With Barcelona and Real Madrid keen to strengthen their defences, one Inter star is attracting interest.

Milan Skriniar is reportedly wanted by LaLiga champions Barca and Spanish rivals Madrid.

Will Inter be able to retain the centre-back?

 

TOP STORY – SKRINIAR WANTED BY LALIGA GIANTS

Barcelona and Real Madrid have set their sights on Inter defender Skriniar, according to Corriere dello Sport.

Skriniar – contracted to Inter until June 2023 – has established himself as one of the world's best defenders since moving to Milan from Sampdoria in 2017.

The likes of Manchester City and Manchester United have also been linked to the 24-year-old Slovakia international.

 

ROUND-UP

Manchester United are desperate to strengthen their squad and ESPN claims the Premier League side have an eight-man shortlist, which includes Leicester City's James Maddison, Borussia Dortmund sensation Jadon Sancho, Salzburg's goalscoring machine Erling Haaland, West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, Bournemouth's Callum Wilson, Lyon forward Moussa Dembele, as well as Aston Villa pair Jack Grealish and John McGinn.

- Staying at Old Trafford and The Mirror says United are monitoring Sporting CP's Matheus Pereira, who is on loan at Championship outfit West Brom. It comes as The Sun reports the Red Devils could sign Gareth Bale and send Paul Pogba to Real Madrid.

- Bild says Borussia Monchengladbach have no plans to sell midfielder Denis Zakaria in January. Zakaria has reportedly attracted interest from United, Bayern Munich, Dortmund and others.

Manchester City are circling Inter midfielder Stefano Sensi, according to Calciomercato. Sensi moved to Inter on loan from Serie A side Sassuolo and the 24-year-old has starred at San Siro.

- Calciomercato claims Juventus are looking at Paris Saint-Germain's Thomas Meunier and Chelsea full-back Emerson Palmieri amid their injury crisis in Turin.

- Brescia sensation and Italy international Sandro Tonali is being chased by Serie A champions Juve and LaLiga side Atletico Madrid, reports Corriere di Torino.

Borussia Monchengladbach star Denis Zakaria will not be leaving the Bundesliga leaders in January, according to his agent.

Zakaria has been linked with Premier League giants Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal, as well as Serie A side Inter and German champions Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

But the 22-year-old defensive midfielder has no plans to leave Gladbach before the end of the season.

"Denis will not leave Borussia in the winter, a change is 100 per cent excluded," Mathieu Beda told Sport BILD.

"Denis is in very good shape in Gladbach and has been playing really well for weeks, but he still has more potential and he wants to show that in Gladbach now instead of dealing with a change."

Switzerland international Zakaria swapped Young Boys for Monchengladbach in 2017.

Zakaria has scored two goals in 11 matches as Gladbach top the Bundesliga table by four points during the international break.

Could Jose Mourinho find a new home at a third Premier League club?

According to one report, the ex-Chelsea and Manchester United manager is keeping a close eye on Tottenham and the uncertainty that lingers over Mauricio Pochettino's future.

The potential of a job opening in north London might even lead to him turning down a big-name former employer.

 

TOP STORY – MOURINHO SETS SIGHTS ON SPURS

Jose Mourinho has told friends he is "confident" of being offered a return to Real Madrid but may hold out for the Tottenham job, according to The Sun.

Zinedine Zidane is in his second stint in charge of Madrid, while Mauricio Pochettino has spent more than five years at the Spurs helm.

The report suggests it is the latter position that Mourinho covets more, meaning he "would not necessarily accept" another spell in the Spanish capital.

 

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United could launch a January move for Gareth Bale, reports The Sun. According to the newspaper, Real Madrid know of United's interest in Wales winger Bale and would be happy to let him leave the Santiago Bernabeu, providing they can do a deal that involves Paul Pogba moving in the other direction.

- Spanish outlet ElDesmarque reports news that could complicate any Bale-Pogba exchange, stating that although Madrid are indeed keen on France playmaker Pogba, so too are the player's former club Juventus, with Cristiano Ronaldo said to be supportive.

