Inter have a fight on their hands to retain the services of star forward Lautaro Martinez.

Martinez has been heavily linked to LaLiga champions Barcelona as they search for Luis Suarez's long-term replacement.

But Manchester City and United are both reportedly interested in the Argentina international.

 

TOP STORY – CITY & UNITED TARGET MARTINEZ

Manchester City and Premier League neighbours United want to sign Inter star Martinez, according to The Mirror.

Martinez – who is only in his second season in Milan after joining from Racing Club in 2018 – has flourished this term with eight goals across all competitions for Antonio Conte's Inter.

LaLiga champions Barcelona have been linked, while the two Manchester clubs are also reportedly targeting the 22-year-old forward.

 

ROUND-UP

- Unhappy at Barcelona, Ivan Rakitic could remain in LaLiga. The Croatia international has attracted interest from the likes of Inter, United and Paris Saint-Germain in his pursuit of more game time. However, Movistar+ claims Atletico Madrid are willing to meet Barca's €40million valuation of Rakitic. Marca adds that Atletico do not plan to replace Diego Costa due to salary constraints.

- The Mirror says Arsenal scouted Leicester City defender Caglar Soyuncu during Turkey's Euro 2020 qualifier against Iceland on Thursday. Soyuncu moved to Leicester from Freiburg in 2018 and the 23-year-old has stepped up to fill the void left by Harry Maguire, who joined United in a world-record deal.

- Zlatan Ibrahimovic out and Edinson Cavani in for LA Galaxy? According to Gianluca Di Marzio, MLS side the Galaxy are targeting Paris Saint-Germain's Cavani following Ibrahimovic's exit. The Uruguay forward is out of contract at the end of the season and has been linked to David Beckham's Inter Miami franchise, who will open their inaugural season against the Galaxy next year.

Inter will need to fork out €30m if they want to sign Udinese's Rodrigo de Paul in January, reports Calciomercato. The Express also reports that Inter are ready to offer out-of-favour Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud an 18-month contract. Conte is determined to add depth up front, with Martinez and Romelu Lukaku leading the way in the absence of injured loanee Alexis Sanchez.

- Corriere dello Sport claims Roma have joined the chase for Everton forward Moise Kean. The 19-year-old has struggled since moving to the Premier League from Juventus, and the likes of Sampdoria and AC Milan are lining up to bring the teenager back to Serie A on loan.

Olivier Giroud and Antoine Griezmann have cited a half-time team talk from Didier Deschamps as the key to France's 2-1 win over Moldova.

Thanks to Turkey's goalless draw with Iceland in Group H's early kick-off, France already had their place at Euro 2020 secured heading into Thursday's encounter at Stade de France.

However, Clement Lenglet's early error gifted Moldova the lead, with Raphael Varane pouncing on a mistake from Alexei Koselev to pull France level.

An improved second-half display followed from Les Bleus, though it was not until Lucas Digne drew a foul from Veaceslav Posmac that the home side got their winner – Giroud slamming in from the spot.

Giroud has now scored in his past three France appearances and acknowledged the 2018 World Cup winners needed some tough love from their coach at the interval.

"I could have, we could have scored well before the penalty," Giroud told French television channel M6.

"We did not start as we should have done. We had a lack of aggression in everything we did, in the duels, in the decision-making and in the desire to do things right.

"In the second half there was much more intensity and accuracy with much better intentions so we created many opportunities.

"You have to know how to have solutions, that's what the coach stressed at half-time and he wanted more movement from our forwards.

"We tried hard to listen to him and offer more solutions in this area of our game and we created many opportunities."

Barcelona forward Griezmann echoed Giroud's comments, while lamenting his side's first-half performance.

"It's true that we did not have a good match, especially in the first half," Griezmann told reporters.

"The coach at half-time boosted us so we reacted a bit. Even if it showed that we were not well, especially in front of goal, we went on to get this victory."

France marked their qualification for Euro 2020 with a 2-1 victory as Olivier Giroud's penalty ended Moldova’s resistance at Stade de France.

Turkey's draw with Iceland earlier on Thursday had lifted any pressure off France, guaranteeing their place at next year's tournament, and Didier Deschamps' side put in a rather underwhelming display in Paris.

With no requirement to win, France made a sloppy start - calamitous Clement Lenglet defending handing Vadim Rata a chance to put Moldova ahead.

Alexei Koselev's error gifted Raphael Varane an equaliser, though, and France moved top of Group H when Giroud sent Moldova's goalkeeper the wrong way after Lucas Digne had been scythed down.

Against the run of play, Moldova hit the front in the ninth minute as Lenglet twice failed to clear with attempted headers - Rata nipping in to steer the visitors into an unlikely lead.

Benjamin Pavard went close to an immediate equaliser with a dipping half-volley, while Giroud should have done better from Digne's cross.

