Timo Werner is considering the prospect of joining Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United - but could yet stay at RB Leipzig.

The striker has been most frequently linked with Liverpool and has previously expressed his admiration for Jurgen Klopp.

The 24-year-old believes joining the Premier League leaders or City would represent a good opportunity to play for a strong side under a "great" coach, although he appears tempted by the idea of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's project to turn United back into England's dominant force.

However, Werner has not ruled out staying at Leipzig, where he thinks he could "make something great".

Speaking ahead of his side's Champions League last-16 second leg against Tottenham, he told Sky Sports: "At this time in professional soccer, there are two different variations.

"The first is to be part of a team like Liverpool or Manchester City. They have a good working team. The teams have also great coaches.

"But this is the question: do you want to go to that kind of team, because the situation is already that hard for each member and you want to be a part of it? That's one point you have to look at.

"The other side are teams which need some big changes, because they just won a few big titles, but they are not able to compete on the highest level anymore. For me, Manchester United is one of these teams.

"So at this point of my career I'm asking myself: do I want to be part of a new team, to build up something new, or do I want to stay at my team and make something great?"

Werner has scored 27 goals in 35 appearances in all competitions this season.

He is second only to Robert Lewandowski in the Bundesliga goalscoring charts this season and converted the second-half penalty at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to secure Leipzig's first-leg lead over Spurs.

Daniel Levy is known as a difficult negotiator.

The Tottenham chairman squeezed every penny out of United when the Red Devils turned to Dimitar Berbatov in 2008.

United also reportedly pulled out of the running for Luka Modric, who joined Real Madrid in 2012, as they did not want to haggle with Levy.

However, United could be ready to lock horns with Levy over Harry Kane's signature.

 

TOP STORY – WOODWARD READY TO BATTLE LEVY FOR KANE

Manchester United and Ed Woodward are ready to battle for the signing of Tottenham star Harry Kane, according to the Evening Standard.

Kane is reportedly considering his future at Tottenham and the England international striker is believed to be open to a switch to United at the end of the season.

United are yet to permanently replace Romelu Lukaku and Red Devils executive vice-chairman Woodward reportedly wants to lock horns with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.

 

ROUND-UP

- Could United beat Borussia Dortmund to Jude Bellingham? Birmingham City's 16-year-old sensation Bellingham visited United's training ground on Monday and reportedly spoke to former manager Alex Ferguson as the Red Devils ramp up their interest. Bellingham is valued at around £30million.

- David Beckham's Inter Miami want to sign Manchester City star David Silva, reports The Mirror. Silva, out of contract at the end of the season, has been linked to fellow MLS franchise New York City – who are the sister club of Manchester City and part of the City Football Group.

- Tuttosport claims Juventus are targeting Valencia attacker Ferran Torres. The 20-year-old has also been linked to LaLiga champions Barcelona, Real Madrid and Premier League leaders Liverpool.

United are prepared to pay £70m for Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish, says The Mirror. Grealish has emerged as one of United's prime transfer targets and the Red Devils are ready to test Villa's resolve as the Premier League strugglers face relegation.

Paris Saint-Germain continue to target Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly. PSG have identified Koulibaly as Thiago Silva's replacement but Calciomercato says it will be difficult for the Ligue 1 holders to lower Napoli's demands. Koulibaly – also linked to the likes of United, Madrid, Tottenham and Manchester City – reportedly has a €150m termination clause.

- Kicker says Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich are considering signing on-loan Inter winger Ivan Perisic at season's end.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta insists Manchester City have been "very unlucky" this season and expects to face a fearsome response to their Manchester derby defeat.

Pep Guardiola's side lost 2-0 at Manchester United on Sunday to leave Premier League leaders Liverpool needing just six points to win the title.

Indeed, Jurgen Klopp's men could become champions before their next match if City lose their back-to-back home games against Arsenal and Burnley this week. 

City been beaten twice by United and once by Tottenham since Arteta left his post as assistant to take charge at Emirates Stadium, leading to scrutiny over the state of the team under Guardiola, despite winning the EFL Cup final and recording an impressive 2-1 victory at Real Madrid in the past two weeks.