Paris Saint-Germain are rumoured to be United's strongest rivals for Jadon Sancho and the Ligue 1 side could make a surprise play for another England international. The Mirror claims PSG are interested in poaching Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana on a free transfer. His contract is due to expire in 2020.

- Premier League champions Manchester City will look to sign Kingsley Coman from Bayern Munich if Leroy Sane agrees on a move to the Bundesliga giants, according to Sky Sports. Coman, 23, joined Bayern from Juve in 2015, initially on loan.

- Mainz are seeking a new head coach and the Bundesliga club are reported to be targeting former Cologne boss Achim Beierlorzer. Kicker reports Mainz want a new face in charge by early next week, and Beierlorzer is said to be in the frame. The club sit in the relegation zone after eight defeats in 11 games this term. Beierlorzer would be making a rapid return to bench duty if he lands the job, having left Cologne on November 9.

Manchester United star Paul Pogba watched Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat in NBA action.

Pogba is nearing a United comeback, having been sidelined with an ankle problem since late September.

The Red Devils midfielder – who had an ankle cast removed earlier this month – made the most of the international break, travelling to the United States.

France international Pogba was in attendance as the Heat beat the New Orleans Pelicans 109-94 in Miami.

A friend of Heat star Butler, Pogba was gifted a Heat jersey during the clash at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Pogba – who continues to be linked with an Old Trafford exit amid interest from Real Madrid and former club Juventus – has made just five Premier League appearances this season.

Kalidou Koulibaly reaffirmed his affection for Napoli amid ongoing links to Premier League giants Manchester United.

United continue to be linked with a move for highly rated Napoli defender Koulibaly, despite the world-record signing of Harry Maguire at the start of the season.

The Red Devils are reportedly keen to bolster their backline, which has been problematic in recent seasons, even after the arrivals of Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly.

However, star centre-back and Senegal international Koulibaly said he is happy in Naples.

"This is where my children were born," Koulibaly wrote via Twitter. "This is where I grew up as a man and a player.

"This is where my family and I feel at home #Napoli."

Koulibaly has established himself as one of the world's best defenders since swapping Genk for Napoli in 2014.

The 28-year-old has made 10 Serie A appearances this season and 14 across all competitions for Carlo Ancelotti's Napoli.

Sadio Mane is enjoying the "easy" life with title hopefuls Liverpool because of the quality possessed by Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.

The Senegal star is Liverpool's leading Premier League scorer this season with seven goals and he has so far edged out his fellow Reds forwards in overall performance.

Statistics from Opta show Mane has played 21 key passes, compared to 14 from both Salah and Firmino, and his accuracy in finding team-mates across the whole pitch is also superior.

He has also won a greater number of tackles - Mane with 14, Firmino seven and Salah three - and made more interceptions (9-1-1).

But Mane says he is coping with the workload for the title front-runners thanks to considerable effort from Brazilian Firmino and Egyptian Salah.

"I always say it is very easy to work together," Mane told the official Liverpool FC magazine. "Personally, I just think myself very lucky to play alongside these great players.

"Every single player who plays alongside them would enjoy it because they are very good players and they make everything easy, so I just enjoy playing alongside them."

Mane believes the global language of football allows for fluency between Jurgen Klopp's prolific attackers.

"We are all from different countries and speak different first languages but I think football is one language and it is universal so everybody can speak it. It is the same with Mo, Bobby and myself," he added.

Liverpool face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park next Saturday in their next Premier League assignment, before taking on Napoli in the Champions League on the following Wednesday.

The club have announced the death of a player who captained Liverpool in the old Second Division in the 1958-59 season.

Johnny Wheeler died at the age of 91, Liverpool said. The midfielder made 177 appearances for the club and also played for Tranmere and Bolton, winning one England cap.

Liverpool have offered support to former defender Dominic Matteo and his family after he underwent an operation on a brain tumour.

The 45-year-old, who also played for Leeds United, Blackburn Rovers, Stoke City and Scotland during a 17-year playing career, had an operation on Monday and is being treated in hospital after being released from intensive care.

