Frank Lampard vowed he will fight to make Chelsea successful and declared he would have become a pundit if he had wanted an "easier" life.

The head coach, who in his playing days became Chelsea's record goalscorer, has been unable to prevent a mid-season slump that has seen the Blues slide down the Premier League table.

Four defeats in the last six games has been the sting in the tail after a long unbeaten run, yet Lampard is confident there is enough quality in his squad to turn around their season.

"I've been playing football since I could walk, and playing professionally for 20-odd years," Lampard said.

"If I didn't want that challenge, I could have sat on the telly and done an easier job. I could have been a pundit and commented on what everyone does with hindsight whenever I want, but I don't want to do that."

Instead, he is determined to prove he is the right man for the Stamford Bridge top job, and should he sense any player does not match his ambition, Lampard will consider if they belong at the club.

"The players here I feel have a real desire to get out of this mini run of bad results. I can see that in them," said Lampard. "And if there are players who don't have those concerns to get out, I think they have decisions to make.

"If there are opportunities for players to leave, it would have to be right for them, right for the club and right for myself, then that could happen. But if not, we keep fighting and moving on."

Chelsea have a break from Premier League duties when they face Morecambe in the FA Cup third round on Sunday. They lost to Arsenal in the final of last season's competition.

Lampard is set to shuffle his squad for the game with fourth-tier Morecambe, giving fringe players and possibly some academy prospects the chance to impress.

After that it will be back to the Premier League, when he expects senior players to be straining every sinew in training to earn selection.

The likes of summer signings Kai Havertz and Timo Werner have struggled this season, but Lampard says every player should be desperate to make an impact.

Havertz has found it difficult to make the transition from the Bundesliga to the Premier League, with just one goal, two assists and a mere 23 touches in the opposition penalty area for Chelsea after 15 games in the competition, 10 of which he started.

Last season, at Bayer Leverkusen, Havertz totted up 12 goals, six assists and had 140 touches in the opposition box across 29 league starts and one substitute appearance.

Lampard was determined not to focus on individuals and appears keen to give his recent recruits time to bed in at Chelsea. His concern is a wider one and addresses every player at the club.

He said: "I don't ask for them to be jumping up and down when they go home about how great I am. What I'm asking for when you're here is, to train well, back your team-mates, have a determined attitude every day, and that's it.

"I don't expect it to be a popularity contest with myself - I don't think I ever felt that in a dressing room with any manager in the best of times or in tough times.

"The players have to keep fighting in tough times. The quality is in the group, without a doubt. There will be bumpy moments and we have to stick together."

Manchester City have reportedly annoyed Kevin De Bruyne with their contract offer amid interest in Lionel Messi.

De Bruyne, 29, has been expected to sign a new deal with the Premier League giants, with his contract expiring in 2023.

But with Messi coming out of contract at season's end, City's offer to De Bruyne has seemingly drawn questions.

 

TOP STORY – MAN CITY ANNOY DE BRUYNE AMID MESSI INTEREST

Manchester City have annoyed De Bruyne with their contract offer, according to The Athletic.

The report says the offer is less than De Bruyne is currently on because of potentially signing Messi. However, the Belgium international is still expected to re-sign.

City have been strongly linked to Messi, who could leave Barcelona at the end of the campaign when is contract is due to expire.

The Barcelona captain has insisted he will not make a decision on his future until the season's conclusion.

 

ROUND-UP

- Also coming out of contract is Bayern Munich star David Alaba. The Guardian reports Liverpool are interested in signing the defender, but Real Madrid lead the race.

- Staying at Real Madrid and there is uncertainty over Sergio Ramos' future. With his contract expiring at the end of the season, Ramos will not accept a one-year deal and the defender and LaLiga champions are distant in their bid to reach an agreement, according to Marca. The Manchester Evening News reports City are not interested in Ramos.

Antoine Griezmann is still yet to find his best form for Barcelona, but Sport reports the Blaugrana are not considering selling the forward.

