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.

Is a blockbuster swap deal on the horizon?

Paul Pogba is unhappy at Manchester United, and Juventus are believed to be keen on re-signing the Frenchman.

Juve's Paulo Dybala could be used as a makeweight to prise Pogba back to Turin, where he played between 2012 and 2016.

 

TOP STORY – DYBALA OUT, POGBA IN AT JUVE?

Juventus want to swap Paulo Dybala for wantaway Manchester United star Paul Pogba, according to Tuttomercatoweb journalist Tancredi Palmeri.

Pogba appears set to leave United after his agent stated the star midfielder's time at Old Trafford was "over" prior to Tuesday's Champions League defeat to RB Leipzig.

The World Cup-winning France international has been heavily linked with a return to Juve, while LaLiga champions Real Madrid are long-term admirers.

But Juve – looking to re-sign Pogba without paying a transfer fee in January – hope to tempt United with attacker Dybala, who has also been linked to Inter, Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool.

 

ROUND-UP

- Diario AS claims Madrid are set to choose between Pogba and Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga. Los Blancos head coach Zinedine Zidane prefers Pogba, while president Florentino Perez would rather Camavinga move to the Santiago Bernabeu due to the difference in salary demands. United and PSG are also believed to be eyeing Camavinga.

Juventus, Milan and Atletico Madrid are looking to sign Lazio's Joaquin Correa, reports Calciomercato. It will reportedly take between €50m-€55million to prise Correa away from the Italian capital.

- According to Calciomercato, Serie A duo Milan and Juve are battling Barcelona to sign Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger.

Paulo Dybala could be set to leave Juventus – and the playmaker is eyeing the Premier League's big six.

Dybala is out of contract with the Serie A champions in 2022 but has reportedly been close to signing a new deal.

However, the Premier League could be awaiting the Argentina international.

 

TOP STORY – DYBALA OFFERED TO PREMIER LEAGUE'S BIG SIX

Dybala's representatives have reached out to the big six in the Premier League ahead of a possible move from Juventus next year, according to 90min.

Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal may be looking at the playmaker.

Dybala has made 10 appearances in all competitions for Juve this season, scoring once.

 

ROUND-UP

- Struggling in the Premier League, Arsenal could be making moves in January. The Daily Express reports the Premier League club could make a bid for Salzburg midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai in January due to Real Madrid's apparent interest in the Hungary international.

- United are monitoring Atletico Madrid right-back Kieran Trippier, according to The Telegraph.

- Premier League giants could be set for another transfer battle. Liverpool, United and Chelsea are keeping an eye on Cagliari defender Sebastian Walukiewicz, who recently re-signed until 2024, claims Corriere dello Sport.

- Krzysztof Piatek may return to Serie A. TodoFichajes reports Fiorentina want the Hertha Berlin striker, who has scored seven goals in 25 Bundesliga games for the club since joining from Milan in January.

- Travian Sousa is seemingly attracting interest. 90min reports United and Liverpool are interested in the American left-back, who left Hamburg in October.

Diego Simeone is hopeful Thomas Lemar can grow in confidence after ending his goalscoring drought in Atletico Madrid's 2-0 win over Real Valladolid.

The France international scored for the first time in 45 club matches in a run stretching back to April 2019 with his finish from a tight angle in Saturday's LaLiga clash.

Lemar's rare strike gave Atleti a platform to build on as they wrapped up a seventh straight league win through Marcos Llorente's well-taken goal.

Simeone has regularly defended the form of Lemar in recent weeks and hopes the 25-year-old, a €60million signing from Monaco in 2018, can now rediscover his confidence.

"The goal makes me very happy," he told Movistar. "He has been working for a long time to show what a footballer he can be and what he possesses inside.

"Hopefully this goal will help generate some confidence so he can keep his place in the side and reach his goals for the club.

"There are many games to play so the better the group is in general the better we can compete."

As well as scoring Atleti's important breakthrough goal 11 minutes into the second half, Lemar also created more chances (three) than any home player.

Lemar insisted he has never questioned his own ability and is grateful to have received Simeone's backing.

"I am very happy to have scored. It was important for me because it's been a while since my last one," he said. "Most of all I'm happy for the team because we played well.

"I have no doubts about myself – I know my quality. Criticism is a part of football so you have to have a strong head.

"Simeone knows my quality and he always wants to bring out the best in me. Today was good for me and for the team, but now we have to keep on working hard."

