Manchester United are in crisis - and the Red Devils might try to spend their way out of trouble.

With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side 12th in the Premier League and only two points off the relegation zone, additions to the squad seem inevitable in January.

The latest transfer rumours suggest a raft of players could be heading to Old Trafford in a bid to stop the rot.


TOP STORY – FOXES DUO ON UNITED'S RADAR

Harry Maguire has already made the move from Leicester City to Manchester United and, according to the Sun, the Red Devils want to raid the club again in January. The UK newspaper claims a £130million double swoop is being lined up for Ben Chilwell and James Maddison.

Goal reports West Ham midfielder Declan Rice and Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly are also targets for United, regardless of Solskjaer's future. United also continue to be linked with striker Mario Mandzukic, who is struggling for minutes under new Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri.


ROUND-UP

- United are struggling but Everton have been even worse, with the Toffees in the relegation zone after eight games of the new season. According to a report in UK tabloid the Daily Star, Marco Silva has been given three games to save his job. Unfortunately for Silva, the third game of that run is against his old club Watford in the EFL Cup. The Hornets surely would love to push Silva towards the sack.

- England boss Gareth Southgate will hand Chelsea starlet Mason Mount his first international start when the Three Lions take on the Czech Republic in Prague on Friday, reports Sky Sports. Mount has impressed for the Blues this season, scoring four goals in eight Premier League starts.

- The forward has spent his whole career at Bayern Munich, but Thomas Muller could be moving on. The ex-Germany international has slipped out of favour under Niko Kovac and is not content to play a back-up role. According to Bild, Muller will seek a move in January.

- Sampdoria are closing in on an agreement with Claudio Ranieri to become their new coach. Bottom of Serie A, Samp are seeking a replacement for the sacked Eusebio Di Francesco. According to various Italian outlets including Sky Sport Italia and La Gazzetta dello Sport, Samp could pay Ranieri - who led Leicester City to the Premier League title - €1million a year. Ranieri also replaced Di Francesco after he was sacked by Roma last season.

- Right-back Elseid Hysaj could leave Napoli during the January transfer window, his agent Mario Giuffredi has told Rete Sport. Hysaj was previously linked with Manchester United and Juventus, but Giuffredi indicated Roma would be his client's preferred destination. A fee of around €30m has been mooted for the Albania international.

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says he cried when he sacked Carlo Ancelotti.

The Italian was fired by the Bundesliga giants in September 2017 after a 3-0 Champions League defeat at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain.

Ancelotti led Bayern to the Bundesliga title in his only full season in charge, but poor performances in Europe saw him depart.

Rummenigge was tasked with informing the former Chelsea and Real Madrid head coach of Bayern's decision to move him on, with the experience proving emotional for Bayern's chairman.

"First of all, I think Ancelotti is a good manager," former Germany striker Rummenigge said on Thursday. "Unfortunately, Bayern were not going well after a year and a half and Ancelotti did not get the results we were expecting in the second season.

"But Ancelotti is a good man, a real friend for me. He is always incredibly calm. I have worked with a lot of managers, each with different skills and abilities. But only Ancelotti has the ability to always stay calm, even during difficult moments.

"I remember I had the task to sack him. I was about to cry. Ancelotti understood the situation, he gave me a hug and said: 'It's fine. You are not my boss anymore, but we are still friends.'

"So, I cried because I was not expecting those words from him in that moment. He was not upset. I realised he was a really good man."

Ancelotti is now in charge of Napoli, who are fourth in the Serie A table having taken one win from their past four games in all competitions.

The 60-year-old is one of only three coaches to win the Champions League or European Cup three times, along with Bob Paisley and Zinedine Zidane.

France boss Didier Deschamps has insisted Lucas Hernandez is "ready" to play a part in the Euro 2020 qualifier against Iceland, despite concerns from Bayern Munich over his fitness.

Hernandez has missed Bayern's last two matches with a knee injury but is part of France's squad for their games against Iceland and Turkey.

The Bundesliga champions tried to block France calling up the versatile defender for selection, believing he would be better off resting the issue.