Mesut Ozil could be set to leave Arsenal. Football.London reports the playmaker, who comes out of contract in June, is in negotiations with MLS franchise DC United.

- Linked with Juventus and InterOlivier Giroud is set to stay at Chelsea, according to Goal. They also claim Juve are considering Sampdoria forward Fabio Quagliarella as an alternative, while Milan look set to keep hold of star midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu.

Andriy Shevchenko is in the conversation to take over as Chelsea manager if the Blues decide to part ways with manager Frank Lampard.

With Chelsea languishing in ninth place in the Premier League table, Le10sport reports the Ukrainian's name is on the Blues list of possible replacements.

Shevchenko played for the club between 2006 and 2008 and has since forged a managerial career with the Ukraine national team, moving through the under-19 and under-21 teams to the senior dugout.

 

TOP STORY – SHEVCHENKO BEING CONSIDERED AS NEXT CHELSEA MANAGER

Chelsea are studying their options to replace Lampard and his former Blues team-mate Shevchenko is part of the shortlist, reports Le10sports.

The 44-year-old led Ukraine through an undefeated Euro 2020 qualifying campaign to reach the finals, drawing 0-0 in Portugal and beating the European champions 2-1, in Kiev.

Shevchenko remains close to the club as his 14-year-old son, Kristian, plays in the Blues academy and is well liked by club owner Roman Abramovich, say Le10sports sources.

Frank Lampard's position as Chelsea head coach is under threat, while Tottenham have started talks to extend Harry Kane's deal.

Lampard is under increasing pressure at Stamford Bridge after just one win in their past six Premier League games.

Sunday's 3-1 loss to Manchester City has only put further pressure on the Chelsea boss.

 

TOP STORY – LAMPARD'S POSITION AS CHELSEA BOSS UNDER THREAT

Lampard's job as Chelsea head coach is under serious threat, according to The Athletic.

The report says the Premier League club, who are eighth in the table, have started looking at replacements.

Lampard took charge of Chelsea in July 2019, but they sit seven points behind Liverpool and Manchester United – who have both played one game fewer – despite spending heavily in the close season.

ROUND-UP

- Kane's impressive form for Tottenham has seen him linked with the likes of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain. The Independent reports Spurs have started talks with the forward, who has 10 goals and 11 assists in the Premier League this season, over a contract extension, even though his current deal runs until 2024.

- With Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez sidelined with long-term injuries, Liverpool continue to be linked with defenders. But The Athletic reports the Premier League champions are not considering a move for Lille defender Sven Botman.

- Struggling for game time at Tottenham, Dele Alli is linked with a reunion with Mauricio Pochettino at PSG. Foot Mercato reports Pochettino has spoken with Alli, who is open to a move.

- Staying at PSG and Sky Sports reports the Ligue 1 giants are in negotiations with Everton to sign Moise Kean on a permanent deal worth around €34.6million (£31m). Kean has scored nine goals in 16 games in all competitions on loan at PSG.

- Samuel Umtiti's Barcelona future is uncertain. Todofichajes reports Nice have a strong interest in the defender on an initial loan deal.

- Patrick Bamford has scored 10 Premier League goals this season and the Leeds United forward is out of contract next year. The Sun reports Leeds are set to reward the 27-year-old with a lucrative new deal.

Manchester United's former FA Cup-winning manager Tommy Docherty has died at the age of 92, the club have confirmed.

Docherty, nicknamed 'The Doc', passed away on Thursday surrounded by his family, after suffering from a long illness.

He made over 300 appearances for Preston North End and won 25 caps for Scotland as a player, before going on to manage 12 clubs.

Docherty led Chelsea to the 1964-65 EFL Cup, won the 1976-77 FA Cup with United during a five-year spell and managed one of the club's greats in the form of George Best.

His time at United followed on from a one-year stint in charge of Scotland, which came after a season at Porto in 1970-71.

In a statement on their official Twitter account, United said: "We are deeply saddened by the passing of Tommy Docherty, who led us to FA Cup victory in 1977 with a thrilling, attacking team in the best traditions of Manchester United.