Atletico managed just one attempt on target in a first half that Valladolid, previously unbeaten in three games, edged at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Llorente's introduction at half-time, plus the arrivals of Koke and Joao Felix before the hour, made a huge difference as Atletico moved top of LaLiga with a sixth home league win in a row in this fixture.

Luis Suarez returned to Atletico's starting line-up after missing their last four matches with coronavirus but struggled to make much of an impact in his 63 minutes on the pitch.

The 33-year-old wasted a big chance early on when failing to round Jordi Masip and found the target from just one of his five shots, but Simeone expects the striker to soon regain his rhythm.

"Suarez has been out for two long weeks, since playing against Ecuador, so it has been a while since he was last on the field," Simeone said.

"He played longer than I expected. I'm sure those minutes will help him for what is to come because we need a lot from Luis."

Atletico, still yet to trail in a single LaLiga game this season, head to Real Madrid next weekend following Wednesday's trip to Salzburg in the Champions League.

A rare Thomas Lemar goal helped Atletico Madrid to a hard-fought 2-0 win over Real Valladolid at the Wanda Metropolitano as Diego Simeone's side climbed to the top of LaLiga.

Simeone named Joao Felix, Koke and Marcos Llorente among the substitutes with key games against Salzburg and Real Madrid to come over the next week, and Atleti struggled to get going as a result.

Llorente was introduced at half-time and Joao Felix and Koke followed before the hour, though Lemar had made the all-important breakthrough a few moments earlier with his first club goal since April 2019.

Atleti were in control from that point and added a second through substitute Llorente's route-one strike as the leaders made it seven league wins in a row to move above Real Sociedad.

Jordi Masip spilled Angel Correa's long-range shot but Luis Suarez could not take advantage four minutes into his return, miscontrolling the ball as he attempted to round the keeper.

The visitors entered the game unbeaten in three and looked the more threatening in the first half, with Jan Oblak keeping out efforts from Oscar Plano and Marcos de Sousa.

Simeone's men were given another scare four minutes into the second period when De Sousa's volleyed shot at the back post was blocked by Kieran Trippier in front of goal.

But Atletico grew into the game and, a few moments after Correa fired wide on the turn, Lemar converted Trippier's cross from a tight angle after Suarez failed to reach it at full stretch.

That ended a run of 45 games in all competitions without a goal for the France international and Atleti had a second 16 minutes later - Trippier flicking on Oblak's pass for Llorente to race through and tuck past Masip.

 

Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone insists his focus is on beating Real Valladolid this weekend and not on the prospect of overtaking Real Sociedad at the summit of LaLiga. 

Atleti are the only side in the Spanish top flight to have not suffered defeat yet this season, a start which has them one place and a point behind leaders Real Sociedad, who have played two games more. 

Atleti have also conceded just two goals in their nine league games, the joint-lowest total at this stage of the season in LaLiga's history.

Given Atleti's superb recent record over Saturday's visitors to the Wanda Metropolitano – they have won nine of their last 10 games against Pucela – many expect Los Colchoneros to leapfrog La Real into top spot before Imanol Alguacil's men visit Deportivo Alaves on Sunday. 

Simeone is refusing to get carried away, though, and does not think his side will have it all their own way against Valladolid, who have picked up seven points from their previous three LaLiga games after earning just three points in their first eight outings.

"We understand that Real Sociedad are having a very good season," he told a media conference. 

"But now we are concerned about Valladolid. The coach has improved the team and found players who can do what he wants well and know how to play his game.

"The team has been representing him very well in the last three games."

Simeone will be able to call upon the services of Luis Suarez again after the Uruguayan returned a negative coronavirus test.

The former Barcelona forward missed Atletico's last four matches after he contracted COVID-19 while away on international duty last month.

Suarez had been in fine form for Atletico, with five goals in his first six LaLiga appearances.

The striker's 1.2 goals per 90 minutes is the highest of any player in the division to have played at least three matches, with Valencia's Manu Vallejo (1.02) next best.

Simeone will make a late call on the 33-year-old's fitness, but he is excited at the prospect of him linking up again with Atleti's array of attacking midfielders. 

"The characteristics of Luis are known to everyone," he said. "We have to maintain the form that we showed in recent games, which is to keep pressure on the goal. 

"We have players who are good at arriving from midfield and we will add Luis' characteristics to our team's play."

