Another day, another Lautaro Martinez rumour.

Inter star Martinez continues to dominate headlines as Barcelona reportedly circle.

Barca appear to be closing in on the Argentina international forward.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA MOVE CLOSER TO MARTINEZ

Barcelona have reached an agreement in principle with Inter forward Lautaro Martinez, according to Tuttosport.

Martinez is a player in demand amid links to Real Madrid, Manchester United and Manchester City.

But Barca are desperate to sign Martinez and the report claims the LaLiga champions have reached a deal on the contract and must now negotiate with Inter.

 

ROUND-UP

- ESPN reports United are "optimistic" they will have Paul Pogba at their disposal in 2020-21 as no club can afford him. The disgruntled star has been linked to former team Juventus and Madrid.

- Serie A champions Juve are keen on replacing forward Gonzalo Higuain with City's Gabriel Jesus, says Calciomcercato.

Barca are struggling to offload Brazilian attacker Philippe Coutinho, according to Marca. Coutinho, on loan at Bayern Munich, has been linked to Chelsea, United, Arsenal and Tottenham. However, Barca have been unable to find a team willing to spend at least €80million (£73m). Another loan spell is being considered.

- Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland has become Madrid's primary transfer target, ahead of the likes of Martinez and RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner, claims Marca. Madrid continue to eye Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe as his contract is due to expire in 2021, while team-mate Neymar is reportedly another option.

Napoli will demand at least €40m for striker Arkadiusz Milik, says Calciomercato. It comes as Milan and Inter reportedly circle the Poland international, who is no closer to signing a new deal in Naples.

- Corriere dello Sport reports Zlatan Ibrahimovic is considering retirement but Milan CEO Ivan Gazidis wants the 38-year-old striker to sign a new deal.

- Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali is at the top of Juve's wish list, Tuttosport claims. Tonali is also wanted by Inter, United, City and PSG. Alternatives for Juve are Roma pair Nicolo Zaniolo and Lorenzo Pellegrini, as well as Fiorentina duo Federico Chiesa and Gaetano Castrovilli.

Things have not worked out for Philippe Coutinho since his big-money exit from Liverpool.

Coutinho failed to establish himself at LaLiga champions Barcelona, while the Brazilian star has struggled to convince during his loan spell with Bayern Munich.

Now, a Premier League club are reportedly ready to hand Coutinho a lifeline.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA LEAD COUTINHO RACE

Chelsea are favourites to bring Barcelona's Philippe Coutinho back to the Premier League, according to AS.

Coutinho left Liverpool for Barcelona in a deal reportedly worth €160million (£151m) in 2018, however, he has not been able to match the lofty heights he reached at Anfield.

The 27-year-old was shipped out to Bundesliga powerhouses Bayern Munich at the start of the season, and Frank Lampard's Chelsea have reportedly sounded out Barca about a transfer.

 

ROUND-UP

- Where will Paul Pogba be playing in 2020-21? Linked to former club Juventus and Real Madrid, Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has previously insisted the Frenchman will be at Old Trafford next season. However, The Sun says United are now willing to sell Pogba for £100m (€105m).

United are desperate to beat Borussia Dortmund to Jude Bellingham's signature. Dortmund are reportedly favourites to sign Birmingham City's 16-year-old sensation. However, the Mirror claims United are prepared to outlay £30m to sign Bellingham, who toured the club's training facilities last week.

- Mundo Deportivo claims Barca are considering swap deals to facilitate the signings of Inter forward Lautaro Martinez and Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar. The report says Ousmane Dembele and Coutinho could be moved on.

- The Athletic says Liverpool are willing to pay RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner's release clause, but Barca are set to provide competition.

Chelsea are chasing CSKA Moscow striker Fedor Chalov, reports the Daily Star. Brighton and Hove Albion, West Ham and Crystal Palace are also interested.

- According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Gianluigi Donnarumma is happy to extend his Milan contract but CEO Ivan Gazidis is open to cashing in on the 21-year-old Italy goalkeeper.

Manchester City or Manchester United?

Harry Kane could reportedly leave Jose Mourinho's Tottenham at the end of the season.

And he could be playing for either Pep Guardiola or Ole Gunnar Solskjaer next term.