Giroud did play a part in France's leveller 10 minutes before the break, standing his ground as Koselev - who wanted a free-kick - let the ball slip from his grasp, allowing Varane on hand to head home.

Kylian Mbappe seemed set to make it 2-1 early in the second half, only for his goal-bound strike to be blocked by a Moldova defender, before Giroud volleyed over from close range.

For all their domination, France's efforts looked likely to prove fruitless, until Veaceslav Posmac's reckless lunge on Digne.

Giroud made no mistake, slamming in his third goal in as many appearances to complete the comeback with 11 minutes remaining.

 

What does it mean? France join the party

France's qualification was already ensured, meaning Les Bleus - beaten finalists at Euro 2016 - will now take part in their 13th successive major international competition, and Deschamps' focus will now be on securing top spot in Group H.

Giroud's run rolls on

He may not be getting much of a chance at Chelsea, but Giroud is one of the first names on Deschamps' team sheet and, while he missed some presentable chances, still kept up his fine run of form on the international stage.

Lenglet left red-faced - but Koselev lets him off the hook

Barcelona centre-back Lenglet should have coped comfortably with a high ball by heading it back to Steve Mandanda, but Koselev helped France recover, the keeper fazed by Giroud’s presence to gift Varane an equaliser.

What's next?

Les Bleus round off their qualification campaign against Albania on Sunday, while Moldova host Iceland.

Anthony Martial is still very much part of France's plans going forward despite missing out on selection this time around, says head coach Didier Deschamps.

Manchester United forward Martial has been in fine form for the Red Devils since returning from the thigh injury that ruled him out for two months three weeks ago.

The 23-year-old has scored three goals in his past six outings and has linked well with Marcus Rashford and Daniel James at Old Trafford.

However, Martial – whose last international appearance came in a friendly against Russia in March 2018 – has again been omitted for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers with Moldova and Albania.

Deschamps, though, says he is likely to be included in the future.

"He was part of the French team on a regular basis, but recently he was often injured," he said. 

"He came back not so long ago and it's going well in his role as a central striker with Manchester United.

"But for a long time he's been part of the players likely to be called." 

Olivier Giroud is included despite the experienced striker's limited game time for Chelsea this season.

The 33-year-old has made just six appearances and played just 120 minutes of Premier League football.

Giroud continues to be selected regularly by Deschamps, the former Arsenal forward having earned his trust.

"Maybe that means something but it's mostly what happened on the pitch that means something," he added. 

"If he is the one I used the most, do not forget either the ratio of matches and goals. 

"There are not many in front of him in terms of goals in the history of the France team. He did the right thing, he answered the trust."

Deschamps also expects Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe to be fit to feature even though he missed the 2-1 Ligue 1 win at Brest on Saturday with a muscular issue.

"He [Mbappe] has not arrived yet, [but] will be there," Deschamps said. "There was a communication between the two doctors on the fact it was a precaution.

"There was no particular concern compared to our deadline of Thursday."

Arsenal's 2-0 loss to Leicester City could spell the end of Unai Emery's tenure.

The Gunners failed to win for the fourth Premier League match in succession on Saturday, testing the patience of club officials.

According to reports, contact has been made with Luis Enrique to assess his interest in the job.

 

TOP STORY – ARSENAL MAKE LUIS ENRIQUE ENQUIRY

It could be a case of one Spaniard out, another Spaniard in at Emirates Stadium.

El Confidencial's Kike Marin claims Arsenal head of football Raul Sanllehi has sounded out Luis Enrique about replacing Unai Emery as head coach.

The ex-Barcelona and Roma boss has been out of football since stepping down as Spain's head coach due to personal reasons in June, two months before the tragic death of his young daughter, Xana.

 

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United have joined the race for in-demand Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana, according to the Mirror. The Red Devils are also rumoured to be chasing Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen and Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha, their former player.

- As rumours linking Eriksen to Old Trafford re-emerge, Tottenham are preparing to move for a former United man. The Mirror say Spurs are plotting a £50million bid for Memphis Depay, who has flourished since leaving the Premier League for Ligue 1's Lyon.

- The same British tabloid believes Chelsea could splash £70million on towering Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic if their transfer ban is lifted in January.

- Olivier Giroud could be leaving Chelsea for a fee of around £5million. The Daily Express say Antonio Conte's Inter and Major League Soccer side Vancouver Whitecaps are prepared to offer the France international an escape route.

- Giroud could depart Stamford Bridge for Italy and Mario Pasalic might remain there. The Chelsea-owned midfielder is on loan at Serie A outfit Atalanta, who are considering forking out the €15million required to keep him, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Antoine Griezmann will go on to enjoy a successful Barcelona career, Didier Deschamps believes, adding he has no concerns over the forward's form.

