Leicester City have produced better performances this season.

Saturday's 2-0 win over Arsenal saw the Foxes show flashes of their best, but in reality they could have humiliated their visitors had they been as good as they can be.

That's a damning indictment of the standard this Arsenal team is playing at.

Brendan Rodgers' men wasted some fine opportunities, lacking perhaps the clinical nature that often typifies them in attack, while defensively Arsenal were afforded few chances of their own.

But Arsenal's incompetence saw them unable to raise their level to Leicester's. In the end, a 2-0 defeat ultimately flattered the Gunners.

Early positivity dissipates

Emery came under fresh criticism after their previous Premier League game, a 1-1 draw with Wolves, for getting his tactics completely wrong, setting the team up narrowly despite Nuno Espirito Santo's penchant for playing with plenty of width.

This week Emery could be spared such criticism, with the line-up seeing him appear to give in to the fans' desires - there was a back three, two wing-backs offering much-needed width and more attacking intent. There was Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi in midfield too, plus Mesut Ozil, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all started.

But there was precious little to be encouraged about by the performance. After a bright start, they failed to match Leicester in any department.

Gunners have lost their identity

Arsenal had a total of eight shots over the course of the contest, albeit just two in the second half. Only one hit the target and Lacazette was guilty of a woeful miss in the same move that Wilfred Ndidi was fortunate to escape unpunished when handling in the box.

Even suggestions of defensive solidity before the break could only be put down to Leicester's wastefulness. On another day, the Gunners could have been trailing by at least two at the interval.

Emery's inability to project an identity on this Arsenal team has fans still clinging on to the days when they were renowned for their eye-catching style as the Premier League's pass-masters.

Those days are long gone – this Leicester is the team Arsenal think they should be.

Foxes like the Arsenal of old

In Ndidi, Leicester have an impressive midfielder who effectively shields the defence while also proving reliable in possession. The Nigerian won 61.9 per cent of his 21 duels, conceded just one foul and completed 90 per cent of his attempted passes.

Youri Tielemans was excellent once again. Perhaps criticised for his inability to dictate matches, his influence in attack was undeniable. Of his 62 passes, 51 were in the Arsenal half, while he created three chances and set up Jamie Vardy's opener.

And then there is James Maddison. His finish for the second goal was sublime, but again he was a creative force, crafting three opportunities and playing a vital role in Vardy's goal with an outrageous flick.

Even Leicester's defenders were impressive on the ball, a hallmark of previous Arsenal backlines. Caglar Soyuncu completed 86.5 per cent of his passes in the visitors' half while Jonny Evans' success rate was 82.8, comfortably better than all three of the centre-backs in the opposing XI.

But away from statistics, there is an incisiveness and flow to Leicester's play – especially in the second half on Saturday – that is akin to some of Wenger's most entertaining Arsenal teams.

Their first goal was particularly notable in that respect, as Ricardo Pereira played the ball into Maddison, he flicked it to Tielemans, whose first-time pass picked out Vardy to sweep home and round off a fluid move.

Right man in the wrong dugout?

Rodgers has managed to implement his style impressively despite only taking charge in February. Emery has been at Arsenal for considerably longer, yet it is still difficult to work out what he has changed for the better.

Arsenal were linked with Rodgers when they hired Emery, but they ultimately went for the man who had won trophies with Paris Saint-Germain, with reservations over the former's time at Liverpool hanging over him.

But, if the decision-makers at Arsenal had the idea of playing up-tempo football similar to Wenger's peak years after the Frenchman departed, the choice of Emery is a baffling one. Rodgers, for his 'philosophy', would have made a more natural replacement. 

Now it appears Rodgers' Leicester are the real deal, while Emery's Arsenal are a real dud.

Leicester City moved into second in the Premier League as goals from Jamie Vardy and James Maddison downed Arsenal 2-0 to cap a dominant display at the King Power Stadium.

Heading into Saturday's encounter in search of a fourth successive league win, Leicester failed to capitalise on some basic errors from Arsenal prior to Vardy's well-worked 68th-minute strike - his 11th of the season.

Wilfred Ndidi had previously gone the closest to breaking the deadlock, hitting the crossbar early in the second half, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a goal rightly ruled out for offside at the other end.

Maddison settled the game with a fantastic second, making sure Brendan Rodgers' side continued their sparkling form and, temporarily at least, slot in behind former employers Liverpool in the table.

Matteo Guendouzi was fortunate to get away with a pull on Caglar Soyuncu early on, while Alexandre Lacazette should have done better with a close-range attempt at the culmination of an Arsenal counter.

Unai Emery's side proved to be their own worst enemy with consistently sloppy play, and Ayoze Perez should have done better after latching onto Hector Bellerin's slack pass.

Ndidi looked sure to open the scoring four minutes after the restart only to lift his effort against the crossbar. While Aubameyang had no problem locating the net, a flag for offside came to Leicester's aid.

There was no hint of doubt when Vardy broke the deadlock, however, with Leicester's striker turning home after wonderful build-up play involving Harvey Barnes and Youri Tielemans.