 

TOP STORY – CITY INTERESTED IN KANE

Manchester City want to rival Manchester United for the signature of Tottenham star Harry Kane, according to 90min.

Kane is reportedly considering his future at Tottenham and Premier League giants United have already been linked to the England striker.

Another Manchester club, City, are also interested in the 26-year-old front man.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Times says all football games in England will be played behind closed doors under government plans to combat coronavirus. The report claims the current season will not be postponed, instead matches in the Premier League and lower divisions are to be staged without fans.

City are prepared to swap players with Inter. Calciomercato reports City are determined to sign Nerazzurri centre-back Milan Skriniar and are prepared to offer full-back Joao Cancelo, who previously played for Inter on loan.

Liverpool are favourites to sign Timo Werner, however, Mundo Deportivo claims Barcelona could turn to the RB Leipzig striker if they miss out on Inter star Lautaro Martinez.

Napoli would not reject bids for star defender Kalidou Koulibaly, reports Gazzetta dello Sport. Koulibaly has been linked to the likes of United, City, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.

- The Daily Mail says Chelsea and Tottenham are eyeing Bournemouth goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

Crystal Palace are targeting Chelsea outcast Michy Batshuayi, according to The Sun. Batshuayi spent the second half of last season on loan at fellow London club Palace.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tottenham and Valencia each face uphill battles ahead of Tuesday's Champions League last-16 second legs.

Spurs, rocked by injuries in attack, go to RB Leipzig trailing 1-0 from their home leg at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium three weeks ago.

Valencia's hopes of progression are even more remote after a thumping 4-1 defeat at Atalanta. They will play the home second leg without the backing of supporters, too, due to the coronavirus outbreak.

We take a look at the key Opta statistics ahead of the two fixtures.
 

RB Leipzig v Tottenham

1 - Tottenham have only lost one of their five away Champions League games in Germany (W2 D2), although that defeat came earlier this season at Bayern Munich.

8 - Spurs have been eliminated in eight of their past 10 major European knockout ties when they have lost the first leg. But they overturned a deficit the previous time this happened against Ajax in last season's Champions League semi-finals.

4 - Four of Leipzig's past five Champions League goals have been penalties. Only Barcelona in 2011-12 (five) have ever scored more than four spot-kicks in a single campaign.

6 - Timo Werner is yet to find the net in six home Champions League appearances, attempting 22 shots without success. In away games, he has seven goals from 14 shots. Werner has scored more Champions League goals without netting at home than any other player in the competition's history.

7 - Jose Mourinho has lost more away Champions League games in Germany (seven) than in any other country.

Valencia v Atalanta

4 - Only four of the previous 36 teams to lose the first leg of a Champions League knockout tie by three or more goals have then progressed. However, two have been Spanish sides – Deportivo La Coruna in 2003-04 versus Milan and Barcelona in 2016-17 versus Paris Saint-Germain.

3 - In the first leg, Atalanta became only the third team to score four goals in their first ever Champions League knockout match, after Manchester United (4-0 versus Porto in 1996-97) and opponents Valencia (5-2 versus Lazio in 1999-00).

9 - Valencia are winless in nine Champions League knockout matches (D5 L4) and have not scored three goals in such a game since winning 3-0 against Leeds United in May 2001.

0 - The Serie A side are yet to have an Italian scorer in the Champions League this season. But their 12 goals have been scored by 10 different players of nine different nationalities. Only Arsenal in 2009-10, Manchester United in 2010-11 and Borussia Dortmund in 2016-17 have had 10 different nationalities net in one campaign.

6 - Atalanta scored with six of their first 29 shots on target in the Champions League this season but have since found the net with six of their previous eight, including their four most recent shots on target in their 4-1 win in the first leg.

Julian Nagelsmann is expecting Timo Werner to be fit to start RB Leipzig's Champions League last-16 second leg against Tottenham after recovering from a thigh issue.

The muscle problem hindered Germany international Werner last week, and he started on the bench for the goalless Bundesliga draw at Wolfsburg.

However, Werner appeared as a 60th-minute substitute and is now in line to return to the Leipzig XI at home to Spurs, with the German club leading 1-0 after the first leg.

"Timo trained as normal [on Sunday]," said Nagelsmann on Monday. "If things go as normal today and tomorrow, he will start."