Matteo emerged from the Liverpool academy and made his first league appearance for the Reds in October 1993.

He made 155 appearances for the club before joining Leeds, where he formed part of the team that reached the 2001 Champions League semi-finals.

A statement on Liverpool's official website said: "We wish Dom a full and speedy recovery and will offer any support we can to his wife and family.

"Dom's family would like to place on record their gratitude to all staff at Leeds General Infirmary and express their thanks for all of the messages of support they have received."

Manchester United have hatched a plan that could help bring Erling Haaland to Old Trafford.

The Premier League side are reportedly contemplating a compromise that will curry favour with Salzburg, the young star's present employers.

Considered the favourites in that chase, United also appear set to jump the queue for another of Europe's most admired teenage talents.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED WILLING TO WAIT FOR HAALAND

Manchester United are prepared to consider loaning Erling Haaland straight back to Salzburg if a deal can be struck in January, such is their determination to land the sought-after striker.

According to ESPN, United could allow Haaland to stay in Austria until the end of the season in an attempt to defuse a potential bidding war.

Spanish newspaper AS suggest the Red Devils are "pushing the hardest" for the 19-year-old, who has been valued at €100million – a figure that might price even Real Madrid out of the market.

 

ROUND-UP

United are unlikely to stop at Haaland when the transfer window reopens. The club are weighing up whether to bring forward a planned end-of-season approach for Jadon Sancho in order to capitalise on uncertainty over the winger's Borussia Dortmund future, reports The Guardian.

Juventus are becoming concerned about the increasing level of interest from Spain and England in highly rated Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali, according to Calciomercato. The Serie A champions could be forced to make a move sooner rather than later as his suitors gain in number and his price tag rises above €40m.

- That sum, Calciomercato claims, is the minimum Juve will demand for out-of-favour defenders Daniele Rugani and Merih Demiral. Both players have been linked to Arsenal.

Boca Juniors are eyeing another showpiece signing. Argentina-based football journalist Martin Castilla told CNN Deportes the South American giants are keen on luring Luis Suarez away from Barcelona. San Lorenzo vice-president Marcelo Tinelli expressed interest in the 32-year-old earlier in the week.

- Returning to Serie A and it looks like Wojciech Szczesny will be staying in Turin. Sky Sport Italia reporter Gianluca Di Marzio says the Polish goalkeeper has agreed a contract extension with Juve through to 2024.

Virgil van Dijk is focused purely on ensuring Netherlands complete the job and qualify for Euro 2020, not on Liverpool's Premier League title bid.

The Reds defeated reigning champions Manchester City 3-1 at Anfield on Sunday to open up an eight-point gap at the top of the table, with Pep Guardiola's side nine back.

Powerful centre-back Van Dijk was asked by Sky Sports whether establishing such a commanding lead made it feel like this season could see Liverpool end a 30-year wait for top-flight glory.

But Van Dijk will not look beyond Saturday's contest with Northern Ireland in Belfast, where a point will be enough for Netherlands to book their place in the Euros.

"I'm not gonna say that [it feels like Liverpool's year]," he said. 

"It's something for the media. For players the main thing is we focus on the game ahead of us. 

"For me personally it's Northern Ireland, it's a tough task. What happens with Liverpool in the future we'll see, we have no influence on it, the season is so long. My focus is on the next game, at the moment that's [with our] national teams."

Van Dijk could be joined in the Premier League by international team-mate Memphis Depay, with the Lyon forward linked with a move to Tottenham or a return to Manchester United.

Depay endured an unhappy 18-month stay at Old Trafford before moving to Ligue 1 in January 2017, but Van Dijk feels he would be an asset to any team.  

"He's a fantastic player, a very important player for our team here at the moment, wherever he goes in the near future it will be a good thing for him," he added.

"But he's still at Lyon at the moment you have to respect that, until things happen you have to see how they go."

Edwin van der Sar has signed a new four-year contract as Ajax's general manager, seemingly ending any chance of him moving to Manchester United.

Van der Sar returned in 2012 to the Dutch club he served as a player, joining as a marketing director before being elevated to his current key leadership role four years later.

