesliga side and United differ wildly on the money involved in the loan move.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side want Werder to cover the Dutchman’s £50,000-a-week salary in full – as well as paying a loan fee.
But the German side will struggle to meet this valuation – which could lead to the deal falling through.
It reads: “Those at the bottom of the merit table, and those who complete fewer than 10 matches, do not qualify.
“Payments to those who complete fewer than 20 matches are discounted (by 40 per cent up to 14 matches and 15 per cent up to 19).
“The distribution is otherwise based on a set number of “shares” which are split in the manner specified in the document, with the first ranked referee receiving the most shares.
“A further email is sent on behalf of Mr Riley after the end of the season referring to PGMOL's Board having confirmed the size of the pot.
“The maximum payment for 2014-15 was around £3,500 and the lowest was under £700.
“Mr Riley's evidence was that merit payments would be made as indicated unless the referee group had had a 'catastrophic' season, which he thought might happen if the EFL was dissatisfied with the overall level of service.”
Premier League referees will receive a performance-related bonus – despite a season of shoddy officiating.
Despite the unpopular introduction of VAR, officials will yet again pocket some extra cash as they have done in previous campaigns.
A meeting will be held on September 12 to decide on the bonus figure each referee will receive although the total amount remains unknown.
All referees in each four divisions who have taken charge of more than ten games are eligible.
That is unless they have endured a “catastrophic” season, according to Sky Sports.
According to court documents written by Premier League referee chief Mike Riley, it informs refs of the size of their bonus…
SNAP IT SHUT
Premier League stars have been warned to STOP sharing holiday snaps on social media over fears of their quarantine whereabouts on their return to the UK.
Top-flight clubs are set to kick off their pre-season plans as early as next week following a condensed summer break.
A hatful of players are currently enjoying a quick break in the sun – with the likes of Dele Alli, Jack Grealish, James Maddison and Frank Lampard all making the most of their few weeks off.
But now Sportsmail have claimed stars have been urged to ditch social media in a bid to avoid awkward questions surrounding their whereabouts during periods of self-isolation.
Spanish hot-spots such as Marbella and Ibiza are favourites amongst the world's best footballers.
Here is the brilliant season being had by Anthony Martial.
KEEPING THEM IN IT
Karl-Johan Johnsson has earned the Europa League's Player of the Week award.
Copenhagen stopper Johnsson nigh-on single-handedly kept the Danes in the tie against United the other night with 13 superb saves.
ONE 'N DONE
Replays have been ditched from every round of the FA Cup next season to make sure the competition gets played, reports DUNCAN WRIGHT.
Ties will all be decided in one day from the extra preliminary round on September 1 right through to the final on May 15.
FA bosses have been forced to make the unprecedented change in order to cram their competition into what is fast becoming a crazily packed fixture programme.
The qualifying rounds will be resolved by the end of October, before the first round proper sees teams from Leagues One and Two enter the tournament on November 7.
Third round ties will be played on or around January 9 when Premier League and Championship sides enter the competition.
Teams throughout the leagues are facing major problems getting their games played, with the first four rounds of the Carabao Cup now confirmed to be crammed into September.
CHIL'S COLD WAR
Chelsea are braced for a bidding war for Ben Chilwell, after Leicester slapped an £80million price tag on his head.
According to the Mirror, Manchester United are also in the race for the defender, who is a Blues fan.
Chelsea have reportedly made an initial bid for Chilwell, which is considerably less than Leicester want.
And they are reluctant to up their cash offer any more, potentially opening the door for United to move in.
The first FOUR rounds of the Carabao Cup will be crammed into the first month of the season in order to get the competition played, writes DUNCAN WRIGHT.
EFL bosses have been forced to get creative with the fixture list in order for their cup tournament to be staged following the delayed start to the new season.
The first round, involving EFL sides, will be played on September 5 – one week before the league campaigns are due to kick-off.
Then rounds two, three and four will be staged each midweek from September 15/16 – which will include the Premier League sides.
Top flight teams enter the tournament in the second round, except for those involved in European competitions who come in a round later.
The condensed timescale mean Premier League clubs are expected to play a minimum of SIX matches in the first three weeks of the new season – every weekend and midweek from September 12.
Manchester United have made a renewed move for Barcelona star Ansu Fati as a potential alternative to Jadon Sancho.
The Red Devils and Borussia Dortmund are at a stalemate over a deal for the England winger’s valuation.
Now Sport claims that has led Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team to make a fresh enquiry for the 17-year-old Nou Camp wonderkid.
However, they state Barca have again informed them the forward is not for sale under any circumstances.
Fati scored seven goals in 24 La Liga appearances during his breakthrough campaign alongside Lionel Messi and the rest of their star-studded squad.
Super agent Jorge Mendes was reportedly involved in talks over a move to United earlier this summer.