If Paris Saint-Germain have their way, Lionel Messi will be playing for the French giants in 2021-22.

But will he be playing alongside Kylian Mbappe in Paris?

Real Madrid target Mbappe could stay.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI IN, MBAPPE OUT?

Paris Saint-Germain want to sign Lionel Messi but Kylian Mbappe could remain with the Ligue 1 champions, according to reports.

Barcelona captain Messi is out of contract at season's end and has been heavily linked with PSG and Manchester City.

Le Parisien says there is no doubt who will replace Mbappe at PSG if he departs for LaLiga champions Real Madrid, though Canal + journalist Pierre Menes claims the French forward is interested in staying at Parc des Princes.

 

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Madrid are considering a €45million (£39.9m) bid to re-sign Sergio Reguilon from Tottenham, according to Sport. Reguilon left the LaLiga champions at the start of the season, but Madrid have an option to buy him back within two years.

- Calciomercato says Juventus are eyeing Bayern Munich duo Corentin Tolisso and Joshua Zirkzee. Bayern are reportedly unwilling to let Zirkzee leave permanently.

- Sport 1 claims Borussia Dortmund are set to battle German rivals Bayern for Borussia Monchengladbach star Florian Neuhaus. The 23-year-old reportedly has a €40m release clause.

- RB Leipzig attacker Hwang Hee-chan could be loaned out amid links to West Ham, reports Kicker.

Inter and Lautaro Martinez remain in negotiations over a new contract, reports Calciomercato. Once tipped to join Barca, Martinez's Camp Nou dream appears to be fading due to the economic situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Inter are not prepared to meet Martinez's wage demands at the moment.

Liverpool are reportedly prioritising a new deal for Virgil van Dijk over Mohamed Salah, while they could be beaten to Dayot Upamecano by Manchester United.

Salah's future has been a talking point in recent weeks, although the forward is contracted until 2023.

Van Dijk also has an agreement at Anfield until 2023, but the injured defender is apparently Liverpool's focus.

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL PRIORITISE VAN DIJK DEAL OVER SALAH

Liverpool are prioritising a new contract for Van Dijk over Salah, according to Eurosport.

Van Dijk, 29, is recovering from a serious knee injury and his absence has been felt by the Premier League champions.

Salah, meanwhile, has scored 13 goals in 18 league games this season, but in an interview with AS last month the 28-year-old refused to rule out a move to Real Madrid or Barcelona.

The report also says Liverpool may look at West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, with Georginio Wijnaldum set to leave as a free agent at the end of the campaign.

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- With Van Dijk and Joe Gomez injured, Liverpool have been linked with a move for RB Leipzig defender Upamecano. But The Sun reports Manchester United are poised to sign the centre-back for £38million (€42.7m).

- Amid uncertainty over his future at Barcelona, Ousmane Dembele is being looked at by numerous European giants. Sport reports Chelsea, Manchester United, Juventus and Bayern Munich are monitoring the forward's situation. Dembele is out of contract in 2022 and the Catalan giants could sell him if he does not extend his deal.

- Frank Lampard is under enormous pressure at Chelsea as the Premier League side struggle for form. The Mirror reports Chelsea could turn to Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers if they move on from Lampard.

- Yet to re-sign with Southampton with his contract expiring next year, Danny Ings is linked with a move. 90min reports Leicester City and Everton have joined the race for the forward, who has also been linked to Tottenham.

Could Barcelona be about to make a splash in the free-agent market?

Strapped for cash amid the coronavirus pandemic, Barca are believed to have set their sights on two stars.

David Alaba and Sergio Aguero are on the agenda at Camp Nou…

 

TOP STORY – BARCA EYEING OUT-OF-CONTRACT DUO

Barcelona are set to target Bayern Munich star David Alaba and Manchester City's Sergio Aguero , according to Mundo Deportivo.

Alaba and Aguero are both out of contract at the end of the season, prompting interest from embattled LaLiga giants Barca.

Bayern's Alaba has been tipped to join Real Madrid , while the likes of Manchester United , Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain have also been linked.

Aguero, meanwhile, is no certainty to renew in Manchester, where Pep Guardiola is reportedly eyeing Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland and Inter's Romelu Lukaku .

 

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-   Sport reports Raphael Varane wants to leave LaLiga champions Madrid . The French defender has previously been linked to United .

- Madrid cannot afford to sign the likes of PSG star Kylian Mbappe and Haaland due to their current financial situation amid the coronavirus pandemic, claims Marca.

- The Guardian says West Ham have lowered their asking price for Declan Rice , who has been linked to Chelsea and United .