"Everyone at the club sends sincere condolences to Tommy's loved ones."

Tottenham are keeping an eye on Sergio Ramos' situation at Real Madrid, while Georginio Wijnaldum is set to decide his future.

Ramos, 34, is coming out of contract at Madrid at the end of the season.

With the defender yet to re-sign, he has been linked with a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu.

 

TOP STORY – TOTTENHAM KEEPING AN EYE ON RAMOS

Tottenham are keeping an eye on Ramos' situation at Real Madrid, according to the Evening Standard.

Spurs boss Jose Mourinho worked with Ramos at Madrid between 2010 and 2013.

Ramos has been at the Spanish giants since 2005, winning five LaLiga titles and three Champions League trophies among numerous other honours.

 

ROUND-UP

- Also out of contract at season's end, Wijnaldum is set to make a decision on his Liverpool future. Sky Sports reports the midfielder will decide this week whether to sign a new deal with the Premier League champions amid links to Barcelona.

- Diego Costa is set to leave Atletico Madrid, who are eyeing a replacement. Marca reports Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik is best placed to replace Costa.

- Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha is again linked with a move. The Sun reports Serie A leaders AC Milan are chasing Zaha in January.

- Arsenal look set to be busy in January. The Sun reports the Premier League club want Sevilla midfielder Joan Jordan in a £32million (€35.3m) move. Meanwhile, The Athletic says Arsenal are unlikely to rekindle their interest in Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar.

- Could Marcos Alonso be returning to Spain? The Independent reports Atletico Madrid are in talks to sign full-back Alonso on loan from Chelsea in January. Alonso has played just three Premier League games for Chelsea this season.

It appears there is still life in Arsenal, as Mikel Arteta oversaw a potentially season-changing 3-1 win over Chelsea on Boxing Day.

The Gunners had been on a dreadful run, but with the odds against them they produced their most complete performance in a while, with some of the youngsters playing important roles.

Leicester City and Manchester United began the day's action with an entertaining draw that doubled as a microcosm for the Red Devils' season.

Using Opta data, we have looked at the pick of the action on a busy Saturday.

Leicester City 2-2 Manchester United: Red Devils clicking in attack but let down by defence

Manchester United's unbeaten run away from home continued in Saturday's early kick-off, as their draw at Leicester City saw them go 14 without defeat on the road in the Premier League, their longest such streak since January 2011 (16).

They were all business in attack, with Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and substitute Edinson Cavani all effective.

Rashford opened the scoring to become the third-youngest United player to reach 50 Premier League goals (23 years, 56 days) behind only Wayne Rooney (22y, 157d) and Cristiano Ronaldo (22y, 341d).

Fernandes set him up and then got United's second, taking his goal involvement tally to 31 since joining the club – that's more than 50 percent of the club's 60 goals in that time.

Cavani's clever run and throughball released Fernandes, with the Uruguayan reaching five goal involvements from the bench in the league this term, two more than any other player.

But a late Axel Tuanzebe own goal – brought about by Jamie Vardy's shot – saw United pegged back.

It was the 11th successive away league game in which they have conceded at least twice, the worst such run since the Red Devils went 13 matches in 1959.

Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea: Young Gunners reinvigorate Mikel Arteta's men

Mikel Arteta was in an unenviable position before kick-off – he had lost three important senior players (Willian, David Luiz and Gabriel) at short notice, while Pablo Mari, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli earned their first starts of the season.

As such, there was an unfamiliar and inexperienced look to the Arsenal starting XI, which for the first time since January 2013 did not include a player over the age of 30.

Nevertheless, two of their more experienced players did find the net – Granit Xhaka's free-kick was the seventh time he has scored from outside the area, amounting to 79 per cent of nine goals. That's the highest ratio of Gunners players to have scored at least five times in the division.

Alexandre Lacazette's penalty was his 39th at the Emirates Stadium, 72 per cent of his club total, while it also made him Arsenal's top scorer this term with six across all competitions.