It remains to be seen if Yannick Carrasco will join Suarez in the squad after the Belgian suffered a knee injury in the midweek Champions League draw with Bayern Munich. 

The club released a statement on Friday saying he could not train and that his condition would continue to be monitored.

Neymar has sparked speculation over Lionel Messi's future.

Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar enjoyed a successful period alongside Messi at Barcelona before leaving in a world-record deal in 2017.

Now, Neymar wants to team up with Messi again.

 

TOP STORY – MBAPPE OUT, MESSI IN?

Paris Saint-Germain will have to sell Kylian Mbappe if they sign Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi, according to Diario AS.

Messi has been linked with a move to Ligue 1 champions PSG after former Barca forward Neymar expressed his desire to reunite with the six-time Ballon d'Or winner.

If Manchester City target Messi arrives in the French capital, it could send Mbappe closer to LaLiga champions Real Madrid.

 

ROUND-UP

- Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has not ruled leaving the Spanish giants, reports El Transistor. Ramos is out of contract at the end of the season and he has been linked with PSG, Juventus, Milan and Manchester United.

Mauricio Pochettino has been contacted by Madrid to replace under-fire head coach Zinedine Zidane, claims Sport. Pochettino, who has been out of work since he was sacked as Tottenham boss last year, has also been linked to United.

- Diario AS says Atletico Madrid are lining up a January bid for Napoli's Arkadiusz Milik. The Poland international has been frozen out since making it clear he will not re-sign with the Serie A side. Tottenham, Everton and Roma have also emerged as possible destinations.

Romelu Lukaku is on Pep Guardiola's shortlist of forwards at City but Inter insist the Belgian star is non-transferable, according to Calciomercato.

- The Telegraph reports Chelsea's plan to sign West Ham midfielder Declan Rice rests on the success of off-season recruit Ben Chilwell.

Luis Suarez will resume training with his Atletico Madrid team-mates on Friday after the club announced he has returned a negative coronavirus test.

The Uruguay international has missed Atletico's last four matches after he contracted COVID-19 while away on international duty last month.

In his absence Atletico have won two LaLiga matches 1-0 – including against his former club Barcelona – and drawn Champions League games 0-0 and 1-1 against Lokomotiv Moscow and Bayern Munich respectively.

Suarez's match fitness will be assessed by head coach Diego Simeone to determine whether the 33-year-old can feature in Atletico's league fixture at home to Real Valladolid on Saturday.

"Luis Suarez will join the group training sessions of the first team tomorrow after having tested negative in the official LaLiga PCR test," read a statement from Atletico on Thursday.

"The Uruguayan, after overcoming COVID-19 and complying with all health protocols, is reintegrated into the group and will be under Diego Simeone's control again."

Suarez had been in fine form for Atletico this season with five goals in his first six LaLiga appearances since he joined from Barca for a nominal fee in September.

The striker's 1.2 goals per 90 minutes is the highest of any player in the division to have played at least three matches, with Valencia's Manu Vallejo (1.02) next best.

Paulo Dybala to Paris Saint-Germain?

Dybala, previously linked to Manchester United, Tottenham and PSG, is reportedly facing an uncertain future in Turin.

Juventus could be prepared to exchange players with PSG.

 

TOP STORY – DYBALA OUT, ICARDI IN?

Juventus are considering a swap deal that would send Paulo Dybala to Paris Saint-Germain in exchange for Mauro Icardi, according to Calciomercato.

Dybala has struggled for form in 2020-21, while contract negotiations with Serie A champions Juve have so far proved fruitless.

Icardi was linked to Juve prior to joining Ligue 1 holders PSG permanently from Inter and the Argentina forward could swap clubs with Dybala.

 

ROUND-UP

- TodoFichajes says Arsenal are set to make an offer for RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate. Leipzig centre-back and team-mate Dayot Upamecano has dominated headlines amid links to the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, but Konate is also attracting interest.

Juve are eyeing a move for Atletico Madrid centre-back Stefan Savic, reports Calciomercato. Savic has also been linked to Inter.

- A Bola claims Premier League champions Liverpool are interested in signing Sporting CP left-back Nuno Mendes.

Raul Jimenez to Inter? Calciomercato says Inter could replace Lautaro Martinez with the Wolves star. Martinez has been linked to Barca and Manchester City.