Arteta believes fortune has not been on their side and is in no doubt that Arsenal must be at their best to get a result at the Etihad Stadium.

"Sometimes small details make the difference. I think they've been very unlucky," he said on Monday. "This is football. It can happen.

"We have to be at our best, that's for sure, to have any chance of winning the game."

Arteta is nonetheless looking forward to returning to the club where he learned much of his coaching craft under Guardiola after retiring from playing in 2016.

"It's going to be a very special night. I'm very excited to get back there," he said.

"Now, I'm in a different position on a different bench. I will defend my club as well as I can."

Arsenal battled to a 1-0 win over West Ham on Saturday that keeps them in the hunt for a Champions League place with 10 games to go.

The Gunners are eight points behind fourth-place Chelsea and just five adrift of United in fifth, a position that could be enough to qualify for Europe's elite competition if City's ban due to Financial Fair Play irregularities is upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

"It's still a long way to go. We want to go game by game," Arteta said. "Three weeks ago, it was impossible [to secure Champions League qualification]. Now, it looks a bit more possible."

Arteta added he is hopeful the club will agree a new contract with Bukayo Saka, who has impressed this season.

"The club is doing what it has to do and holding conversations. Hopefully, we'll get a result," he said of talks over a new deal.

Ilkay Gundogan insists it was wrong to award the free-kick that led to Manchester United's opening goal in the derby and has accused Bruno Fernandes of play-acting.

City midfielder Gundogan was penalised when he prodded the ball away from Fernandes while making minimal contact with the United star 29 minutes into the match at Old Trafford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side took the lead from the resulting set-piece, Fernandes chipping a clever pass that Anthony Martial volleyed past Ederson.

United withstood City pressure in the second half before Scott McTominay pounced on another Ederson error to secure a 2-0 victory in second-half injury time.

"There was frustration about the free-kick before the goal," Gundogan admitted. "It was not a foul at all. I just touched the ball and he goes on the floor shouting.

"I don't even know if the referee saw it or just had a feeling that it was a foul. That was very disappointing for me, to be honest, because I was involved in the action and conceding the goal straight afterwards hurt very much. We tried hard after conceding the first one but it just wasn't enough."

Gundogan refused to pin blame for the defeat onto Ederson, who also nearly allowed Martial to score a second with uncharacteristically careless control.

"Eddy has been crucial in so many games for us, and he is allowed to make mistakes. Unfortunately, this time they were punished, very crucially for us," he said.

"We win together and lose together. That's why we play football; that's why we're a team. He will deal with that situation very well. He's angry, disappointed and frustrated, but it's always about how you get out of it. He has all of our support and I'm sure he will do much better in the next games."

City could not match United's intensity in the first half and were short on creativity in the absence of Kevin De Bruyne, managing only four shots on target throughout.

"It hurts a lot," said Gundogan. "Not really the result but that we didn't play our best game, especially creating in the last third. This game is always big, one of the biggest derbies in the world. That's why we wanted to perform and play well.

"United were much more aggressive, especially after scoring the first goal. They tried to press very high for 10 minutes afterwards. Missing Kevin is crucial in these kind of games.

"But we still have some very important games, big games. We play Arsenal now and Burnley. Then obviously a vital game against [Real] Madrid at home [in the Champions League] and another crucial game in the FA Cup.

"So we still have the possibility to win silverware. We will try to achieve that and do better than we did on Sunday."

Liverpool are reportedly considering their plans for Timo Werner should they land the RB Leipzig forward this close season.

Werner, 24, has been linked with a move to the Premier League leaders after a prolific campaign with the Bundesliga side.

But if the Germany international does sign for Liverpool ahead of 2020-21, he may not be in their initial plans.

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL COULD LOAN WERNER BACK TO RB LEIPZIG IF FORWARD JOINS

Liverpool could loan Werner back to RB Leipzig for next season if they get a deal done ahead of 2020-21, according to Bild.

Werner has scored 27 goals in 35 games this season, leading to interest from across Europe.

The Germany international, capped 29 times by his country, said last month he was proud to be linked to Liverpool.