But it was a day to forget for Chelsea, and particularly Timo Werner. The German was withdrawn at half-time, thus extending his goal drought to 10 matches on all fronts, his worst goalless run since 12 games between March and September 2016.

Aston Villa 3-0 Crystal Palace: Resolute Villans make light of numerical disadvantage

When Tyrone Mings was sent off just before half-time with Villa 1-0 up, one expected the worst for the hosts in the second period.

But if anything, that red – a record-setting fourth for the club on Boxing Day – seemed to spur Villa on, Dean Smith's side going on to score twice more and claim an eighth clean sheet of the season, more than any other side in the league.

Palace could only wish for such defensive solidity – they are without a shutout in their past 14 Premier League matches, their longest such streak since November 2017.

Bertrand Traore got the ball rolling early on, netting in successive matches after only managing two in his previous 19 league outings.

Kortney Hause made it 2-0 before Anwar El Ghazi finished Palace off in style with his fourth goal in as many Premier League appearances – a fine accomplishment for a player who, only a few weeks ago, was being targeted for criticism from some supporters on social media.

Jack Grealish may not have been on the scoresheet, but he was yet again crucial for Villa – Palace's only answer was to foul him. The England international's fouls won per game since the start of last season was boosted to 4.7, which is by far the most of any player to have played more than 100 minutes in that time.

Manchester City 2-0 Newcastle United: Defence provides solid platform again for Guardiola

Pep Guardiola has received his fair share of criticism this season, but if there's one area in which City are excelling, it's at the back.

Saturday's routine victory over Steve Bruce's lacklustre Magpies was their 13th clean sheet of the season across all competitions, more than any other team in Europe's top five leagues.

The omens weren't great for Newcastle coming into the game, and this was their 15th Premier League defeat on Boxing Day – a record – and their sixth in succession on this day.

On top of that, it's now 12 straight home wins over Newcastle for City, who've scored 41 times and conceded just seven in that run.

Raheem Sterling reached a milestone when he set up Ilkay Gundogan's opener, as it was his 150th goal involvement (96 goals, 54 assists) in all competitions since Pep Guardiola became coach, more than anyone else. Sergio Aguero has 146 (120 goals, 26 assists).

Ferran Torres got City's second, as the pre-season signing from Valencia continued his very promising debut campaign, this time leading the line in place of the injured Gabriel Jesus with Aguero only fit enough for a place on the bench.

Torres' goal was his seventh for City, and all seven games in which he has scored for the club have ended in victories, with five of them coming at the Etihad Stadium.

What does the future hold for Phil Foden?

Foden is highly rated at Manchester City, but he is struggling for regular game time.

Could Real Madrid prise the Englishman to the Santiago Bernabeu?

 

TOP STORY – LOS BLANCOS EYE FODEN

LaLiga champions Real Madrid are ready to pounce for Manchester City's Phil Foden, according to the Mirror.

City sensation Foden has been struggling for regular game time under manager Pep Guardiola, starting just five of his 10 Premier League appearances this season.

Madrid have emerged as serious suitors for the 20-year-old sensation and there is a growing belief that he could be prised to the Spanish capital.

 

ROUND-UP

Arsenal are considering a move for Borussia Dortmund winger Julian Brandt, reports The Athletic. Out of favour at Dortmund this season, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is reportedly keen to reinforce his struggling side in January.

Manchester United could send Donny van de Beek to Inter on loan as they look to bring in Christian Eriksen from the Serie A side, claims Calciomercato. Eriksen is set to leave Inter in January and the Danish midfielder has been linked to Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain.

- As question marks grow over Samir Handanovic, Calciomercato says Inter are considering Udinese goalkeeper Juan Musso as a successor to the long-serving Nerazzurri star.

Madrid are confident of re-signing veteran star Luka Modric, according to Fabrizio Romano. It comes as Madrid still try to negotiate a new contract with captain and soon-to-be free agent Sergio Ramos, who has been linked to the likes of Juventus, PSG, United and City. Modric has previously been a target for Inter and Milan.