Diego Simeone lauded Thomas Lemar for an improved performance in Atletico Madrid's win at Valencia, despite the winger again failing to contribute to a goal. 

Lemar, signed from Monaco in 2018, has not scored or provided an assist in LaLiga since his debut campaign, which yielded three goals and three assists. 

After drawing a blank in the previous season, 2020-21 is proving similarly tricky for the France international. 

However, there were signs of life in the 1-0 success on Saturday. Lemar had mustered just a single shot in the league so far this season but let fly on four occasions, drawing two superb saves from Jaume Domenech, and created three chances - more than doubling his tally for the campaign. 

Lemar was still substituted 25 minutes from time, before Toni Lato's own goal turned the game decisively in Atleti's favour, but Simeone was encouraged by what he saw. 

"He played very well, believe me," Simeone said. "We do not have players who have his drive and shooting ability. 

"The talk fades when we don't see him so often, but hopefully we can give him the confidence he needs because he can do us a lot of good." 

Lemar was replaced by ex-Valencia midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia, by which point Simeone had already called on fellow substitutes Joao Felix and Yannick Carrasco, each rested before a midweek Champions League match with Bayern Munich. 

"They have known me for a long time; the game is 90 minutes and I have five changes," the coach said, explaining his selection. "The squad gives me the possibility to give everyone the best minutes. 

"I am very happy with Lemar, who has not been like today for a long time."

Domenech has now made 40 saves this season, the most in LaLiga, with five of those coming against Atleti, who dominated 67 per cent of possession. 

"The standout player for our rivals was the goalkeeper and that says a lot," Simeone said. "There were shots from [Marcos] Llorente, Lemar and [Angel] Correa. He made two or three impressive saves. 

"The team needs to keep trying to create chances and, once we get them, being more forceful. 

"We felt very good, we were able to play for a long time in the opponent's territory and we were close to the goal until it came and the space changed a bit. 

"Winning in Valencia is not easy; they came from playing a good game against Madrid and recovered from 2-0 down against Alaves. They were well organised." 

Atleti - who have moved level on points with table-topping Real Sociedad – will be boosted further when Luis Suarez returns after his coronavirus diagnosis. 

"The doctor will let us know [when Suarez can return]," Simeone added. "He is fine, I have spoken a lot of times to see how he felt and he is very excited to return. 

"His presence in the dressing room gives us something and I hope he returns in the best way. The team needs it." 

Toni Lato's unfortunate own goal 11 minutes from time gave Atletico Madrid a hard-fought 1-0 win at Valencia on Saturday. 

Atleti dominated throughout yet struggled to create opportunities in the second half after Jaume Domenech had stood tall in the Valencia goal prior to the break. 

After following up last week's victory over Barcelona - the first in LaLiga during Diego Simeone's tenure - with a goalless Champions League draw against Lokomotiv Moscow, the visitors looked set to suffer further frustration. 

However, substitute Yannick Carrasco's low cross bounced off Lato's knee and into the net to finally beat Domenech and take Atleti level on points with Real Sociedad at the summit.

The highlights of the first half were superb stretching saves at either end, Valencia captain Domenech punching the air in delight after getting down to his right to expertly repel Thomas Lemar's deflected 13th-minute drive. 
 
Jan Oblak had to be alert to touch Uros Racic's awkward half-volley - seemingly a mishit cross - onto the post, before Domenech was again tested by Lemar, parrying a precise effort away from the same corner as his earlier attempt. 
 
Atleti dominated after the restart, hogging more than 70 per cent of the possession until late in proceedings while facing only a single shot, though they scarcely threatened and needed a lucky bounce to snatch the points. 
 
Carrasco advanced down Atleti's left and sent in a low ball that evaded Domenech, as well as two tussling players from either side, catching Lato unaware as the ball skipped up off his leg and in. 

When he joined Atletico Madrid in the close season of 2014, Jan Oblak became the most expensive goalkeeper in Spanish top-flight history at €16million.

Signed on a six-year deal, the fact that he struggled to dislodge Atletico number one Miguel Angel Moya for the first seven months of his time at the club did not seem too concerning for Oblak, as he was still only 21 and had only managed 60 top-flight appearances in four seasons in Portugal across various loan deals and with his parent club Benfica.

He finally made his LaLiga debut on March 21, 2015, at home to Getafe and has missed just 10 league matches since then for Atleti. On Saturday, he is due to make his 200th appearance in Spain's top flight when Atleti visit Valencia.

