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Guardiola wins record fourth Premier League manager of the month award

Guardiola wins record fourth Premier League manager of the month award

ESPN

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has admitted that "anything is possible" regarding his future at the club amid continued speculation that he will leave at the end of the season.

Conte has had to repeatedly address questions about his future despite winning the Premier League title in his first season in England last term, with a report in the Daily Mail on Friday claiming the Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri and former Barcelona coach Luis Enrique are the leading contenders to replace him in the summer.

Asked again about his future at a news conference ahead of Saturday's home match against Leicester City, Conte said: "I have another year on my contract but in football anything is possible."

"I trust in my work, in what we are doing in these two seasons. Then, in football, anything can happen and we must be ready

Conte: "From the start of the season you are always repeating the same question. At some point I have to tell you if you want to sack me it's ok, but I'm always telling the same things. For the manager of this club it's normal to have this type of situation" #cfc

Asked if he was surprised by constant speculation about his future, he said: "I'm not surprised because we're not talking about my work. The history of Chelsea speaks clearly. It's normal if the press is used to speak a lot about the manager of Chelsea. It doesn't change the situation"

Liam is ESPN FC's Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.

Huddersfield Town have completed the signing of Alex Pritchard from Norwich City for an undisclosed fee reported to be between £10 million and £14m, the Premier League club have announced.

The Terriers agreed personal terms with Pritchard after an improved undisclosed bid for the 24-year-old had been accepted earlier in the week.

Pritchard could make his debut in Saturday's home Premier League game against West Ham.

"Huddersfield Town has today completed the permanent transfer of Alex Pritchard from Sky Bet Championship side Norwich City," a club statement reads.

"The 24-year-old moves to Yorkshire for an undisclosed fee, putting pen to paper on a contract running until the summer of 2021, with a further year's option in Town's favour."

Head coach David Wagner said: "I'm very happy to be able to welcome Alex to Huddersfield Town.

"He is exactly the type of player that we like to work with at this club. Alex is a young British player who arrives as one of the top performers in the Championship and with a desire to prove himself in the Premier League.

"Now we will work hard with him to give him every possibility of being a success for us in the top division.

"I'd like to thank [chairman] Dean Hoyle and the board for being as supportive as ever in this transfer window and making this transfer possible."

✅ Bet we had you guessing! We're delighted to announce that @pritch_93 joins #htafc from @NorwichCityFC for an undisclosed fee, signing a three and a half year deal ???? https://t.co/bRkfG5Jwkx (AT) pic.twitter.com/SQ30ClNv4U

Pritchard progressed through West Ham's academy before switching to Tottenham aged 16 in 2009 and, after loan spells at Peterborough and Swindon, made his Premier League debut as a substitute in the final game of the 2013-14 season.

The former England Under-21 international spent the following season on loan at Brentford and made his second and final appearance for Tottenham early in the 2015-16 campaign.

After a brief loan spell at West Brom, Pritchard completed a permanent move to Norwich for a reported fee of £8m in August 2016.

He made a total of 43 first-team appearances for Norwich, scoring eight goals, and becomes Huddersfield's second January signing following the arrival of Terence Kongolo on loan from Monaco.

Both Pritchard and Kongolo could feature against West Ham, who currently sit four places and two points behind Huddersfield in a congested bottom half of the table.

Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane has been named the Premier League's Player of the Month for a sixth time, equalling the record set by Steven Gerrard.

Kane scored eight league goals in December, including a brace against Stoke and hat tricks in wins against Burnley and Southampton, to break Alan Shearer's Premier League record for goals in a calendar year (39) and overtake Barcelona's Lionel Messi for the most goals for club and country by any player in Europe's major leagues in 2017 (56).

The 24-year-old said of matching former Liverpool and England captain Gerrard's haul: "It's amazing, very proud of that.

"I'd probably say my favourite goal was the one that broke the [calendar year] record against Southampton.

"Obviously there's a lot of talk before the game about whether I'd do it or not so to get that goal early on in the game as well, it was a great achievement."

8⃣ goals in December1⃣ @premierleague record 6⃣ Player of the Month awards ????️ @HKane reflects on a memorable December and another @premierleague Player of the Month award: #OneOfOurOwn pic.twitter.com/BGylBYBcOu

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola was named the Premier League Manager of the Month for December to become the first coach ever to win the award four months in a row.

Jermain Defoe picked up the Goal of the Month award for his effort during Bournemouth's 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace.

Defoe, 35, said his strike against Palace ranked alongside his best efforts.

✅ #PL Goal of the Month #JD18 pic.twitter.com/HSd60ZZxOc

"It was instinctive and to be honest I don't know why I shot from there," he said. "I had a little glimpse of the goalkeeper just out of position and I wanted to direct it back across goal.

"Sometimes you try things and they come off. I was surprised myself. It's up there as one of my best goals."

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Pep Guardiola has been named the Premier League Manager of the Month for December to become the first coach ever to win the award four months in a row.

The Manchester City manager also won the award in September, October and November as his side remain unbeaten this season.

City finished the year 14 points clear of their rivals after completing six victories and one draw in December.

Among the games was a 2-1 victory away to second-placed Manchester United and a 4-1 home win over Tottenham Hotspur.

They also beat West Ham United 2-1, Swansea City and Bournemouth both 4-0 and Newcastle United 1-0 to set an English top-flight record of 18 straight wins before ending the month with a 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace.

????????????????An unprecedented 4️⃣ in a row! for @ManCity boss Pep Guardiola - @BarclaysFooty Manager of the Month for December pic.twitter.com/Wjhw91x8G8

In a season when City have set numerous records, Guardiola now as his own by winning the award for a fourth time. Chelsea's Antonio Conte is the only other manager to win it on three successive occasions, which he did so last season.

Guardiola topped a six-man shortlist which included Conte, Everton's Sam Allardyce, Roy Hodgson of Crystal Palace, Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp and Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino.

Meanwhile, Tottenham striker Harry Kane picked up the Player of the Month award for a joint-record sixth time and Jermain Defoe's strike in Bournemouth's 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace was named Goal of the Month.

Jonathan is ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.

ESPN