Club doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt said earlier this week Hernandez will not be able to play any part in Reykjavík, but Deschamps suggested otherwise on the eve of the game with Iceland.

"He is ready. He feels good and has good feelings," Deschamps said at his pre-match news conference. 

"We have done it gradually. He is sufficiently liberated from the injury he had. He is available. But to play 90 minutes, he must start and I can't be certain yet. But yes, he is available."

Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba and Hugo Lloris are all ruled out of the double-header with Iceland and Turkey, however, with the influential trio sidelined.

Deschamps admitted it is far from ideal being without key players but has called on others to step up. 

"It is detrimental as a whole because they are very important players in the group," he said. "Also, in terms of leadership - Hugo is captain and Paul is an expressive leader. 

"But there are others who are there and used to have this role like [Olivier] Giroud, [Raphael] Varane, [Blaise] Matuidi and [Steve] Mandanda.

"But it's clear that I prefer to have everyone available. I totally trust the players who are here."

Joachim Low's decision not to select Mats Hummels for Germany must be accepted, according to former Borussia Dortmund player and coach Jorg Heinrich.

Hummels was suddenly dropped from the national team in March, along with his then Bayern Munich team-mates Thomas Muller and Jerome Boateng.

The centre-back subsequently rejoined Dortmund from Bayern and has been in fine form in the early weeks of the 2019-20 Bundesliga season.

Low, though, has continued to leave Hummels out of his squad despite defensive injuries affecting his latest selection, with Freiburg's Robin Koch called up for the first time.

"Jogi Low has his strategy with dealing with this topic," Champions League winner Heinrich told Omnisport. "When Hummels played in Munich it was not a big topic for us.

"Now he's playing very well for BVB and everybody would be happy to see him in the DFB shirt, but in the end it's a decision of Joachim Low and we have to respect that."

Low has turned to youth in a bid to inspire a turnaround in Germany's fortunes after flopping at Russia 2018, where their World Cup defence ended in the group stages.

"Joachim Low is very courageous to work with such a lot of young, talented players," former Germany international Heinrich added.

"It's not an easy situation after the great success we had in 2014 to build a new team.

"He's doing very well. We have very, very talented players in Germany that have to play at a high level to improve. We're looking in a very positive way."

Jadon Sancho should stay at Borussia Dortmund for "one or two seasons longer" as the club is the right place for his development, says Jorg Heinrich.

Sancho has shot to stardom since leaving Manchester City for Dortmund in 2017, scoring 12 goals and supplying 14 assists in 34 Bundesliga appearances last season.

The England forward has continued to shine in the new campaign with three goals and a league-high five assists to his name despite Dortmund's inconsistent form.

A Premier League return has been mooted for the 19-year-old, with Manchester United among the clubs reportedly interested in signing Sancho.

However, Heinrich, who won two Bundesliga titles and the Champions League as a Dortmund player, believes BVB remains the best club for Sancho.

"Jadon can become one of the best players in Europe, or even the world," Heinrich told Omnisport.

"It won't be easy to keep him at Dortmund. We hope he plays one or two seasons longer but we all know very, very big clubs with a lot of money want to have him in their team.

"He should know Dortmund is an excellent place for young players to play consistently and to develop on a very, very high level."

Dortmund pushed Bayern Munich hard for the Bundesliga title last term but ultimately finished two points behind the Bavarian giants.

The early weeks of the 2019-20 season have been a struggle for BVB, though, with one win in their past five league games.

"Our aims before the season were very, very high," Heinrich added. "We announced we wanted to win the league this year.

"The season so far hasn't gone that well, but we are not that far away from the top, so we are hoping we can fulfil our aims and take the top of the league."

Dortmund's poor form has put Lucien Favre's position in the spotlight, but Heinrich backed the Swiss coach to turn things around.

"No question about that, Lucien is a fantastic coach," Heinrich said. 

"We have a great amount of young players and have to show patience with that and trust in our young players and especially our coach."