Luka Jovic would not be against a return to Eintracht Frankfurt but the out-of-favour Madrid forward is eyeing Milan, reports Calciomercato.

Chelsea have reportedly joined the race for Erling Haaland as Manchester United consider their options.

Haaland, 20, has been heavily linked with a move after starring for Borussia Dortmund.

Europe's biggest clubs are lining up to sign the forward, and Chelsea are apparently among them, while United may look elsewhere.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA JOIN RACE FOR HAALAND

Chelsea are ready to enter the race for Dortmund star Haaland, according to 90min.

Manchester City are also reportedly heavily interested in the Norway international, who has also been linked with Manchester United and Real Madrid.

Haaland has scored 33 goals in 32 games for Dortmund since arriving at the Bundesliga club from Salzburg in January.

 

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United, meanwhile, may look elsewhere. The Mirror reports the Premier League giants may be unable to sign Haaland due to their "sour relationship" with his agent, Mino Raiola. The report says United see Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin as an alternative.

- With Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez still sidelined, Liverpool continue to be linked with defenders. Todofichajes.com reports the Premier League leaders are interested in Real Madrid centre-back Eder Militao. Meanwhile, the Liverpool Echo says the club are in talks with Celta Vigo over 16-year-old defender Stefan Bajcetic.

- Struggling in the Premier League, Arsenal are expected to strengthen in January. The Daily Star reports the Gunners are considering a loan move for Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior next month.

- After just one Premier League appearance for Chelsea this season, Antonio Rudiger has been linked with a move away. Le Parisien reports Paris Saint-Germain want the defender in January.

- Celtic forward Odsonne Edouard is apparently attracting interest from elsewhere. CalcioMercato reports Juventus and Milan are interested in the 22-year-old.

- Barcelona midfielder Riqui Puig is set to leave Camp Nou following repeated criticism from Blaugrana boss Ronald Koeman. Manchester City and Bayern Munich are both keen on the 21-year-old, according to Fichajes.

Frank Lampard is furious at Chelsea's schedule for the coming week as they must play twice in the space of 48 hours.

The Blues visit Arsenal at 1730 GMT on Boxing Day before kicking off at the same time at home to Aston Villa two days later.

Lampard is particularly frustrated at the prospect as Chelsea's subsequent match against Manchester City has been pushed back, providing a six-day gap, but pleas to rearrange the Villa game have fallen on deaf ears.

"It's 48 hours," Lampard told reporters when the two matches in three days were posed to him. "I'm not trying to be clever there, but it's an important point for us because there are other teams challenging at the top of the league that have two games in three days [72 hours].

"Manchester United, Tottenham, I think Liverpool play two games in three days.

"It's counter-productive for the quality of the Premier League. It's a risk to play both games in top-end, elite sport, everybody knows that."

Asked if he would be able to name his best XI against both Arsenal and Villa, Lampard replied: "I don't think so.

"I think that's pretty much impossible. I couldn't say what I've just said and then put out the same team."

The Blues coach is surprised there was no change to the schedule as he believes it would be in the Premier League's best interests to have the Villa fixture on December 29.

"I'm surprised," Lampard said. "We hear a lot about how we'll have conversations and we'll talk, but not much action gets done at the critical time.

"Again, I have sympathy for the scheduling, I have sympathy for the difficult times, I have sympathy that if can we work together we try to find the best solution and sometimes there isn't one.

"Everyone loves football and everyone wants the season to be finished and everyone wants the Champions League to continue and international football to continue.

"But when you're given two teams asking for a game to be played one day later to try to get their best players on the pitch as fit as they can, why would you not do that? That surprises me."

First, Chelsea must tackle Arsenal, the side who beat them in the FA Cup final but have since failed to mount a challenge at the top of the Premier League and instead slumped to 15th place.

Lampard said: "I saw a very strong team and I think they added very well in the window.