Since Van der Sar took up that position, Ajax have taken a significant step towards being the European force they were when the former goalkeeper played for the club in the 1990s.

"Very happy with my contract extension at this beautiful club," he wrote on his official Twitter account.

"We've had some difficult moments, but the good times are definitely back. And of course we want more in the future!"

Although last season's Eredivisie title was their first since 2014, Ajax reached the Europa League final in 2016-17 and then captured the imaginations of neutrals en route to the Champions League semi-finals last term.

Long renowned for their impressive academy, Ajax have been particularly effective at bringing through talented players in the past few seasons, while their recruitment has also been praised in recent times.

Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong are among those to have come through and been sold on at a massive profit, while David Neres, Hakim Ziyech, Nicolas Tagliafico, Lisandro Martinez and others highlight Ajax's excellent talent identification.

Van der Sar's overseeing of such areas saw him become one of the favourites to land a similar role at another of his former clubs, Manchester United, when executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was reportedly looking into hiring a director of football in 2018.

However, United have provided precious few updates on their search for that position, with Van der Sar now apparently out of reach if the Old Trafford club do ultimately decide to fill the void.

Manchester City's appeal against UEFA's investigation into alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations has been ruled "inadmissible" by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

The Premier League champions lodged proceedings with CAS in June after UEFA's Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) referred their case to its adjudicatory chamber.

The CFCB's investigatory chamber opened a probe into City in March following allegations the club broke rules relating to FFP, third-party ownership and youth player recruitment in articles by German publication Der Spiegel, which drew upon documents purportedly obtained by whistleblowers Football Leaks.

When UEFA referred their case in May, City said in a statement: "The accusation of financial irregularities remains entirely false and the CFCB IC referral ignores a comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence provided by Manchester City FC." 

In a media release on Thursday, CAS explained City's appeal was not admissible because UEFA has not reached a final decision in the case.

The statement read: "The CAS Panel determined that MCFC’s appeal was inadmissible, considering that 'An appeal against the decision of a federation, association or sports-related body may be filed with CAS… if the Appellant has exhausted the legal remedies available to it prior to the appeal, in accordance with the statutes or regulations of that body.'(Article R47 of the CAS Rules).

"In the present case, the decision rendered by the CFCB IC to refer a case to the CFCB AC is not final and can therefore not be appealed to CAS directly, because the AC is competent to take any of the decisions listed in Article 27 CFCB Procedural Rules, that are described as being final."

City must now await a decision from the adjudicatory chamber, which could in theory extend to a Champions League ban. However, a report by The Athletic on Wednesday claimed UEFA will only issue the club with a fine and not suspend them from taking part in its competitions.

In August, FIFA fined City CHF 370,000 (£314,725) for breaching rules in relation to signing youth players but did not impose a transfer ban.

The Football Association found no evidence to support Der Spiegel's claim City made an illegal payment to the agent of their former winger Jadon Sancho and closed an investigation earlier this month, while the Premier League's own probe into the claims emanating from Football Leaks remains ongoing.

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.

Spain head coach Robert Moreno insists he did not call up Wolves winger Adama Traore "on a whim" for this month's Euro 2020 qualifying matches.

Traore was surprisingly named as a replacement for the injured Rodrigo Moreno only for a hamstring issue to force him to withdraw from the squad.

It had been suggested Traore was only called up so that he would make a competitive appearance for Spain and therefore no longer be eligible to represent Mali, the country of his parents.

However, Moreno - who worked with the player at Hospitalet and Barcelona, where he made his senior debut - says he has long considered calling up Traore due to his ability to unsettle deep-lying defences.

"I'm looking for players who can create an imbalance. Adama Traore has that and is very different from others," he told a news conference.

"He suffered a little problem on Sunday. I spoke with him and he told me he couldn't come.

"Adama is very well-known because he came out of La Florida, my local club. He was at Hospitalet, where I was, and we gave him his debut at Barcelona. Nobody knows him like I do.

"He wasn't called up on a whim. We've been following him for a long time and he has been on two preliminary squad lists."