 

ROUND-UP

- Paulo Dybala is close to signing a five-year contract with Juventus, according to CalcioMercato, which reports only a late phone call from the attacker to his agent scuppered a move to Manchester United last year.

- Alexis Sanchez's future is unclear, but it appears it will not be at Inter. The Daily Mail reports the Serie A side have no interest in keeping the Chile international, who is on a season-long loan from Manchester United and has made just seven starts this campaign.

- Out of contract at the end of the season, Willian appears set for a Chelsea exit. Le 10 Sport reports Paris Saint-Germain are interested in the attacker, while Arsenal and Manchester United are their main rivals for the Brazil international's signature.

- Arsenal are lining up a move for Manchester City defender John Stones in the close season, according to TEAMtalk.

- Tahith Chong is yet to re-sign with Manchester United despite being out of contract at the end of the season. The Sun reports the Premier League club are confident they can convince the attacker to re-sign amid interest from the likes of Inter.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lauded Bruno Fernandes' impact at Manchester United after a 2-0 derby win over Manchester City on Sunday.

Fernandes' impressive start to his career at Old Trafford continued with a brilliant quick free-kick to set up Anthony Martial's opener, while Scott McTominay sealed United's win late on.

The Portugal international arrived at United in January and already has two goals and three assists in five Premier League games.

Solskjaer praised the 25-year-old for his performances at United so far, as his side moved within three points of fourth-placed Chelsea.

"He works hard, he's humble enough, he's got the desire, commitment, but he's also got the X-factor," the United manager told a news conference.

"He's a risk taker, he's got courage, he's brave enough to make mistakes and if you make enough mistakes they'll be corrected into fantastic assists or goals."

United are on a 10-game unbeaten run and completed a league double over City for the first time since 2009-10.

Solskjaer is happy with his team's growth but believes they are still a few signings away from being Premier League contenders.

"We feel we're improving all the time and we know that we lack one or two, three players and some experience to be considered a title contender, we know that and we're not going to start talking about that now," he said.

"We're just going to start talking about getting up the table, getting more points, challenging for that top four because Chelsea and Leicester are too far ahead of us for my liking still."

Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva believes the comfort zone of their Premier League position may have contributed to a derby defeat against Manchester United that was "not acceptable".

Goals from Anthony Martial and Scott McTominay saw City suffer a 2-0 loss to rivals United at Old Trafford on Sunday.

It ensured United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claimed home and away league victories over City counterpart Pep Guardiola – the first time the Red Devils have done the double over their Manchester rivals for 10 years.

Second-placed City are 25 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool but have a seven-point cushion over Leicester City in third.

"The reality is the pressure is not on in the Premier League," Silva told Sky Sports.

"We don't have much pressure because we know that our position is not changing a lot because we will not get to the title.

"I think we will be second to qualify for the Champions League. So maybe that is a thing."

After picking up 100 and 98 points in each of the last two seasons, City have suffered seven defeats this term and have just 57 points with 10 matches still to play.

"A team like ours cannot lose as many games in the Premier League as we have this season," Silva added. "So, we need to check what is not going right and try to not make the mistakes.

"We have to watch the game back and listen to what Pep has to say.

"It was a bad game for us and, in my opinion, not acceptable.

"It's a derby, it's an important game for our fans, and it is not acceptable to play the way we did and lose 2-0."

However, Silva felt the awarding of a free-kick that led to United's opening goal, after Ilkay Gundogan was deemed to have fouled Bruno Fernandes, was an incorrect decision made by referee Mike Dean.

He added: "From my point of view, and from where I was, it was clear it was not a foul. I don't know if on the television it is a foul or not.

"The referees like us, like all the players, can make mistakes. It's football."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer described it as "a privilege" to be Manchester United manager after watching his side's 2-0 derby victory over Manchester City.

The Red Devils struck a potentially fatal blow to City's title defence at Old Trafford as goals from Anthony Martial and Scott McTominay maintained their charge for the Champions League places.

United were deservedly ahead at half-time after Martial's volley went through the grasp of Ederson, and they defended stoutly against a blunt City until McTominay struck with seconds remaining after he pounced on a poor throw from the visiting goalkeeper.