Jurgen Klopp rejected an outlandish attempt to lure him back to Borussia Dortmund in 2018 but the Liverpool boss has admitted he would consider returning in future. 

The German left Signal Iduna Park after seven seasons - during which time he won two Bundesliga titles - shortly before moving to the Premier League in October 2015.

Last season's Champions League triumph cemented his rich reputation at Liverpool but just a year earlier he had been offered a route back to Dortmund.

The audacious effort to persuade Klopp to leave behind his work on Merseyside has come to light in Hans-Joachim Watzke's new book, 'Real Love: A life with BVB'.

Dortmund were searching for a permanent successor to the sacked Peter Bosz in May of last year when chief executive Watzke placed a call to Klopp, who was in the middle of a plane trip.

"At some point my phone rang while I was on the plane and Aki [Watzke] was on it, 'Jurgen, you have to come back'," Klopp said, according to an excerpt published by Sport Bild.

"I laughed, I thought he was kidding. 'Are you stupid, have you been drinking? How do you get that idea? I have a few more years in Liverpool'.

"I do not know how serious he was at that moment, but I realised that he wanted me to be more willing to respond."

Watzke conceded he "knew" Klopp would honour his contract at Liverpool but said he felt obligated to pose the question to Dortmund's longest-serving coach.

There could, however, be hope for the future, with the Reds boss not willing to rule out a second stint with his former employers.

"As a rescuer, if the club really needs my help, why should I not do it? It's very nice that I would even have the opportunity," he said.

"But I do not think it's very likely that it will happen."

Bastian Schweinsteiger will be remembered as one of Germany's all-time greats because he was "symbolic" for more than 10 years, according to his first Bayern Munich coach Ottmar Hitzfeld.

Schweinsteiger, 35, confirmed on Tuesday he will end his playing career when the 2019 MLS season concludes, with Chicago Fire failing to reach the playoffs.

The midfielder has enjoyed an illustrious career at the top, spending 13 years in Bayern's first-team before also playing for Manchester United for just over 18 months.

But arguably most importantly he represented his country for 12 years after making his debut in 2004, helping them to a third-place finish as World Cup hosts in 2006, then again in South Africa four years later, before eventually becoming champions in 2014.

Hitzfeld gave Schweinsteiger his Bayern debut as an 18-year-old in 2002 and feels it was an honour to work with someone who went on to become a Germany icon.

"That was the time when I thought I could throw the boy in," Hitzfeld told Goal and SPOX of Schweinsteiger's debut against Lens in the Champions League 17 years ago.

"I had already seen in the training games what a high level and what great talent he had. Nevertheless, it is a long way [to the top]. As a coach, I experienced many talents who then fell by the wayside.

"For me as a coach, it was not difficult to shape him, because his great talent was already there.

"Bastian was a born footballer, you do not have to do much, just lead. That's why I'm glad he made that career. It was a privilege to work with him, because such a player is a gift for every coach.

"Bastian is one of the best German footballers of all time. He has shaped German football with his unbelievable game intelligence for more than a decade as a symbolic figure.

"His share in winning the World Cup was incredibly high. You cannot overestimate his performance.

"With this German mentality, with this fighting spirit coupled with his technical ability, he has fought until the end.

"He has preceded [others] as an absolute role model and has transferred his incredible will to the team."

Another day, another rumour about Christian Eriksen.

The soon-to-be free agent Eriksen wants a new challenge after flagging his intent during the previous transfer window.

A move to LaLiga appeals and a Spanish giant from the capital are reportedly ready to pounce.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID EYE ERIKSEN 

AS and Marca claim Real Madrid are ready to make a move for Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen in January.

Eriksen is a free agent at the end of the season, and the Spurs star has been linked to the likes of Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Manchester United and Inter.

However, Madrid are reportedly unwilling to wait until season's end as they look to strengthen their midfield.

ROUND-UP

Inter are eyeing Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic, says FC Inter News. Matic has found himself out of favour under United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and a switch to Serie A could be on the cards for the Serbia international, whose contract expires at the end of the season.