Meanwhile, Nagelsmann is relieved the match will go ahead in front of a full Red Bull Arena amid postponements elsewhere due to the coronavirus crisis.

Numerous sporting events across the world have been cancelled as the death toll tops 3,800.

The Champions League clash between Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund will be played behind closed doors, as will Valencia's second leg against Atalanta.

Nagelsmann said: "It would have been a disadvantage for us to play with Tottenham fans in London and now we would have to go without them.

"We are happy that the crowd is there. First and foremost, it is about keeping an eye on the health factor."

He added of any the possibility of domestic fixture changes: "In the Bundesliga, it has to be fair. You have to find a uniform solution.

"One result in one stadium also influences the situation of another club in another stadium. You cannot differentiate between regions in which more or less infected people live."

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

ROUND-UP

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

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

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

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

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

While all eyes are on El Clasico, Real Madrid and Barcelona are considering their number nine options ahead of next season.

The LaLiga giants, who meet at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday, appear set to strengthen their options up front ahead of 2020-21.

And both Madrid and Barca are linked with similar names as they look to add forwards.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID, BARCELONA CONSIDER WERNER, MARTINEZ AND HAALAND

With Luka Jovic so far unable to make an impact at Real Madrid, they are considering Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland, Inter striker Lautaro Martinez and RB Leipzig's Timo Werner, according to Marca.

Haaland is top of Madrid's wish list, the report says, having scored 12 goals in nine games since arriving at Dortmund in January.

For Barcelona, meanwhile, Mundo Deportivo says their focus is on Martinez or Werner, who has been linked with Liverpool.

While Martinez may be their preference, Werner would cost just €60million compared to the €111m likely to be needed for the Argentina international.

 

ROUND-UP

- Another club likely to be busy during the close season are Manchester United. The Sun reports United are ready to offer Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish £150,000 per week – triple his current pay.

- Jonathan David's prolific season with Gent is leading to increasing interest. The Daily Express reports Chelsea are the latest club to join the race for David, who has 23 goals in 38 games this season. Liverpool, United, Tottenham and Leicester City are also reportedly interested in the 20-year-old Canada international.

- Nuno Espirito Santo's work at Wolves is catching the eye. The Sun reports Nuno is top of Atletico Madrid's list to replace Diego Simeone if the Argentinian takes over at Paris Saint-Germain.

- Heavily linked with a move to Milan last close season, Atletico Madrid attacker Angel Correa remains a target for the Serie A club, according to CalcioMercato.

- Having impressed in Serie A, Chris Smalling could be set for a return to the Premier League. The Daily Express reports the defender, who is on loan at Roma from Manchester United, is a target for Tottenham, although the Serie A club are in advanced talks with the centre-back.

- With his contract expiring in 2021, Arkadiusz Milik's future at Napoli is uncertain. CalcioMercato reports the striker, who has 12 goals in 22 games this season, and the club are distant over a new deal.

Liverpool appear to be getting closer to completing a deal for RB Leipzig star Timo Werner.

Werner, 23, has been linked with a move to Anfield after a prolific season with the Bundesliga side.

Now, it seems the Germany forward is continuing to take step towards joining the European champions.

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL OFFER WERNER FIVE-YEAR DEAL

Liverpool have offered Werner a contract until 2025 worth £6.8million (€8m) a season plus bonuses, according La Gazzetta dello Sport journalist Nicolo Schira.

The Premier League club are reportedly ready to pay Werner's release clause of £49m (€58m) before April.

Werner, who recently spoke glowingly about the Premier League club, has 27 goals in 33 games in all competitions this season.

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United are backing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The Sun reports United are preparing a £250m spending spree amid links to the likes of Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jadon Sancho, Aston Villa's Jack Grealish and Leicester City's James Maddison.

- Coming out of contract at the end of the season, Jan Vertonghen seems set to leave Tottenham. The Evening Standard reports Inter have contacted the defender about a potential move.

- Could Marcelo Bielsa be set to leave Leeds United? ElDesmarque reports Real Betis have contacted the Argentinian about his situation, with Leeds chasing promotion to the Premier League.

- Looking to strengthen their defence, Chelsea have made RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano their number one transfer target, according to the Mirror.