- Martin Odegaard is close to swapping Madrid for Arsenal on loan, reports journalist Fabrizio Romano.

- Romano also says United have not opened talks with Lens to sign Argentine centre-back Facundo Medina . The Red Devils are eyeing a new centre-back amid links with in-demand RB Leipzig star Dayot Upamecano .

Napoli want to sign either Sporting CP full-back Nuno Mendes or Benfica's Nuno Tavares , reports Calciomercato.

- There are serious doubts over Edin Dzeko's future at Roma, with Calciomercato claiming Juventus and Inter are monitoring the situation.

RB Leipzig head coach Julian Nagelsmann insisted the club are not nervous about Dayot Upamecano's future amid interest from Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge revealed the Bundesliga and Champions League holders are keeping an eye on star Leipzig centre-back Upamecano, with David Alaba set to leave Munich on a free transfer at season's end.

Upamecano – who reportedly has a release clause – has also been linked to the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool following his exploits for last season's Champions League semi-finalists Leipzig.

Nagelsmann responded to Rummenigge's comments and he was bullish regarding the 22-year-old France international's future, after questioning Bayern's public approach.

"It's always clever to get the other team nervous, however we aren't nervous," Nagelsmann told reporters ahead of Saturday's trip to Mainz.

"We know about Upamecano's contract. We know that we want to keep him for longer and that we like to have him with us.

"You can see that, as he's playing every single game for us.  But we also know the mechanisms in football. So if they want to make me or the club nervous, then it hasn't worked.

"But I don't think that this was their main intention. I believe that they said that to get a foot inside the door and make other teams that want to sign him nervous instead. But you have to ask Mr. Rummenigge, why he said what he said."

Nagelsmann added: "It is pretty normal in our business, that if a talented and young player has a buy-out clause other teams are interested in him. To what extent, someone has to then mention that publicly is up to them to assess if it's right or wrong.

"I don't have anything against it. But if it would've been the other way around, they might not have enjoyed it at all. I'm not really bothered by it. As I said already, in our business it is pretty usual. It is a part of it. Sometimes it's only about rumours but sometimes it is more concrete.

"Therefore, it isn't much of a surprise to me. Dayot Upamecano played a lot lately. I have already clarified, that some people tend to forget that he is still very young and still has to take more steps to progress further. But he is clearly capable of going those steps forward. Indeed, he had a couple of unlucky situations on the way forward."

Zinedine Zidane's future at Real Madrid is being questioned, while Paul Pogba could be set to stay at Manchester United.

Madrid were stunned by third-tier side Alcoyano in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday, sparking fresh talk about Zidane's position at the helm.

Zidane is under fire, but the Frenchman may get more time.

 

TOP STORY – ZIDANE BEING QUESTIONED AS REAL MADRID BOSS

Zinedine Zidane is being questioned more than ever as Real Madrid head coach, according to AS.

The report says he will remain at the helm until the Champions League, which will resume in February, and former star forward Raul is the top candidate to replace him.

Madrid are second in LaLiga, seven points behind Atletico Madrid, who also have a game in hand.

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- Pogba may be happier at Manchester United. The Daily Star reports United are increasingly confident the midfielder will see out his contract, which runs until 2022, despite interest from Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus.

- Christian Eriksen looks set to leave Inter, but it remains to be seen where he ends up. The Telegraph claims Leicester City have ruled out a loan move for the midfielder due to his wage demands.

- RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano is set to be the subject of speculation for months to come. Goal reports Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea have shown interest in the defender, who is also wanted by Bayern Munich.

- Dele Alli wants to reunite with Mauricio Pochettino at PSG. 90min says the Tottenham midfielder has asked chairman Daniel Levy not to block a potential switch this month.

- Arsenal appear set to strengthen in January. Sport reports midfielder Martin Odegaard is very close to joining the Premier League club on loan from Real Madrid.

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says the club are keeping an eye on Dayot Upamecano, even if it is too early to expect the RB Leipzig defender to join them.

Upamecano, 22, has developed into one of the most highly prized centre-backs in Europe in recent seasons and has been tipped for a major move at the end of the season.

Bayern have been heavily linked with the France international, particularly with David Alaba expected to leave on a free transfer, most likely to Real Madrid.

Rummenigge confirmed transfer plans are being drawn up but was not prepared to state that any agreement had already been reached.

He told Bild that Upamecano was "at least at Leipzig until the end of the season", adding it was "a bit too early" to assume he would join the champions.

"We'll deal with this, of course, not only with him specifically but crucially which positions we want and where we have to do something," he said.

Bayern could also lose Jerome Boateng after this season, with the 32-year-old's contract expiring in June.