- According to Calciomercato, Serie A champions Juventus are looking to sign Chelsea full-back Emerson Palmieri. The Italy international worked with Maurizio Sarri during the former Chelsea boss' time at Stamford Bridge.

Massimiliano Allegri has handed United a "deadline" for him to be given the job at Old Trafford, says La Gazzetta dello Sport. Solskjaer is under growing pressure, with the Red Devils enduring a difficult season and former Juventus boss Allegri has emerged as a possible replacement.

- Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil fears he has played his last game for the Gunners, according to the Mirror. Ozil has struggled to establish himself since Unai Emery's arrival and the former Germany international has been linked to MLS outfit DC United and Turkish giants Fenerbahce.

- Le10Sport claims former Chile, Sevilla and Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli is on the shortlist to fill the Lyon vacancy following Sylvinho's sacking. Sampaoli is in charge of Brazilian side Santos.

- Gianluca Di Marzio reports Claudio Ranieri is in the mix to take over at Sampdoria, who sacked Eusebio Di Francesco prior to the international break. Ranieri – who sensationally led Leicester City to Premier League glory in 2015-16 – last oversaw Roma on a temporary basis last term. Ex-AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso reportedly turned down the job.

- Manchester United are among the admirers of rising Mexico star Sebastian Cordova, reports Record. The 22-year-old America playmaker made his international debut for El Tri last week. The attacking third and midfield are areas of concern for United, who have also been linked to Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic and Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic.

Bayern Munich star Joshua Kimmich understands team-mate Thomas Muller's frustrations as he weighs up his future with the Bundesliga champions.

Muller is considering his future at Bayern, where the 30-year-old forward has not started a league match under Niko Kovac since September's draw against rivals RB Leipzig.

A January exit has been touted for Bayern veteran Muller, who was linked with a move to Premier League giants Manchester United previously.

Asked about Muller following Germany's 2-2 international friendly draw with Argentina on Wednesday, Kimmich told reporters: "In the first place a very big identification figure would leave the club, especially for the fans.

"I myself know the FC Bayern only with Thomas Muller. Without him the club would not be there, where he is now. It's the case that when he comes into the game he always plays well. In the last game he has prepared another goal. Also in the games before.

"Against Cologne or Mainz he even prepared two goals and also scored one goal, if I remember right. We all know that he has qualities that are difficult for the opponent to control."

Kimmich added: "I don't know if he wants to go or not. I can understand that he claims to want to play. I know what it's like to sit on a bench.

"With [former head coach] Carlo Ancelotti I also sat on the bench several times. It's completely normal for a player to be dissatisfied or become dissatisfied. His claim is that this should not always be the case. That's clear, of course."

Muller emerged from Bayern's youth system in 2008, and he has since won eight Bundesliga titles with the Bavarian powerhouse.

He has also celebrated Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, DFB-Pokal and DFL-Supercup titles during his time in Munich.

 

Thomas Muller is considering his future at Bayern Munich due to a lack of game time under head coach Niko Kovac.

The 30-year-old has not started a Bundesliga match since the 1-1 draw with RB Leipzig on September 14.

Although he played a key role as Bayern battled to a domestic double last season after initially struggling to keep pace with Borussia Dortmund, the arrivals of Philippe Coutinho and Ivan Perisic, along with the form of Serge Gnabry, has restricted Muller's recent involvement.

Having only managed three substitute appearances in the Bundesliga since the draw with Leipzig and just seven minutes in the Champions League this season, Muller was reported by Sport Bild to have told Bayern he wants out in the January transfer window.

While he claims some recent media speculation has been inaccurate, Muller admits he is "too ambitious" to accept a back-up role at the Allianz Arena.

When asked about a recent comment from Kovac, who said Muller would get his chance "when we're short of options", the forward told Kicker: "When I heard about that statement, I was surprised, of course.

"But I'm not sensitive to such things. I've already had a chat with the manager and, for me, everything's okay now.

"I am only 30 years old. I am fit and hungry for success, with the club but also personally. I'm firmly convinced I can help the team with my skills on the pitch.