Bernd Leno denied Vardy a second, though Arsenal's goalkeeper was left helpless to prevent Maddison picking out the bottom-right corner of his goal with a superb first-time strike, the Foxes wrapping up a deserved win in style.

Paris Saint-Germain have identified their priorities and an extension for Neymar is seemingly not among them.

Neymar, 27, reportedly almost left the Ligue 1 champions in the close season amid strong links to LaLiga giants Barcelona.

The Brazil international is contracted until 2022 and PSG appear to be in no rush to extend his stay.

 

TOP STORY – PSG STOP NEYMAR TALKS AMID MBAPPE FOCUS

PSG's negotiations with Neymar about a contract extension have stalled, according to L'Equipe.

However, the report says PSG have not ruled out a potential extension for Neymar in the future.

It comes amid talk the club are eager to re-sign Kylian Mbappe, who is also contracted until 2022 and has been linked with a move to Real Madrid.

 

ROUND-UP

- Like Neymar and Mbappe, the talk around Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba will not go away. Sport reports Juventus want to bring the midfielder back to Turin, while Tuttosport says Pogba is also eager to return to the Serie A giants.

- Ivan Rakitic has made just one start for Barcelona this season and the midfielder could be on the move in January. Mundo Deportivo reports Juventus and Inter have the Croatia international – who is contracted at Camp Nou until 2021 – in their sights.

- Nicolo Zaniolo's impressive performances for Roma are leading to renewed interest in his services. Juventus are ready to pay more than €40million for the midfielder, according to CalcioMercato, although Roma are eager to keep Zaniolo, who has scored three Serie A goals this season.

- Unai Emery is under fire at Arsenal and the Premier League club are already eyeing his replacement. Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers is being earmarked for the job at Emirates Stadium, according to The Sun.

- Staying at Arsenal and AC Milan are considering a €40m (£34.5m) move for midfielder Lucas Torreira in January, according to Fichajes.com. Meanwhile, Turkish-Football reports Arsenal have made contact with the representatives of Juventus defender Merih Demiral about a potential move.

- Alessandro Florenzi could make a move from Roma in January, according to CalcioMercato. Fiorentina and Inter are reportedly interested in the right-back.

Unai Emery is unsure whether deposed captain Granit Xhaka will play for Arsenal again.

The Switzerland midfielder has not featured for the Gunners since being stripped of the armband following his angry riposte towards supporters who jeered him as he was substituted in the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace on October 27.

Xhaka did not make himself available for the midweek Europa League trip to Vitoria SC and is absent again for Saturday's visit to Leicester City.

A January exit from north London appears an increasingly likely scenario, with Newcastle United thought to be keen to offer him an escape route, while a return to the Bundesliga is said to be a possibility.

When answering a question as to whether the upcoming international break could be good timing to let the situation defuse, Emery could not give any assurances about the future.

"As a coach, I have the responsibility of the team. We need one player [like] Granit Xhaka, but also I don't know if he's going to play again. I don't know," he said on Friday.

"The first thing is if he's available in his mind to continue to help us and defend the Arsenal shirt. And then it's if I decide to start him or not with us.

"At the beginning if he's ready and available and 100 per cent in his mind with that decision to help us and to play with his quality to help us because we know we need that quality and that player.

"After we have the solution, but for example after Dani Ceballos' injury we have one less player to use tomorrow in the midfielder, attacking midfielder [role], so we are now not ready with a lot of players to play in that position.

"I don't know. Maybe he can play in the future, maybe he cannot play."

Asked explicitly if Xhaka wants to leave, Emery was non-committal, replying: "I am not thinking about that because we are in November. We are going to play a lot of matches in November and December.

"He says to me he is not available yet to play, not Wednesday and not tomorrow."

Granit Xhaka has said he is not ready to return for Arsenal in Saturday's Premier League trip to Leicester City, head coach Unai Emery has confirmed.

The midfielder has not featured for the Gunners since being stripped of the captaincy after his outburst towards fans during the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace on October 27.

Emery says Xhaka is not in the right frame of mind to feature for the first team, even though he has been dedicated in training this week.

"Not yet," Emery told reporters on Friday when asked if Xhaka would be back in the squad.

"I spoke with him on Tuesday about how he's feeling now and how he is in his mind. He's working well, he's training well, but he said to me that he's not feeling good enough at the moment to play. We are going to wait."

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was named Arsenal's new captain and Emery has backed the striker to embrace the role.

"I can remember how we did the process because last year the captains were Laurent Koscielny, Petr Cech, Aaron Ramsey and Nacho Monreal," said Emery. "They left the team, at the last moment as well, Koscielny. In that moment I decided, and also I used the characteristics to find a captain.

"After I started with Granit Xhaka because he has the quality to take the captain's responsibility. Then after the [Palace] issue, I decided it was better for him not to. Next in line is Aubameyang, the second after him is [Hector] Bellerin, third is [Alexandre] Lacazette and the fourth is Mesut Ozil.

"The first is Aubameyang because he has experience and he has the respect in the dressing room. He was the top scorer last year in the Premier League and also I know he needs time to take that responsibility 100 per cent. But we are going to support him.