However, Rummenigge suggested he could extend his deal at the Allianz Arena after re-establishing his place in Hansi Flick's plans.

"Jerome is playing a good role again. The coach is satisfied with him," said Rummenigge.

Rummenigge also rubbished suggestions Bayern could look to sell Leroy Sane this year.

The former Manchester City winger has only started seven times in the Bundesliga in 2020-21, although he has scored four goals and provided five assists in those appearances.

"He has a five-year contract. It would be nonsensical [to sell]. We need this kind of player," Rummenigge added.

"Of course he will stay here at Bayern. And I'm convinced he'll find his way here."

Inter star Lautaro Martinez's future could be closer to being sorted, while Frank Lampard is under enormous pressure.

After impressing at Inter, Martinez, 23, has been strongly linked with a move to Barcelona.

The Argentina international is contracted at Inter until 2023, but that could be set to change.

 

TOP STORY – INTER OPTIMISTIC OVER MARTINEZ RENEWAL

Inter are optimistic about reaching an agreement for a new contract with Lautaro Martinez, according to Sky Sport.

The report says Martinez's agents met with Inter on Wednesday.

Martinez has scored nine goals in 18 Serie A games this season, having netted 14 in 35 in the league in 2019-20, leading to interest from Barcelona.

 

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- As Chelsea's struggles continue, Lampard is under growing pressure as head coach. Sky Sports reports the former England international will lose his job unless results improve immediately. Chelsea have lost five of their past eight Premier League games to slip to eighth in the table. The Independent, meanwhile, reports Chelsea are not interested in an interim replacement. Former Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel, RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann, Southampton's Ralph Hasenhuttl and ex-Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri have been linked.

- Previously linked to Arsenal, Houssem Aouar may be looking elsewhere if he leaves Lyon. ESPN claims the midfielder is eager to join Barcelona or Real Madrid.

- Set to stay at Manchester City until the end of the season, Eric Garcia has been linked with a move to Barcelona when his deal expires in June. However, Mundo Deportivo says PSG are planning a move for the defender.

- Arsenal could make moves in January. Sky Sports reports they have approached Real Madrid about a move for Martin Odegaard, while Cuatro claims Sevilla are hoping to loan the midfielder.

RB Leipzig head coach Julian Nagelsmann said football and the NFL can learn from each other as he revealed his admiration for the Green Bay Packers.

Nagelsmann – one of Europe's finest tacticians – said he is a fan of American football after hailing the "extraordinary" discipline of the league's players.

As Aaron Rodgers and the Packers prepare to face Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday, Leipzig boss Nagelsmann insisted the two sports can learn from each other.

"Our general manager Timmo Hardung is a huge Green Bay Packers fan, so that's rubbed off on me a bit," Nagelsmann told reporters ahead of Leipzig's match against Union Berlin on Wednesday.

"My heart beats for them a bit, their history is very interesting and different to most of the other clubs in the NFL."

Nagelsmann added: "It's a very interesting sport. And I think we can learn a lot from American football in soccer, and our players can learn a lot from it as well. Especially in terms of their discipline in studying and executing the team's playbook. I definitely think that's an area that soccer can improve on.

"The game is based on an unbelievable number of plays, and the players have to understand a lot of specific terms and then act accordingly out on the field. They have to do all that extremely quickly, which is extraordinary."

"You could see in the games that there were one or two tricks – I'd like to see a bit more of that. 'Hitch and Pitch' I think it's called. That worked quite well in the play-offs a couple of times," he continued.

"So American Football can learn from football, but definitely vice versa too. And if any NFL coaches would like to have a chat about it all, feel free to get in touch!"

Leipzig – Champions League semi-finalists last season – are third and four points adrift of Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich after 16 matches in 2020-21.

Dayot Upamecano is set to leave RB Leipzig – but not just yet – while Eric Garcia is getting closer to joining Barcelona.

Upamecano has been linked with several European giants after impressing for the Bundesliga club.

But the defender looks set to stay at the Red Bull Arena until the end of the season.

 

TOP STORY – UPAMECANO SET FOR €42M MOVE

Leipzig are not considering selling Upamecano in January even though he can leave for £37.4million (€42m) at the end of the season, according to The Guardian.

Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea have each been linked with a move for the France international.

Upamecano has made 21 appearances in all competitions for Leipzig this season.

 

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- Garcia is seemingly getting closer to a Barcelona move. Sport reports the Manchester City defender is a step away from joining the Catalan giants on a five-year deal and Barca are hopeful a move can happen in January.