Since his debut, Oblak has consistently posted goalkeeping numbers that are world class. Across the top five European Leagues since his debut date in March 2015, the shot-stopper has recorded 36 more clean sheets than any other goalkeeper (111), ahead of fellow Slovenian Samir Handanovic. Looking at the 100 goalkeepers to have played at least 7000 minutes across the top five European leagues in this period, he is the only one that has kept a clean sheet in more than 50 per cent of his appearances (56 per cent) and also has the best minutes per goal conceded ratio of all 100 keepers (145 minutes per goal conceded).

It could be argued that being the goalkeeper of Atletico Madrid; who are notoriously defence-minded under the stewardship of Diego Simeone, Oblak's numbers could be skewed by a highly protective defensive unit in front of him, but the numbers suggest otherwise.

Looking at the Expected Goals on Target metric (xGoT), we are able to analyse the quality of the shots that goalkeepers face on target, based on a wealth of historical shot data.

This is an extension of the standard Expected Goals model, as it factors in shot placement in addition to the usual variables such as assist type, shot angle, distance from goal and whether the shot was headed. By using xGoT we can isolate the goalkeepers' performances independently of the quality of the defence in front of them.

Oblak has faced an xGoT total of 167.8 over his 199 LaLiga games, which equates to an average of 0.85 per 90. In layman's terms this means that the 'average' goalkeeper would be expected to concede 168 goals from the shots in these 199 appearances.

As previously stated, we know that he is a well-protected goalkeeper based on watching Atletico play and the numbers back this up. Of the 100 goalkeepers to have played 7000 minutes of top five European league action since the Slovenian's debut, only four have faced a lower xGoT per 90 on average.However, when comparing these averages to number of goals he really concedes, we can see how phenomenal Oblak is.

Goals Prevented is a metric that can be generated from taking an xGoT total away from the number of goals a goalkeeper really concedes (excluding own goals, as they have no xG value).

When comparing the nine of our 100-goalkeeper list to have faced an average xGoT per 90 of less than one, and displaying their average goals prevented per 90 alongside it, only one keeper stands out.With an average of 0.26 goals prevented per 90 minutes since his debut, Oblak is the best of the 100 goalkeepers to have played 7000 minutes in this timeframe and stands out amongst his peers. His number suggests that on average, he is saving a goal every four games with his saves for Atletico.

If you look at the overall Goals Prevented numbers compared to the 100 goalkeepers under consideration since March 2015, Oblak stands out even further.In 199 league appearances for the Madrid side, Oblak has prevented 52 goals with his saves. This is 18 more than the next best goalkeeper, Hugo Lloris (34).

Excluding own goals, Oblak has conceded 123 goals in his 199 LaLiga games, when based on the quality of shots on target that he has faced, you would expect the 'average' goalkeeper to have conceded 168.

The metric 'Goals Prevented Rate' can account for different goalkeepers facing a different number of shots through a period of time. An example of this is that Thibaut Courtois and Ederson have the same Goals Prevented Rate of 1.05 in this timespan, despite the former facing more and higher quality shots. Normalising for the volume of shots allows us to see that both goalkeepers were expected to concede 1.05 goals for every goal that they actually conceded.Oblak's Goals Prevented Rate during his LaLiga career is 1.45. This is way above any other goalkeeper since March 2015. For every goal that Oblak has conceded for Atletico, he would have been expected to concede 1.45.

From looking at the numbers that Oblak has posted in his La Liga career so far, it is clear to see that he is a genuinely world-class goalkeeper and at 27, he still has many years left at the top level.

Atletico Madrid midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia is in contention to face his former club Valencia as his physical condition improves, according to head coach Diego Simeone.

Kondogbia is yet to start a match for Atletico since signing for them on November 3, but is in Simeone's thoughts ahead of Saturday's away LaLiga game with Valencia, who have won just one of their last six.

Atletico come into the game on the back of five straight league wins – four of which have come with a clean sheet - meaning they are only three points behind leaders Real Sociedad with two games in hand.

And Kodogbia is ready to play a greater role in their title challenge by building on his two substitute appearances to date.

"Kondogbia has many possibilities to play on Saturday," Simeone, who has lost just two of his 21 managerial games against Valencia, said about the 27-year-old.

"He has been growing a lot in training and we need him to have a high intensity.