"It's so early in the season. I know Arsenal's position, but I'll let them speak about their position; even ourselves, if we're going to fight for a title, that is on us and the games ahead. There are a lot of games to go.

"I think they're a quality team and I know a lot of people had them in the [title] argument at the start of the season.

"I heard that and maybe we were in the argument, maybe not firm favourites and Arsenal were in the same batch as us because of the way they finished last season.

"In the recent period, it hasn't worked for them in terms of results. Some of the performances have been better than results, for sure.

"The important thing for us is not to get caught up in any of that talk, because I can feel it coming with this game because of Arsenal's recent results.

"We must go there with a determination to win, a respect for Arsenal but a determination to win."

Erling Haaland is Chelsea's number one transfer target, while a pair of Premier League giants are lining up January bids for Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish.

Borussia Dortmund star Haaland has netted 23 goals in 23 games since moving to the Bundesliga in January, leading to him reportedly being installed as Frank Lampard's top target for the off-season.

Will Haaland make the move to Chelsea?


TOP STORIES – CHELSEA WANT HAALAND

Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland has been identified as Chelsea's top transfer target along with West Ham's Declan Rice, according to Sky Sports journalist Angelo Mangiante.

Haaland has been linked with LaLiga champions Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool.

But Haaland is wanted in London as Chelsea prepare for a clear-out, with seven players being made available – Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Jorginho, Marcos Alonso, Ross Barkley, Danny Drinkwater and Victor Moses.

Manchester City and Manchester United are set to battle it out for the signature of Bayern Munich's star defender David Alaba.

Alaba's Bayern contract expires in June 2021 and both Manchester clubs have made approaches for the 75-cap Austria international.

Pep Guardiola coached the 28-year-old during his time in the Bundesliga, but City may face further competition for the two-time Champions League winner.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED AND CITY SET FOR TUG-OF-WAR OVER ALABA

Manchester City and Manchester United have each made formal contact with Alaba 's agent Pini Zahavi, reports Spanish media outlet AS.

Bayern's chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has accepted the European champions can do nothing to keep Alaba, despite trying "everything" to convince the nine-time German league champion to stay.

But the Manchester rivals are not the only interested parties, with Real Madrid the favourites to land Alaba, according to the Daily Mail.  Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain are also in the race.

 

ROUND-UP

- Everton left-back  Lucas Digne  is another player on Guardiola's wish list, say the Daily Mail. The Toffees are set to offer the France international a bumper new contract to ward off  City 's advances, according to the Times.

PSG  are lining up a bid for Atletico Madrid's wantaway goalkeeper  Jan Oblak , say the Daily Mail. The Ligue 1 champions see 27-year-old Oblak, who wants a new challenge, as the successor to 34-year-old gloveman Keylor Navas in the French capital.

Manchester United are reportedly ready to challenge Chelsea for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice.

Rice, 21, has been linked heavily with a move to Stamford Bridge, but no deal came to fruition during the close season.

United are apparently ready to join the race for the England international.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UTD TO CHALLENGE CHELSEA FOR RICE

Manchester United could make a move for West Ham midfielder and Chelsea target Rice at season's end, according to the Daily Express.

The report says United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is said to be a fan of Rice, who spent some of his childhood in Chelsea's academy.

Rice has played every minute of the Premier League campaign for West Ham so far.

ROUND-UP

- Struggling for game time at Liverpool, Divock Origi may be set for a January move. The Athletic reports the Premier League leaders are prepared to listen to offers for the forward at the beginning of 2021, with Wolves reportedly interested.

- Staying at Anfield, Asromalive.it reports Liverpool are interested in Roma defender Roger Ibanez, who is also linked to Paris Saint-Germain. Ibanez is on loan at the Giallorossi from Atalanta.

- Yet to play for Napoli this season, Arkadiusz Milik is expected to make an exit. Goal reports the Serie A side want €15million if the striker is to leave in January amid interest from rivals Juventus and LaLiga title hopefuls Atletico Madrid, with Milik coming out of contract at season's end.

