Manager Claudio Ranieri believes the formation Leicester City played in the first half proved problematic for his side during the 3-0 defeat to Southampton on Sunday.
Ranieri opted for a 4-3-3 formation in the first half and made three changes to his side that were defeated by Chelsea last weekend, with Demarai Gray, Christian Fuchs and Shinji Okazaki all starting in place of Ben Chilwell, Marc Albrighton and Ahmed at the St. Mary's. However, Ranieri's side found themselves down 2-0 at half-time, prompting him to revert to a 4-2-2. Speaking to LCFC TV at full-time, Ranieri said: "I want to say that the two last matches (Chelsea and Southampton) were my mistake. I changed the shape to help the team, but the players didn’t recognize my ideas." While Ranieri's Foxes have won just one of their last six league matches, they'll have chance to right the ship against Derby in the FA Cup on Friday.
Following a week of speculation linking Adama Traore with Chelsea, the winger put on a compelling display in Saturday's 3-1 defeat to West Ham United.
The former Barcelona B standout shined from the flank at the Riveriside, finishing the match with 11 successful dribbles and three goalscoring chances created. Traore broke beyond full-back Aaron Cresswell twice in the first half before he delivered a sizzling cross in the second which found Maarten de Roon, but the midfielder's header was denied behind by West Ham goalkeeper Darren Randolph. After the match, Aitor Karanka quelled rumors of a potential move for the winger during the window, but said any interest proves he's on the right. "Adama can’t go anywhere because he played with Villa and us (this season), so can’t play for another club." Karanka explained. "If a team like Chelsea are following Adama it’s because his progress has been brilliant in six months and he’s doing well."
Brighton & Hove Albion have signed Chelsea versatile defender Fikayo Tomori, 19, on loan until the end of the season.
Tomori won the Chelsea Academy Player of the Year award last season and made his senior debut for the Blues against Leicester City on the final day of last season. The 19-year-old, who can play in central defense or at right-back, was a member of Chelsea's academy side that won the FA Youth Cup and UEFA Youth League in both 2014/15 and 2015/16. The promising youngster now moves to Brighton & Hove Albion for his first loan spell away from Stamford Bridge.
West Ham United remain reluctant to sell Dimitri Payet, rejecting a third offer from Marseille worth around £22.5m, according to Sky Sports.
Sky Sports is reporting that West Ham, who value Payet at £30m and have already turned down a pair of previous bids, consider the latest approach unacceptable. Additional reports out of France suggest Paris St Germain and Nice are also interested in the 29-year-old but the Hammers remain determined to not sell their star playmaker on the cheap. Meanwhile, West Ham have won back-to-back league matches without their French international. Payet, who continues to train with their Under-23 squad, has scored 15 goals in 60 appearances since he arrived in the summer of 2015 and signed a new five-and-a-half-year contract last February.
West Ham United has sent forward Toni Martinez out on loan to Oxford United for the remainder of the season.
Martinez signed on a three-year deal at London Stadium last summer after joining West Ham on a £2.4m from La Liga outfit Valencia. The 19-year-old has been one of the top performers for the club's Premier League 2 side this season, scoring 12 goals in 13 competitive matches, but is yet to make his senior debut. On his move to Oxford, Martinez told the League One club's website: "This is a great opportunity at a very good club. It is an important step for me and one I am really looking forward to."
Leicester City have rejected a £1.7m bid from La Liga outfit Alaves for wantaway forward Leonardo Ulloa.
Sky Sports is reporting that the club shot down the bid as they believe the offer is below their valuation of Ulloa. Despite Claudio Ranieri repeatedly stating he is keen to keep Ulloa at the King Power Stadium, the 30-year-old handed in a transfer request last week in an effort to force a move. According to Ulloa's representatives, the striker feels unappreciated because he has failed to crack Ranieri's first team and the club have not rewarded him, like other squad members, with a new contract. Ulloa has made 29 appearances in Leicester's title-winning campaign but started just one league match this season, and is currently sidelined because of a thigh injury.
Sean Dyche admits the knee injury sustained by Dean Marney at the Emirates on Sunday "is a worry" although there's no indication currently on the extent of his problem.
The Burnley midfielder landed awkwardly and hurt his right knee when he was booked for a challenge on Mesut Ozil with less than 20 minutes remaining. Marney spent more than nine months on the sidelines in 2015 after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament and there are fears he may have suffered a similar fate which would effectively end his season. Only four Clarets outfield players have seen more game time than the 32-year-old in 2016/17 and Marney has become an integrate part of Sean Dyche's side. His absence could hand Joey Barton his opportunity after signing on a short-term deal earlier this month.
Southampton manager Claude Puel today discussed the possibility of signing a new defender to replace former club captain Jose Fonte.
As it stands, Yoshida and Van Dijk appear to be Puel's preferred two in the heart of defence, with Gardos and Stephens held in reserve. However, Puel has not ruled out the possibility of signing a new centre-back if the right option becomes available: "We will study possibilities to replace him... I am happy with these players and if one or two come into the squad then I think it will be important they can bring something more than the players for the moment in the squad."