The performance and result highlighted the progress of Solskjaer's rebuilding work at United, coming 11 months on from a 4-0 defeat at Everton that left the manager apologising to fans and making it clear some players would be moved on.

Speaking to Sky Sports on Sunday, Solskjaer could not fault the effort of his players, even though he can see the need for some improvements.

"The desire, attitude, commitment, the connection between fans and the team. What a day they've had today, both the players and the fans," he said.

"Of course, they make us defend - that's just the type of team they are - but our fans could see players with commitment and attitude and desire. We've done our job then.

"I think we at times pressed them and pushed them back. We tried to be aggressive with the wing-backs and three up front, so we ended up with three at the back. When we hit the press, we made them make mistakes and we're happy with the result.

"I can't put a finger on anything [that was a negative] but, at times, you'd like to defend with the ball in the team sometimes, but I'm not going to complain!

"It's a privilege to be a manager of a squad and players with this attitude. They give us absolutely everything they've got, every time they play, and you can't ask for more.

"We're gonna improve as a team; they're gonna improve as players. There were two or three times today: head up, and we score goals. Twice, Dan James could just square it, once for Bruno [Fernandes] and once for Anthony; Anthony should square it for Bruno.

"Those little things will come, but it's a privilege. They want to learn, and they listen to the advice we give them.

"It's a derby: the fans love it, the players love it. Sometimes, you can say it's only three points, but for our players to beat a team like Man City, with the problems that we've had as well, is fantastic. I'm just delighted for them.

"We played against an absolute top, top team and, of course, we had to defend, and they had possession, but we're delighted with the outcome."

Solskjaer also highlighted a growing understanding between January signing Fernandes and Martial, the Portugal midfielder having set up the opening goal with a clever chipped free-kick.

"They've hit it off, Anthony and Bruno," Solskjaer added. "Bruno is that type of player. I've seen them do it before."

Pep Guardiola backed Ederson as an exceptional goalkeeper after the Brazil international's errors led to Manchester City's 2-0 derby defeat at Manchester United.

Following a period of early control from City, Anthony Martial's volley squirmed through Ederson's grasp to give United an advantage they did not relinquish in the face of second-half pressure.

Ederson also lackadaisically missed his touch to almost allow Martial a second, and his ill-advised throw as the visitors chased an equaliser allowed Scott McTominay to seal the points in stoppage time.

"He saved one or two, so… he is an exceptional goalkeeper," Guardiola told Sky Sports after suffering a third defeat to his local rivals this term.

"I'm not here to come to judge my players if they make mistakes. It's part of the game.

"He will recover and he is an exceptional goalkeeper."

City remain 25 points shy of champions-elect Liverpool and still comfortably ensconced in the top four - a fact in itself that remains somewhat academic as their two-season ban from UEFA competition awaits an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

This season's Champions League remains a live ambition, with a 2-1 advantage held over Real Madrid before a return last-16 encounter at the Etihad Stadium later this month, while City travel to Newcastle United in the FA Cup quarter-finals after already winning a third EFL Cup in succession.

Despite this cup-heavy feel to the season run-in, Guardiola baulked at the suggestion his team lacked motivation or underperformed in their Premier League assignment at Old Trafford.

"We played so good. Even when we win 5-0, we can play better," he added.

"The schedule we know. Liverpool are far away and we have to play the game for ourselves. Today we did it."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made a habit – often a timely one when conjecture about his suitability for the role of Manchester United manager springs up – of claiming wins over the Premier League's big-hitters.

But Sunday's 2-0 Manchester derby triumph over City, their third in all competitions against these feted opponents this season, carried a weight of authority to suggest Ole at the wheel might yet steer the club to a prosperous destination. 

For all the thrills of their against-the-odds comeback over Paris Saint-Germain in last season's Champions League, to the 4-0 ransacking of Chelsea on the opening day of this term and a bravura counter-attacking display at the Etihad Stadium last December, there was far more substance to what unfolded at Old Trafford.

The opening 20 minutes indicated normal service on this ground, where City had won six times and lost once on their past eight Premier League visits, before considering January's EFL Cup semi-final masterclass.