- Manchester United are expected to see some exits in January. The Athletic reports Newcastle United are interested in a loan move for Marcos Rojo, while goalkeeper Sergio Romero is set for a departure to Spain.

Erling Haaland continues to dominate headlines.

Haaland's exploits for Borussia Dortmund has reportedly attracted interest from Europe's elite.

Will he decide between the two Manchester giants?

 

TOP STORY – HAALAND WANTED IN MANCHESTER

Manchester United and neighbours Manchester City are set to go head-to-head to sign Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland , according to the Daily Mail.

Haaland is one of the most sought-after players in Europe, linked with Real Madrid , Liverpool , Barcelona , Bayern Munich , City and United.

The Norway international snubbed United for Dortmund in January but the Red Devils remain interested, while City view Haaland as a long-term replacement for Sergio Aguero .

 

ROUND-UP

- The Guardian reports Salzburg sensation Dominik Szoboszlai  is poised to join sister club RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga. Arsenal , Milan , Inter and Napoli have all been linked to the 20-year-old, but Leipzig are set to pay his €25million release clause in January.

Inter are interested in Udinese duo Rodrigo De Paul and Juan Musso , claims Calciomercato. Musso is seen a long-term replacement for Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic, while the Nerazzurri must raise funds if they are to prise De Paul from Udinese.

- Marca says Bayern star David Alaba is edging closer to a move to Madrid . Alaba is out of contract at season's end, with the likes of Barca , City , Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain targeting the Austria international.

- Bild reports United midfielder Paul Pogba is putting pressure on agent Mino Raiola to find a new club, otherwise he will seek a new representative. Former club Juventus are reportedly favourites to lure Pogba back to Turin amid speculation of a swap deal involving either Paulo Dybala or Cristiano Ronaldo . Madrid are also a possible destination.

Paul Pogba could reportedly leave Manchester United as early as next month, while Zinedine Zidane is said to be eyeing a Real Madrid exit.

Pogba's future has again become a talking point at United after his agent, Mino Raiola, said the midfielder wanted to leave.

And the Premier League giants may be ready to make it happen.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UTD WANT TO SELL POGBA IN JANUARY

Manchester United want to sell Pogba in January after Raiola's latest outburst, according to The Sun.

It comes after ESPN reported the Premier League giants doubted whether Juventus or Real Madrid – the clubs the France international has been most heavily linked to – could afford the 27-year-old.

Pogba came off the bench as United were knocked out of the Champions League with a 3-2 loss to RB Leipzig on Tuesday.

 

ROUND-UP

- Real Madrid managed to reach the last 16 to ease the pressure on head coach Zidane. However, Diario Gol reports Zidane has made it clear to Madrid president Florentino Perez he is likely to leave at the end of the season, regardless of what happens. The report says Zidane was promised the signings of Pogba, Liverpool star Sadio Mane and Rennes midfielder Eduardo Camavinga.

- Under pressure, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's future at Manchester United is uncertain. But the Daily Mail reports United will back the manager despite their Champions League exit and the availability of Mauricio Pochettino. Meanwhile, Sky Sports says United are interested in Atletico Madrid right-back Kieran Trippier.

- David Alaba seems certain to leave Bayern Munich at the end of his contract after the 2020-21 season. Bild reports Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain are on the shortlist of destinations for the defender.

- Could Frenkie de Jong leave Barcelona after just two seasons at the club? Mundo Deportivo reports Bayern Munich are in contact with the midfielder's agent regarding a possible move. De Jong joined Barca from Ajax for a reported initial fee of €75million in 2019, and he re-signed with the club in October until 2026.

- Eric Garcia has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona, but it seems there is also interest from elsewhere. The Sun reports Arsenal are tracking the defender, who is out of contract at Manchester City at the end of the season.

- Arsenal and Wolves are monitoring Maxi Gomez's situation at Valencia, according to the Daily Mail, which says Valencia could sell the forward in January or at season's end as they look to raise funds.

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