Griezmann left Atletico Madrid for Barca in a €120million deal in the close season, but he has failed to find his best form so far at Camp Nou.

Having played predominantly out wide rather than in the central role he occupies for France and used to fulfil for Atleti, the 28-year-old has four LaLiga goals in 10 appearances this term.

However, Deschamps has no concerns over Griezmann, claiming he simply needs more time to adapt to life at his new club.

"Not at all. Even if you have great players at Barcelona, it doesn't happen in a day. It depends on how they play, how they work with each other," Deschamps told a news conference after again selecting Griezmann for international duty.

"Also, he's put in different positions than the ones he has with France, even though he played [wide] a long time ago.

"He must fit in, the other players as well. He didn't choose the easiest solution and it's a big club, so the expectations are huge. He's always part of a team, but he's not used to it yet.

"Even when he's not as good, he's always positive for the team. With us, it's a different situation, different position, he can play at his best position where I've put him a long time ago. Of course, he has a very important role in how we play."

Another forward who has made the cut for France and has been a pivotal player under Deschamps is Olivier Giroud.

Giroud has made just four Premier League appearances for Chelsea so far this season, with Frank Lampard preferring Tammy Abraham and Michy Batshuayi to the 33-year-old, who has been restricted to 211 minutes of club action across all competitions.

However, the former Arsenal striker remains a key player for France, scoring against Iceland and Turkey in October.

"I picked him last month because of what he did in the past. He's an important player for us. He proves it on the pitch," said Deschamps, who again stressed the importance of Giroud getting more game time. 

"When he scores, it's good for him. It happens quite frequently and, even when he doesn't score, he's an important player for us.

"Sadly, the situation hasn't evolved for him, but he is there because I trust him, because of what he has done in the past and in October. Of course, and he knows it, I hope the situation will change with his club for our games in March.

"He needs to play, even though he is very fit, he needs to be more on the pitch."

Kylian Mbappe continues to be linked with a move away from Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool are seemingly well in the race.

Mbappe, 20, has starred for PSG since arriving in 2017, but is reportedly a target for LaLiga giants Real Madrid.

However, Champions League winners Liverpool could also make a move for the France international forward.

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL INTERESTED IN MBAPPE

Liverpool are set to battle Real Madrid for Mbappe, according to El Desmarque.

The report says the Premier League leaders have the funds to sign Mbappe after a quiet transfer window ahead of the 2019-20 season.

Mbappe remains the main target for Madrid despite being contracted at PSG until 2022.

 

ROUND-UP

- Bayern Munich are looking for a coach to replace Niko Kovac and Arsene Wenger may, or may not, be a target. Bild reports the Bundesliga giants have spoken to the former Arsenal manager, while The Athletic says Bayern do not want Wenger.

- There could also be a coaching change coming at Barcelona. LaLiga's champions look set to part ways with Ernesto Valverde at the end of the season, with Marca reporting Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman is the top target to take over at Camp Nou.

- Back at Anfield and Liverpool could be lining up a move for Genk midfielder Sander Berge. Norwegian newspaper VG claims Jurgen Klopp told Berge he was a "very interesting player" after Liverpool's 2-1 Champions League win over Genk on Tuesday.

- Napoli are well off the pace in Serie A and it could see Carlo Ancelotti make a January exit. FOX Sports reports Boca Juniors are interested in the Italian tactician.

- Chelsea look set to make changes to their squad in January. The Premier League side are open to listening to offers for Olivier Giroud and Pedro in early 2020, according to The Telegraph.

- Amid a lack of playing time, Nemanja Matic is considering a Manchester United exit in January, according to the Manchester Evening News. Matic has made just two Premier League starts for United this season.

Frank Lampard has addressed the striking dilemma that he faces at Chelsea after Olivier Giroud was linked with a move away from the club during the week.

The former Arsenal forward is without a goal since August and has slipped behind an in-form Tammy Abraham and Michy Batshuayi in the pecking order.

France manager Didier Deschamps has previously called on Lampard to give the 33-year-old more game time given his importance to the national team, and it's rumoured a return to Ligue 1 could be on the cards in January to maintain that position in France's attack.

All three strikers will likely be involved at Euro 2020 this summer, but Lampard said that does not come into his thinking and he is focused on what happens at club level.

"It's difficult for me and it's difficult for them. I have to care for all the players and pick a squad as I see it for the best of Chelsea as they do for their countries," he told reporters.

"I have three strikers to pick from and I have to make choices, but I can't complain about any of their attitudes.

"Things will look different and that's where you need professionalism. I have had it from all of them.

"I would always have a conversation with a player who says they don't want to play for the football club. We are not at that point yet, so it's not one to discuss right now.

Juventus are not resting on their laurels.