Raheem Sterling forced a smart save from a plunging David de Gea, Sergio Aguero deliciously nutmegged a sprawling Harry Maguire to prompt another close shave and the visitors' possession figure tipped 71 per cent.

But United did not blink or shirk from a plan built on applying steady pressure in the City half, closing up the passing avenues that become gold-paved boulevards when Pep Guardiola's men are at their best.

Where there has been a kick, rush and hope approach in midfield in these fixtures previously from United, there was assurance.

It is hard to overstate the impact of Bruno Fernandes, whose clever chipped free-kick created Anthony Martial's breakthrough goal. United now have a game-breaker in central areas after seasons of chasing the shadows of Yaya Toure, David Silva and others in this local argument.

Kevin De Bruyne's injury absence for City was only made more yawningly obvious by Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva's wholly ineffective contributions, within a collective effort that smacked of attentions turned elsewhere to a potential clean sweep of knockout cups at home and abroad.

With the sky blue creators becalmed – and the part of a revitalised Nemanja Matic in this should not be under-stated – United could turn their attentions towards a back four never too far from ramshackle this season.

Fernandinho and Oleksandr Zinchenko were made to look like recent converts to their positions. Nicolas Otamendi, a career centre-back, rarely looks anything other than a recent convert to his position.

Fouls were coughed up, even if Gundogan's punishment for a challenge on Fred that led to the pivotal moment was highly debatable. Behind that porous backline, the usually reliable Ederson flapped over Martial's volley and saw it nestle in his net.

Either side of the goal, Fernandinho and Rodri received bookings for dissent. United were the side exhibiting smooth control, bending ratty and rattled opponents to their will.

The pay-off for Solskjaer's men controlling the middle part of the contest was they had the fresh legs and clear minds to repel what passed for a City onslaught when it arrived. Sterling added to his catalogue of horror misses against these opponents – it is now remarkably no goals in 20 outings against the Red Devils – but scares were kept to a minimum.

Old Trafford rose to acclaim its new hero when Fernandes made way to run the clock down, but this was every inch Solskjaer's triumph, one unforgettably burnished by Scott McTominay thanks to another Ederson moment to forget.

A second clean sheet in succession against the most potent attack in the land, a trio of wins over a generation-defining coach, a first league double over City for a decade and a step towards the Champions League next season – a stage on which a performance of such style and steel belongs.

Now unbeaten in 10 across all competitions, Solskjaer might just be convincing the doubters he belongs there too.

Scott McTominay is looking forward to rubbing Manchester United's 2-0 derby victory in the faces of Manchester City-supporting acquaintances.

United beat City for the third time this season and extended their unbeaten run to 10 matches in all competitions, though a poor performance from Ederson gave them a helping hand.

The Brazil goalkeeper failed to keep Anthony Martial's volley from a clever free-kick by Bruno Fernandes out of the bottom-right corner despite getting two hands on it.

Ederson then made a mistake while rushing in stoppage time, throwing the ball straight to substitute McTomina, who curled home from in excess of 35 yards in the 96th minute.

"I know some City fans, well, one or two, so it'll be good to rub that one in their faces as well," McTominay told Sky Sports.

"That was such a sweet moment, especially in a game where we could have done with another goal earlier on to finish the game, but credit to the boys - they were top drawer.

"We had a sticky first 15, 20 minutes, but you see how much it means to the boys to win the derby again. That's three times this year. But we have to keep going.

"It's a game we have to take confidence from, but in the coming weeks, we have to go for some proper results and keep this run going.

"It was such a beautiful feeling, in front of our fans in the dying minutes. We can't get too carried away but we've got to keep going and keep pushing for the Champions League."

McTominay was making his fifth appearance since returning from two months out with a knee injury, and he has been impressed by United's upturn in form.

"You can see with the run of games we've been on, I've been injured for two months and I was desperate to get back because I could see the progression of the team," he said.

"Just to come on and help the boys today was a pleasure. Obviously I'm fighting for my place, everybody in this team is not guaranteed a starting spot and everybody has to keep working every week.

"For me, that's one of the most important things, but we'll keep our feet on the ground and keep pushing forwards. We've won a game today but it's the next one and the next one."