- Amid some criticism of Real Madrid over their decision to let Theo Hernandez leave for Milan in July, CalcioMercato reports the 22-year-old Frenchman is happy at the Serie A club, where he has starred this season.

Liverpool appear to be getting closer to completing a deal for RB Leipzig star Timo Werner.

Werner, 23, has been linked with a move to Anfield after a prolific season with the Bundesliga side.

Now, it seems the Germany forward is continuing to take step towards joining the European champions.

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL OFFER WERNER FIVE-YEAR DEAL

Liverpool have offered Werner a contract until 2025 worth £6.8million (€8m) a season plus bonuses, according La Gazzetta dello Sport journalist Nicolo Schira.

The Premier League club are reportedly ready to pay Werner's release clause of £49m (€58m) before April.

Werner, who recently spoke glowingly about the Premier League club, has 27 goals in 33 games in all competitions this season.

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United are backing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The Sun reports United are preparing a £250m spending spree amid links to the likes of Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jadon Sancho, Aston Villa's Jack Grealish and Leicester City's James Maddison.

- Coming out of contract at the end of the season, Jan Vertonghen seems set to leave Tottenham. The Evening Standard reports Inter have contacted the defender about a potential move.

- Could Marcelo Bielsa be set to leave Leeds United? ElDesmarque reports Real Betis have contacted the Argentinian about his situation, with Leeds chasing promotion to the Premier League.

- Looking to strengthen their defence, Chelsea have made RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano their number one transfer target, according to the Mirror.

- Amid some criticism of Real Madrid over their decision to let Theo Hernandez leave for Milan in July, CalcioMercato reports the 22-year-old Frenchman is happy at the Serie A club, where he has starred this season.

Perhaps Jadon Sancho will remain at Borussia Dortmund beyond this season.

Sancho, 19, has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League after impressing with the Bundesliga side.

But the England winger could yet stay at Dortmund a little longer.

 

TOP STORY – SANCHO MAY STAY AT DORTMUND BEYOND THIS SEASON

Sancho is happy at Dortmund and an exit in the close season is not certain, according to Ruhr Nachrichten.

The teenager is contracted at the club until 2022 so may at least begin the 2020-21 campaign at Dortmund.

Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea are all reportedly interested in Sancho.

 

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Liverpool and the Premier League leaders may have received more good news. Sport1 reports RB Leipzig star Timo Werner's release clause is £25.2m (€30m) plus a guarantee of performance-related bonuses. Previous reports said the forward's release clause was £50.4m (€60m).

- Marcelo Brozovic has done enough to impress Antonio Conte. CalcioMercato reports Inter are ready to begin contract talks with the Croatia international, who is set for a salary increase but could also have his release clause of €60m removed. Brozovic's current deal runs until 2022.

- Could George Clooney be set for a foray into … Malaga? AS reports a group with business links to the American actor are in talks to buy a stake in the Spanish club.

- With his Manchester United contract expiring at season's end, Nemanja Matic appears set for a move from Old Trafford. CalcioMercato reports the midfielder's agents have offered the 31-year-old to Milan, Juventus and Inter.

- Leicester City are considering offering defender Christian Fuchs a new deal, according to the Daily Mail. Fuchs is out of contract at the end of the season.

Jurgen Klopp admitted success helped Champions League titleholders Liverpool attract players, but it also made completing signings harder.

While they hold a 19-point lead atop the Premier League, Liverpool have been linked with moves for numerous players, including RB Leipzig star Timo Werner.

Klopp is unfazed by suggestions his team are the world's best, but said it could help with signings.

"It's easier if players see you as that. If they see you are successful, it's easier to get into talks with players," he told UK newspapers.

"But on the other side, it's more difficult the better your team is because they ask questions like, 'where and when would I play?'

"We need players who want to be part of this, who want to fight for their spot, who want to make the next step together with us, who want to develop and improve so that's it.

"We have these players and whoever wants to join us needs to have exactly this kind of attitude."

Liverpool are still unbeaten in the Premier League ahead of hosting West Ham at Anfield on Monday.

Klopp said finding the right players to add to his side, who were Champions League winners last season, was difficult.

"The age group of the team is good in the moment. In two or three years, maybe it'll be different but for the moment, it's good," he said.