"Of course, the new arrivals have created more competition for my best position, but that's not the problem. That's not what it's all about.

"A manager has to make difficult decisions before every game, but in the last five games, there was a trend that doesn't make me happy.

"If the coaching staff see me as a sub in the future, I have to think about my situation. I'm too ambitious for that."

When he was asked if this scenario was foreseeable towards the end of last season, Muller replied: "No, not for me.

"After I was successful in the number 10 role in the spring and we got the double after that frantic catch-up, I didn't expect this development.

"The media have speculated wildly in the last few days. I won't get involved in that. Now it's time to put the focus back on sport and to make the next few weeks with Bayern successful.

"As far as competition is concerned, I won't let up and I'll continue to give my all in training and in matches. There's nothing more to say about it from my side."

Franck Ribery believes Bayern Munich have no need to try to prise Jadon Sancho away from Borussia Dortmund.

Sancho, who joined Dortmund from Manchester City as a 17-year-old in 2017, enjoyed a stunning breakout campaign in the Bundesliga last season.

The winger broke into the England set-up and has been touted as a transfer target for Manchester United, while Bayern have rarely been shy when it comes to pursuing Dortmund's most valuable assets.

Ribery ended a 12-year association with Bayern before joining Fiorentina on a free transfer for 2019-20.

Nevertheless, the veteran former France attacker believes new recruits such as Ivan Perisic and Philippe Coutinho, along with the likes of Serge Gnabry, Kingsley Coman, Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski, leave Bayern amply stocked in attacking areas.

"Sancho is a good player, but Bayern have enough good players in this position, where should he play?" Ribery said in an interview with Sport Bild.

"There is Muller, Gnabry, Perisic, Coman, Coutinho, Lewandowski. There is a lot of competition. I hope Sancho confirms his good year, but there would be little room for him in the Bayern squad."

Gnabry has arguably done more than anyone to fill the void left by Ribery so far after he excelled with a remarkable four-goal haul in the 7-2 Champions League demolition of Tottenham last week.

"Serge is still young, but he has character, personality," Ribery said. "He plays without fear."

"After his four goals against Tottenham, more is expected, but Serge is a man, not a machine.

"It's not easy to show top performances in every game, but Serge will continue on his way without putting too much pressure [on himself]."

Ribery also feels the burgeoning alliance between star striker Lewandowski and on-loan Barcelona playmaker Coutinho will continue to yield handsome returns.

"Bayern can now play different variations and Coutinho is good for Robert Lewandowski," he added.

"He always wants the ball; Coutinho takes responsibility and serves his team-mates - either the outside striker or just Lewy, who receives great passes."

As pressure builds on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, there is speculation Manchester United are already looking around for future managers.

According to reports, one such potential candidate is a man making waves in the Bundesliga, now with RB Leipzig.

Even though Solskjaer appears to have the backing of United's hierarchy, the time might come to look to the future - just like the club's former manager Jose Mourinho, who has his eye on a comeback.

 

TOP STORY - UNITED CONSIDER NAGELSMANN

Manchester United are interested in Julian Nagelsmann as a future manager, according to the Daily Mail.

Just 32, Nagelsmann has impressed in the Bundesliga, initially with Hoffenheim and this season at RB Leipzig.

Although Ole Solskjaer still has support at the club despite their worst league start for 30 years, it is reported by the newspaper that United are "gathering information" on Nagelsmann with a view to a future approach to take charge of the first team.

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- Jose Mourinho, is plotting a Premier League return and is keeping an eye on Mauricio Pochettino's situation at Tottenham, according to the Daily Mail.

- Whatever happens with the United manager job, transfer plans for next year are already being drawn up. The big names being eyed for next season are Kalidou Koulibaly and Declan RiceGoal reports.

- In Italy, Juventus have made it clear they will not sell Paulo Dybala in the January transfer window, Calciomercato says. Dybala was linked with United and Spurs in the previous window.

Gareth Bale, meanwhile, considers being left out of the Champions League draw with Club Brugge to be the final straw at Real Madrid, and he wants out next year, AS claims.