- Coming out of contract at the end of the season, Hakan Calhanoglu's future has been a talking point. Sky Sport reports negotiations are ongoing between Milan and the midfielder, who has been linked to United.

- Mauricio Pochettino seems eager to get Dele Alli to Paris Saint-Germain. The Guardian reports the Tottenham midfielder is PSG's main target this transfer window.

- Arkadiusz Milik is set to leave Napoli. CalcioMercato reports Marseille want the striker and had an offer of €8m rejected.

- With Frank Lampard under pressure, Chelsea were reportedly considering bringing back Avram Grant to support the head coach. However, The Sun reports the Premier League giants are not lining up such a move.

Despite the coronavirus situation, Real Madrid are still looking to make a splash in the transfer market.

Madrid have long been linked with Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe.

And if reports are to be believed, the LaLiga champions are planning for the Frenchman.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID WORKING ON MBAPPE MOVE

Real Madrid are working on a plan to sign Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe, according to Tuesday's frontpage of Diario AS.

Mbappe – also linked to Liverpool – has been tipped to join Madrid, though Ligue 1 holders PSG remain committed to trying to re-sign the Frenchman.

Despite the economic fallout caused by coronavirus, Madrid are still looking to prise Mbappe to the Santiago Bernabeu thanks to player sales and revenue generated by the return of fans.

 

ROUND-UP

Bayern Munich have identified RB Leipzig star and centre-back Dayot Upamecano as the player to replace David Alaba, reports Sport 1. Alaba is out of contract at season's end and the Bayern star has been linked to the likes of Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester City. With Alaba heading for an exit, in-demand Upamecano is wanted in Munich. It comes as Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool and Barca vie for his signature.

- According to Esporte Interativo, Neymar wants to stay at PSG as the French giants prepare a new contract. Neymar has been linked with a return to Barca.

- Fabrizio Romano says an agreement has been reached between United and Bayer Leverkusen for Timothy Fosu-Mensah to join the Bundesliga side.

Milan are eyeing a move for Chelsea's Fikayo Tomori, reports Sky Sports. Strasbourg defender Mohamed Simakan remains the primary target for the Rossoneri. It comes as Fiorentina close in on Milan full-back Andrea Conti.

RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano's long-term future appears uncertain, though there is a strong possibility he will end up in the Premier League.

The France international centre-back has emerged as one of Europe's most-promising defenders in recent seasons and is part of a Leipzig side that has conceded just 12 goals in 15 Bundesliga games this season.

Upamecano, 22, looks certain for a big-money move eventually, and although his next destination is unclear, he has plenty of admirers in England.

TOP STORY – CHELSEA TO RIVAL MAN UNITED FOR UPAMECANO

Chelsea are going through a difficult period as they sit ninth in the Premier League, and their options at centre-back do not appear to be entirely to Frank Lampard's liking.

While 36-year-old Thiago Silva and Kurt Zouma have become his preferred pairing, Lampard seems unconvinced by back-up options Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Fikayo Tomori.

The Mail on Sunday reports Chelsea have joined the list of clubs lining up for Upamecano, who reportedly has a release of around €50million (£45m) in the new contract he signed last year.

But Chelsea will not expect a free run at Upamecano – the Manchester Evening News claims Manchester United retain an interest in him, with the Red Devils' centre-back options also far from impressive in 2020-21.

ROUND-UP

- Paul Pogba appears to be returning to form on the evidence of his recent displays, but how much longer will he remain at Old Trafford? The Daily Star believes Mauricio Pochettino has identified him as a key target at Paris Saint-Germain. Real Madrid and Juventus have also been linked.

- Declan Rice's future continues to be subject of speculation, with the Daily Mirror reporting he favours a return to Chelsea – whom he played for at academy level – over joining Manchester United.

- Lucas Torreira could be on the move again. Arsenal loaned the Uruguayan midfielder to Atletico Madrid at the start of the season, but he has featured only six times in LaLiga. Mundo Deportivo suggests he is being lined up by Fiorentina.

- Inter could be set to further increase their contingent of former Manchester United players. The Mirror says Jesse Lingard is the latest to be targeted by the Nerazzurri, who already have Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez, Matteo Darmian and Ashley Young on their books.

- M'Bala Nzola has been one of the revelations of the season in Serie A with promoted Spezia. Napoli are said to be keen on the striker, though CalcioMercato reports Newcastle United and West Ham are monitoring the situation as well.

Julian Nagelsmann backed Erling Haaland to get even better after his RB Leipzig team were on the receiving end of a masterclass from the Borussia Dortmund striker. 