"He is a very strong player, very big and needs to have a very good physical condition [before playing at his best].

"Before coming with us he had a period of inactivity and little by little the player we were looking for is being found." 

Simeone was asked about whether Serbian striker Ivan Saponjic, who is yet to feature this season, could play at number nine depending on the status of strikers Luis Suarez and Diego Costa.

"Suarez is in the process of recovery, he will surely have little work left to do for him to be with us," added Simeone, with the former Barcelona forward nearing a return after contracting coronavirus.

"The doctor will explain Diego's situation. Costa is very important to us both in the dressing room and on the pitch, we need him "

The omens are good for Atletico, as Valencia have failed to win any of their last 11 LaLiga games against them (losing six), since a 3-1 win in October 2014. It is the hosts' longest active winless run against a top-flight opponent.

Simeone's men are also unbeaten in their last 11 league away games, their longest run without a defeat in the competition since 2017.

Is Donny van de Beek already heading for an Old Trafford exit?

Van de Beek made the move from Ajax to Manchester United at the start of the season.

But he is reportedly wanted by Juventus in Italy.

 

TOP STORY – VAN DE BEEK WANTED IN TURIN

Juventus are plotting a move for Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek, according to Calciomercato.

Van de Beek only swapped Eredivisie powerhouse Ajax for United at the start of the season, but he has struggled to cement a spot in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's XI.

Serie A champions are reportedly trying to reunite Van de Beek with former Ajax team-mate Matthijs de Ligt in Turin.

 

ROUND-UP

- Corriere dello Sport report Liverpool have submitted a bid for Ajax centre-back Perr Schuurs. Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are injured at Anfield.

Chelsea are eyeing a move for Atletico Madrid defender Jose Gimenez ahead of a 2021 transfer, says the Here We Go Podcast.

- TodoFichajes claims Marseille star Florian Thauvin has agreed to join Milan on a free transfer.

United have joined Premier League champions Liverpool in the race for Villarreal winger Samuel Chukwueze, according to La Razon. The 21-year-old has also impressed Chelsea.

- Milan midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu wants to join United, reports Bild journalist Christian Falk. The Turkey international is out of contract at the end of the season. Juve, Atletico and Inter have all been linked.

- Football Insider says Arsenal are interested in signing Salzburg sensation Dominik Szoboszlai on loan in January and loaning him back to the Austrian champions.

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone could not hide the enthusiasm brought on by Saturday's 1-0 win over Barcelona, though he dismissed the idea that he can see similarities with his 2013-14 title-winning team.

Los Colchoneros produced a solid display at the Wanda Metropolitano to defeat Ronald Koeman's misfiring Barca and go up to second in LaLiga, only behind Real Sociedad – who have played a game more – by virtue of scoring two goals fewer.

That victory extended Atletico's unbeaten run to 24 games in LaLiga and opened up a nine-point gap between themselves and Barca.

With defending champions Real Madrid also failing to inspire much confidence, having rarely impressed this season and been held by Villarreal earlier on Saturday, Atletico look like many people's favourite for the title.

Atletico have not won it since 2013-14, their first for 18 years at the time, but Simeone is keeping his feet on the ground.

When asked if he saw similarities with his previous title-winning team, Simeone told reporters: "No, I don't see them."

But Atletico's improvement from 2019-20 is not lost on the Argentinian, who added: "The most important things we value about the growth of footballers from last season to this one is being seen.

"We are working better on the pitch, we are being more complicit to share what the team needs and we see it.

"We need everyone. Felipe, who played much more continuously last season; Renan Lodi, who will surely be important; [Geoffrey] Kondogbia enters little by little; Saul [Niguez] is finding his best form; [Angel] Correa is showing extraordinary growth, not to mention Joao Felix or [Diego] Costa's enthusiasm when he came on.

"The group generates enthusiasm for me, because I see them wanting to look for important things, game by game."

The win saw Atletico end a run of 20 consecutive LaLiga matches without a victory over Barcelona, while Simeone had not beaten them in 17 previous league meetings.

But, despite the momentousness of such a victory, Simeone remained reserved and dismissed its importance.

"Football is game by game," he said. "Sometimes we have to win and sometimes we have to lose, in the previous games [against Barca] we had always been close to winning, aside from in the Supercopa in Saudi Arabia.

"Today we won, that does not change the plan of what is sought. I'm very happy with the team's effort."

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