Spain, who have already qualified for the Euro 2020 finals, face Malta and Romania in their final two games in Group F.

Moreno is eager to see a more clinical edge in attack from his players given they were held by Norway and Sweden in their most recent games.

"We lacked aim in the last two games against Norway and Sweden. We create chances, but you still have to create more," he said.

"This week, we've emphasised working against teams who close things down, as I think that's how the games against Malta and Romania will be."

Moreno also suggested he could give Roma goalkeeper Pau Lopez a chance to impress, as the battle for the number-one position continues between Kepa Arrizabalaga and David de Gea.

"I said I wanted to try everyone and I'm a man of my word. It could be that Pau Lopez plays one of the next two games," he said.

The Premier League and refereeing body Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) have outlined plans for greater communication with supporters in stadiums regarding VAR decisions.

VAR was introduced at the start of the 2019-20 season but has increasingly been the subject of controversy.

Ahead of the ongoing international break, notable decisions aided by the system saw Sheffield United denied a goal at Tottenham for a marginal offside, while there was an unpunished handball by Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold in his own penalty area immediately before the league leaders opened the scoring in their 3-1 win over Manchester City.

VAR was discussed at a Premier League shareholders' meeting on Thursday, with the 20 clubs represented to debate the issue.

One of the key matters up for discussion was how decisions are communicated to fans within stadiums, and changes are coming in December 2019.

There will be greater written detail to checks on big screens, although it was explained International Football Association Board protocol meant imagery of the incidents could not be shown live and referees could not communicate with supporters via microphones.

The Premier League offered an example of how changes would come into effect next month, with a handball check in the penalty area displayed on the screen as: "Checking Penalty – Possible Handball".

Prior to December, the screen would simply read: "Checking Penalty".

The Premier League released a statement following Thursday's meeting which promised improved consistency with the implementation of VAR.

It read: "The implementation of VAR was discussed at length and the Premier League and PGMOL committed to improving the consistency of decisions, speeding up processes and increasing communication to fans.

"Mike Riley, managing director of PGMOL, addressed the clubs and accepted improvement is required."

Riley described VAR as "an ongoing process" and said the system "has corrected a significant number of on-field errors" but added "speed and consistency of decision-making are priority areas of work".

It was reported decisions were now made with 91 per cent accuracy - up from 82 per cent prior to VAR.

Arsenal need to give Unai Emery time and believe in themselves, according to former Emirates Stadium favourite Santi Cazorla.

Gunners boss Emery is under pressure in his second season in the Premier League, with the team - who missed out on Champions League qualification last term - sixth in the table after 12 games, eight points off the top four.

Arsenal are winless in five in all competitions, while Granit Xhaka has been stripped of the club's captaincy and divisive playmaker Mesut Ozil has struggled for regular minutes.

Yet Spaniard Cazorla, who won two FA Cups in a six-year Arsenal career, is urging patience with countryman Emery and says Arsenal have "everything" to be successful.

"Unai Emery is a good coach and it's a very good team," he told the Independent. "I watch them play often, but he needs time.

"It's a new generation and it's very difficult to compete against teams like Manchester City and Liverpool.

"It's difficult to know [what has gone wrong]. They have the players, they have the fans, the stadium, they have everything to do it but they have to believe it."

Cazorla left Arsenal for former club Villarreal in 2018 amid a near-two-year injury lay-off, meaning he was unable to say goodbye to Gunners fans on the pitch.

The 34-year-old hopes to get the opportunity to play at the home of the London club again before he retires, while he could be open to a role at Arsenal post retirement.

"When you are at a big club like Arsenal, sometimes you don't realise what it means to be there until you are gone," he said. "I never got to say a proper goodbye.

"It was the biggest team I played for in my career and I miss everything about Arsenal. I don't know what my legacy is there, you would have to ask the fans, but I want to say thank you to them all.

"I would like to play at the Emirates one last time before I retire. 

"I don't know what I will do afterwards - maybe a coach, maybe a sporting director - but I would love to go back to Arsenal.

"I lived in London for six years. My son loved it there. In the future, we will see if I have the possibility."

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