Haaland scored twice and had a hand in another goal for Jadon Sancho as Dortmund beat Leipzig 3-1 on Saturday, with Nagelsmann's side missing the opportunity to take top spot in the Bundesliga from Bayern Munich. 

The brace took Haaland's Bundesliga total to 25 goals in 25 matches, of which only 20 have been starts. He has netted with a hugely impressive 34.3 per cent of his shots, too.

BVB's opponents on Saturday were also interested in Haaland when he left Salzburg and coach Nagelsmann acknowledged his latest performance was evidence of why he was so sought after. 

He also pointed to the talent around Haaland in the Dortmund team to explain why it is so difficult to deal with one of Europe's standout stars. 

"Erling we could have defended, but not if the players around him have too much space in a one-against-four situation," Nagelsmann said.

"Of course, he is an exceptional striker - this is why we wanted him, too. Dortmund got him.

"I think he just scored 25 goals in 25 Bundesliga games, something like that. This is truly extraordinary. Unbelievable stats."

Haaland had also scored twice against Leipzig in the sides' meeting at the end of last season.

Nagelsmann added: "This is not the first goal he scored against us. He has some serious quality and is very young.

"So, I think I can't judge him as well as our opponent but he for sure has some potential to develop. He will get even better.

"And the league will have a lot of joy with him. Not the opponents, though."

Borussia Dortmund denied RB Leipzig top spot in the Bundesliga as Erling Haaland reignited his team's title ambitions with two goals in a 3-1 win at the Red Bull Arena.

Bayern Munich's dramatic collapse against Borussia Monchengladbach on Friday left them vulnerable at the summit, only for bitter rivals Dortmund to do them a favour.

After a cagey first half, Haaland stole the show, helping to create Jadon Sancho's opener before heading home the England winger's cross.

Haaland dispatched his 19th goal of the season across all competitions six minutes from time, though Alexander Sorloth beat Roman Burki at the second attempt to register a consolation for Leipzig, who remain two points behind Bayern after their nine-match unbeaten run in the Bundesliga came to a halt.

Julian Nagelsmann has no intention of swapping RB Leipzig for Borussia Dortmund despite being suggested as a permanent successor to Lucien Favre. 

Leipzig boss Nagelsmann is considered one of the most promising coaches in European football and led his team to the Champions League semi-finals last season. 

The 33-year-old, who has a contract at the Red Bull Arena until 2023, has been touted as a candidate to take over Dortmund next season, with Edin Terzic having replaced Favre on an interim basis in December. 

However, Nagelsmann insists there is no need for anyone associated with Leipzig to worry about what the future holds because he intends to stay put. 

"There is no reason to be tense regarding Dortmund," Nagelsmann said ahead of a Bundesliga meeting with BVB on Saturday. 

"The situation with Dortmund has remained the same as it was during my time as Hoffenheim coach. There was and there is no match. 

"I am comfortable and I have big targets to achieve with Leipzig. As I said, there is no reason for anyone at RB Leipzig to get nervous regarding Dortmund."

Leipzig sit second in the Bundesliga table, six points ahead of fourth-placed Dortmund and two adrift of leaders Bayern Munich. 

Asked about Nagelsmann during a pre-match news conference on Thursday, BVB sporting director Michael Zorc said: "Despite his age, Julian has had a remarkable managerial career. With Hoffenheim, he was able to work sensationally well, now he's having a just as sensational season with Leipzig. 

"I believe, it is undisputed that he's a complete football expert. He always implements innovation into his coaching technique. He is always able to get his team to work well. 

"We need to try to fight against that on Saturday. We already came up against each other a few times and it's not like we had no success at all in these match-ups. 

"I see ourselves, also due to the position in the table, in the role of the hunter. We want to minimise the gap between us and to the top of the table."

Lionel Messi's future has been the subject of much speculation but a reunion with Pep Guardiola is still very much in Manchester City's plans.

Messi has been disgruntled with his situation at Barcelona since the end of last season, despite head coach Ronald Koeman's insistence that his superstar captain is happy.

Four-time Champions League winner Messi unsuccessfully tried to force an exit in August, however there will be no legal clauses to stop him when his contract expires in June 2021.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI WANTED ON FIVE-YEAR DEAL

The City Football Group (CFG) is eyeing a 2021 swoop that will see Lionel Messi split time between their Premier League powerhouse Manchester City and MLS franchise New York City, according to the Telegraph.

A five-year contract could be offered to superstar Barcelona captain Messi, which includes three years in England, taking the six-time Ballon d'Or winner to the age of 37, followed by an additional two more in the United States.

In an interview with Spanish TV channel La Sexta, Messi admitted his desire to one day play in the United States, a hint that City's proposal may be on his mind.

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