Despite their domestic dominance, Juve are craving European glory as they eye a first Champions League crown since 1995.

So much so that they have three Premier League stars on their mind.

 

TOP STORY – JUVE WATCH SALAH, SON & ERIKSEN

Juventus scouts watched Mohamed Salah, Son Heung-min and Christian Eriksen during Liverpool's Premier League clash with Tottenham, according to Tuttosport.

Seeking a ninth successive Scudetto, Serie A champions Juve are prepared to spend heavily in pursuit of Champions League glory.

With money no obstacle as they reap the benefits of Cristiano Ronaldo's presence, Liverpool star Salah and Tottenham duo Son and Eriksen are reportedly on Juve's list.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Sun claims Jose Mourinho wants to become the first manager to win major trophies with three English clubs as the former Manchester United boss is linked to Arsenal. Gunners head coach Unai Emery is under pressure at the Emirates Stadium amid growing fan frustration.

Manchester United are hopeful of completing a deal for Lyon striker Moussa Dembele in January, reports Soccerlink. With Dembele's future uncertain, Lyon are lining up Chelsea's Olivier Giroud.

- Staying at Old Trafford and United's name has again been thrown into the mix for Brescia sensation Sandro Tonali. The 19-year-old Italy international is fast becoming one of the most sought-after players in Europe, attracting interest from Juventus, Manchester City and Inter. Now, The Suns says United are weigning up a £40million move for Tonali after sending scouts to watch him once more.

- Calciomercato claims Napoli are considering a January move for Benfica full-back Alejandro Grimaldo. The 24-year-old Spaniard has been linked to Arsenal, Tottenham and Barcelona.

Newcastle United are close to agreeing a deal to sign Strasbourg's Ibrahima Sissoko. The 21-year-old French midfielder is poised to make the switch when the transfer window opens in January.

Christian Eriksen was rumoured to be close to leaving Tottenham at the beginning of the season.

Real Madrid were among the clubs interested in the Dane, whose contract expires in 2020, but a move did not materialise before the end of the transfer window.

But that has not deterred the Spanish giants, with Zinedine Zidane willing to move two fringe players away from them Santiago Bernabeu to get a deal done for the 27-year-old.

 

TOP STORY - LOS BLANCOS PAVING WAY FOR ERIKSEN

Real Madrid could reignite their interest in Christian Eriksen in the January transfer window, AS reports a move will only happen if Madrid dispense of two players.

Isco and Mariano Diaz are understood to be the most likely to be sacrificed.

Mariano is yet to make a single appearance this season but could command a fee of around €20million, while Isco's two LaLiga starts came in the draw against Real Valladolid in August and last weekend's loss to Mallorca.

 

ROUND-UP

- Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud is being eyed up by Crystal Palace for a January switch across London, according to the Daily Star.

- El Mundo reports Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have ended their dispute over the transfer of Antoine Griezmann with an extra €15m changing hands.

- The Daily Mail claim Arsenal are in pole position to sign RB Leipzig's France Under-21 defender Dayot Upamecano.

- Italy boss Roberto Mancini has not ruled out a return to the national team for veteran duo Gianluigi Buffon and Daniele De Rossi as he shapes his squad for Euro 2020.

- The Sun says Juventus and Atletico Madrid are chasing 19-year-old West Bromwich Albion defender Nathan Ferguson.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is prepared to discuss Olivier Giroud's future in January if the France international is still unhappy with his lack of game time.

The emergence of Tammy Abraham as Lampard's first-choice striker this season means Giroud has been restricted to a solitary start and two substitute appearances in the Premier League.

Speaking on international duty with France last week, Giroud said he would be prepared to leave the club if he is "forced" to make a decision.

Lampard understands the former Arsenal man's frustrations, accepting that he should not be content to sit behind Abraham in the pecking order.

"I had a good chat with Oli before he went away and I always respect all the players, but particularly the players of that age of low thirties," Lampard said.

"I love his professionalism. He was bang on when he spoke to me, and also with his quotes when away with France. He shouldn't be happy and accept not playing. That's what good players do. I think, as I said to Oli, he will get his games and be a big influence for us.

"At the moment, because of how Tammy is playing, there hasn't been the minutes, so I would happily sit down with Oli in January. But that is a long way away. I want him here."

Abraham, who has scored eight goals in nine Premier League games this season, says he thinks of Giroud as an "older brother".

"I look at Oli like an older brother," Abraham said. "I'm always learning from him on the training pitch and I've grown up watching him.

"He's always supporting me. When someone's doing well and scoring goals you have to support them and that's what he is doing for me.

“I look at different strikers. Oli is obviously not the fastest striker in the world, but what he has is unbelievable. His one-touch play, his hold-up play, his one-touch finishing. I just take those little things that I see in training."

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