"It depends on what you want. Is it a good age for selling? Probably not. But is it a good age for performing? Yes.

"So there are a lot of things we have to think about. It's an interesting period."

Timo Werner has once again spoken positively about a potential move to Liverpool, labelling Jurgen Klopp the "best coach in the world".

RB Leipzig forward Werner has been heavily linked with a switch to Anfield after starring in his club's push for a maiden Bundesliga title.

The 23-year-old, who has scored 27 goals for Leipzig in all competitions this season, said on Wednesday he was "very proud" to be linked with European champions Liverpool.

Werner has now talked up the runaway Premier League leaders once again after scoring in a 5-0 thrashing of Schalke on Saturday, a victory that kept Leipzig just a point behind Bundesliga front-runners Bayern Munich. 

"Jurgen Klopp is the best coach in the world," Werner told Sky Germany.

"There is a lot to suggest that my style of play would suit there [Liverpool]."

The Germany international did insist his focus was strictly on his current club for the remainder of the campaign.

"I'm not worried about that [a move to Liverpool], because we have so much to do with Leipzig," he added.

"It's difficult to think about where to play next year. You have to worry about it after the season. Inquiries come in, you don't have to lie that it is so."

RB Leipzig star Timo Werner said he was "very proud" to be linked with a move to Liverpool, labelling the Premier League side the world's best.

Werner, 23, has been linked with the European champions after scoring 26 goals in 32 games for Leipzig this season.

The Germany international's second-half penalty helped Leipzig to a 1-0 win over Tottenham in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday.

Speaking afterwards, Werner discussed the reports linking him with a move to Liverpool and the forward did little to play down a possible switch.

"Liverpool is the best team in the world at the moment and when you're linked with that team it makes me very proud but in case of that it's a pleasure," he told Viasport.

"But I know that in Liverpool play a lot of good players and I have to improve myself to learn much more things to get on this level to play there."

Werner's 58th-minute spot-kick against Spurs in London has Leipzig on track to reach the Champions League quarter-finals.

But the 29-time Germany international warned his side there was work to do against Tottenham, who produced a thrilling comeback away to Ajax in last season's semi-finals.

"Tottenham is a good team, they showed last year that they have the mentality that they can come back in these games," Werner said.

"We have to do the same like today and we have a good start for the first half [of the tie] and we will go on."

Pep Guardiola's future at Manchester City continues to dominate discussions – and it seemingly still remains unclear.

Talk around the Spaniard has intensified after City were handed a two-season Champions League ban by UEFA for "serious breaches" of Financial Fair Play rules, although they deny wrongdoing and intend to appeal.

But will Guardiola, who is contracted at the Etihad Stadium until 2021, stay or go?

 

TOP STORY – GUARDIOLA TO STAY AT MAN CITY DESPITE BAN

Guardiola will remain at City next season whether they have their ban overturned or not, according to the Mirror.

However, Tuttosport reports the chances of the former Barcelona head coach leaving City are "70 per cent".

Guardiola has reportedly suggested previously he intends to honour his contract at City.

ROUND-UP

- Chelsea are making their move for Jadon Sancho. France Football reports the Premier League club have started talks with the Borussia Dortmund star, who has attracted interest from numerous European giants, including Manchester United.

- Staying at Stamford Bridge and Chelsea are set to pay £23million (€27.7m) for Inter midfielder Matias Vecino at the end of the season, according to the Daily Express.

- After strong links during the close season, Bayern Munich's interest in Manchester City attacker Leroy Sane has cooled, according to Kicker. Sane tore his anterior cruciate ligament in August.

- Staying at Bayern and Kicker reports the Bundesliga giants are keeping tabs on Liverpool's interest in RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner. Werner has been linked with the European giants after scoring 20 goals in 22 Bundesliga games this season.

- Alexander Isak's form for Real Sociedad this season is leading to interest, but Mundo Deportivo reports clubs wanting the forward at the end of the campaign must pay €70m. Former club Borussia Dortmund reportedly have an option to buy Isak for €30m, but that only comes into play in 2021.

- Real Valladolid defender Mohammed Salisu has impressed this season and the 20-year-old is on Atletico Madrid's radar, according to Marca.

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