- Finally, in more news concerning United bosses of the past, the Mirror and the Daily Mail say there is a growing chance David Moyes could return to Everton if the under-fire Marco Silva is sacked, with the Scot now odds-on in some places to take charge again.

Lucas Hernandez would only link up with France's national team if he was fully fit, says Bayern Munich team-mate Benjamin Pavard, who was reluctant to become embroiled in the club-versus-country row.

Versatile defender Hernandez was called up by Les Bleus for upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Iceland and Turkey despite missing Bayern's past two Bundesliga matches with a knee injury.

Bayern were told by the French Football Federation (FFF) that Hernandez would have to travel to Paris for medical checks after the club initially refused to allow him to link up with the national team.

Sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic described himself as "irritated" by the FFF's stance and Bayern doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt said Hernandez would not be fit to play.

France coach Didier Deschamps said he sympathised with Bayern's concerns, but refused to rule out the possibility of Hernandez facing Iceland in Reykjavik on Friday.

Club and international team-mate Pavard said he has been assured by Hernandez he is good condition, though preferred not to take sides in the row.

"If he's here, it means that he's fit. Bayern didn't want to take any chances," he told a news conference. 

"He tells me that everything is fine. After, what happens between Bayern and the France team, it's not my problem. 

"When he goes on X-rays, I don't know what Lucas has on his knees!

"He said he could play on one leg. It's Lucas, we all know he's a warrior. If he's here, he can play."

Didier Deschamps says Bayern Munich are "within their rights" to criticise France's decision to call up the injured Lucas Hernandez.

Hernandez was named in the squad for this month's Euro 2020 qualifiers against Iceland and Turkey despite missing Bayern's previous two matches with a knee problem.

The French Football Federation (FFF) informed the Bundesliga champions that the centre-back would have to be made available for medical checks in Paris after the club initially refused to allow him to join up with the France squad.

Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said he was "irritated" by the FFF and club doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt insisted Hernandez would not be fit to play for his country.

Deschamps has little issue with Bayern's stance but maintains Hernandez could yet become available for Friday's meeting with Iceland in Reykjavik.

"It doesn't irritate me. I understand them. They're within their rights. They say what they want," Deschamps told reporters at Clairefontaine on Monday.

"Bayern's interest was to have him working during the international break, so they would be able to play him afterwards.

"On our side, we don't question their diagnosis. But we don't play today - we play on Friday [in Iceland]."

France are level on 15 points with Turkey at the top of Euro 2020 qualifying Group H after six matches.

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has hit out at the French Football Federation (FFF) for calling up Lucas Hernandez despite his injury.

Defender Lucas, who joined the Bundesliga club from Atletico Madrid this year, has not played in Bayern's last two games due to a knee problem.

But he was named in France's squad for upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Iceland and Turkey, with Les Bleus joint top of Group H alongside Seno Gunes' nation.

Bayern's sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic insisted Lucas would not be allowed to join up with France, with the club holding the same stance over injured Austria international David Alaba.

The FFF, though, wrote to Bayern informing the club Lucas would still be required to travel to Paris to be examined by France's medical staff - a measure permitted by FIFA regulations.

France coach Didier Deschamps suggested Lucas would be fit to play for his country, an idea strongly refuted by Rummenigge on Monday.

"I am irritated by the behaviour of the FFF," he said in a statement on Bayern's official club website.

"I would like to point out that Lucas Hernandez was not able to play in the Champions League match against Tottenham last Tuesday in London, nor in our Bundesliga match against Hoffenheim on Saturday."

Rummenigge said the other three Bayern players named in Deschamps' squad - Kingsley Coman, Corentin Tolisso and Benjamin Pavard - will all link up with the World Cup winners.

Bayern club doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt added: "I am responsible for the health of Lucas Hernandez and I say: he cannot play in the upcoming matches of the French national team, so a secondment makes no sense."

France are without Hugo Lloris after the Tottenham captain dislocated his left elbow in a nasty fall during Saturday's Premier League defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion.

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