Two costly mistakes from Ederson handed Manchester United a derby victory over Manchester City on Sunday to put Liverpool on the brink of a first Premier League title.

Anthony Martial fired the Red Devils ahead in the first half with a shot that City's goalkeeper should probably have kept out at his near post.

United survived some heavy second-half pressure until Scott McTominay scored an injury-time second after Ederson's throw went straight to his feet.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side, beaten at home by City in their past three league meetings and the EFL Cup semi-final first leg, claimed a top-flight double over their city rivals for the first time since 2009-10 to leave the champions' title defence hanging by a thread.

Pep Guardiola's first league loss at Old Trafford brought an end to City's five-game winning run in all competitions, as United boosted their hopes of qualifying for next season's Champions League.

Sergio Aguero suffered an apparent thigh injury during Manchester City's Premier League match at Manchester United on Sunday.

Pep Guardiola's side were trailing 1-0 to Anthony Martial's first-half opener when Aguero – who had a goal disallowed for offside shortly beforehand – made way in the 59th minute.

A member of City's medical staff was then seen applying an ice pack to the Argentina striker's right thigh.

Aguero's fitness now looks likely to be a cause for concern for Guardiola, as his side head into a busy period of the season – including their Champions League last-16 return clash against Real Madrid on March 17.

Manchester City are without the injured Kevin De Bruyne for the derby against Manchester United, with captain Harry Maguire passed fit for the hosts.

De Bruyne suffered a shoulder injury after coming off the bench during last week's 2-1 EFL Cup final win over Aston Villa.

Pep Guardiola has opted not to risk the Belgium playmaker – whose 26 Premier League appearances this season have yielded eight goals and 16 assists – as City head into a busy period, including the return leg of their Champions League last-16 showdown with Real Madrid.

Maguire rolled his ankle in training this week and sat out the FA Cup win at Derby County but returns alongside Aaron Wan-Bissaka (back) and Daniel James (knock).

United are unbeaten in nine matches across all competitions but have only won one of the past eight Premier League derbies at Old Trafford.

Boyhood City fan Phil Foden, man of the match at Wembley last weekend, enjoys his first start in the fixture, while right-back Joao Cancelo features in a Premier League starting XI for the first time since mid-January.

Manchester City could let Sergio Aguero leave at the end of the season, according to a report.

City were handed a two-season Champions League ban last month over Financial Fair Play (FFP) breaches, although they are appealing the ruling.

However, that could lead to a big-name exit at the end of the campaign.

 

TOP STORY – MAN CITY COULD LET AGUERO LEAVE AT END OF SEASON

Manchester City are willing to let Aguero go if they fail to overturn the European ban, according to The Sun.

The report says the 31-year-old Argentina forward would be allowed to leave if he indicated he wanted to do so despite being contracted until 2021.

Aguero is the Premier League club's all-time leading goalscorer and is enjoying another fine campaign, netting 23 times in 29 games.

 

ROUND-UP

- Luka Jovic has struggled at Real Madrid and could be set for a switch. AS reports Napoli are considering a move for the 22-year-old forward, who has scored just twice this season after joining Madrid for a reported €60million from Eintracht Frankfurt.

- Chelsea seem ready to move on from goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga. The Daily Express reports the Premier League club have been alerted to the potential availability of Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who is said to be weighing up his future at Barcelona. The Mirror reports Chelsea are monitoring Dean Henderson, who has impressed on loan at Sheffield United from Manchester United.

- Also at Stamford Bridge, The Mirror reports Tammy Abraham has rejected a contract offer from Chelsea. Abraham – who has 15 goals this season – has a deal until 2022 but reportedly wants fresh terms similar to the club's other stars before recommitting.

- Looking to strengthen their defence, Manchester City are prepared to spend £80m (€92.5m) on Inter centre-back Milan Skriniar, according to the Daily Express.

- With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang perhaps set for an Arsenal exit, CalcioMercato reports Inter are considering a move for the forward, who played for AC Milan's youth team but never made an appearance for the senior side.

- Everton are eyeing a move for Newcastle United's Allan Saint-Maximin in the close season, according to The Sun.

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