"Every player, we are going to support the four captains, and we are going to support him as our first captain because he has also made one extra step to achieve that responsibility.

"For example, Sokratis [Papastathopoulos] said everybody can take responsibility as a captain. We want to be a strong family here and I know for the supporters it is very important who is the first face, in front, with the captain's responsibility. I decided to give it to Auba and everybody also agreed with that decision and now I am telling you he needs time to take that responsibility with confidence, but we give him that confidence, I give him that confidence. He has the quality and the values to do perfectly with that responsibility."

Emery's own position is under scrutiny following a run of one win in six games in all competitions, while Leicester are six points above them in the Premier League table.

While he insists he has not spoken to the board about his future, Emery believes off-field problems - such as the issue around Xhaka and the attempted armed robbery of Sead Kolasinac and Ozil in July - have complicated the Gunners' situation.

"We need to improve and also we are in one process," he said. "First we are speaking about the captain's circumstances, then also some circumstances with some players - with Sead Kolasinac and with Mesut Ozil - then also circumstances that didn't help us with Granit Xhaka. For example, we're losing one player at the moment, Granit Xhaka, who is important for us and the way we play, but I have confidence in the players and in our work.

"I know we are in one process and we are speaking with the club about the responsibility of the club, and they are supporting us, and the players are supporting me. We know we are taking one responsibility with the young players, but the young players need one process to achieve that responsibility and their performance in the team, but we are helping them."

Dani Ceballos will miss Arsenal's trip to Leicester City in the Premier League on Saturday, the club have confirmed.

The midfielder suffered a hamstring injury against Vitoria SC in Wednesday's Europa League draw, although coach Unai Emery was optimistic it was only a "small" issue.

The problem will keep Ceballos out against Leicester, but Arsenal will continue to assess his fitness.

Ceballos has also been left out of the Spain squad for the upcoming international break which follows the Leicester match.

Emery will have a decision to make in the centre of midfield, with Ceballos' absence potentially opening the door for Granit Xhaka's return.

Xhaka has not played since his angry confrontation with supporters when he was substituted against Crystal Palace last month, the Gunners having seen a 2-0 lead wiped out at Emirates Stadium.

The Switzerland international subsequently explained his actions, citing death threats made against his family on social media, but was later stripped of the Arsenal captaincy.

Unai Emery had little interest in considering the possibility of Jose Mourinho replacing him as Arsenal manager following a disappointing draw at Vitoria SC.

Pressure has been building on Gunners boss Emery following a string of underwhelming results, with Arsenal winless in three in all competitions coming into Wednesday's Europa League clash.

That unwanted streak was extended to a fourth match as Bruno Duarte's stoppage-time strike cancelled out Shkodran Mustafi's 80th-minute opener.

In the lead-up to the contest in Portugal, the name of former rival Mourinho was linked with Emirates Stadium.

Mourinho, an Arsenal nemesis in his time at Chelsea, has been out of work since his sacking at Manchester United late last year and speculation is building about his next job, prompting talk of the Gunners swooping as Emery toils.

Asked if he was concerned by mention of Mourinho on Wednesday, Emery simply replied: "I am the coach."

The defiant Arsenal boss offered no further comment on his future as he prepared to turn his focus towards Saturday's trip to high-flying Leicester City.

Arsenal suffered a late-season slump in 2018-19 - Emery's first campaign - to finish fifth in the Premier League, the same position they now occupy, six points behind Chelsea in fourth.

This season, in addition to difficulties on the pitch, Emery has regularly had to field questions on Mesut Ozil, who has struggled to get a run in the team despite an infamously huge contract.

Emery also removed Granit Xhaka as club captain ahead of the Vitoria game, following a high-profile clash between the midfielder and Arsenal fans when he was substituted against Crystal Palace last month.

Arsenal boss Unai Emery says Dani Ceballos has what looks like a "small" hamstring injury sustained in the Europa League draw with Vitoria SC.

The midfielder initially pulled up early in the second half of the 1-1 result in Guimaraes and was replaced by Matteo Guendouzi 54 minutes in.

The Real Madrid loanee appears likely to miss at least Saturday's Premier League trip to Leicester City, although Emery says he will have further tests on Thursday.

"We are going to wait for the analysis tomorrow but, at the beginning, I think it’s a small injury," Emery told a news conference.

Arsenal had looked set to claim a win that would have guaranteed their place in the next round when Shkodran Mustafi headed in Nicolas Pepe's free-kick in the 80th minute.

However, Bruno Duarte equalised in injury time and the Gunners came close to a defeat in the closing moments, with Mustafi deflecting a cross onto the post and Rochinha sending a volley narrowly wide.

Emery was happy with his players' efforts in torrential rain, even though Mustafi's header was Arsenal's only shot on target.

"The players worked and tried and we were very close to winning. In the last minute, they pushed a lot and they scored," he said to BT Sport.

"The objective is to be first in the group and we are. At the end of the match, we're thinking about Saturday and Leicester.

"We tried [to score] but also they are a very competitive team. We did better defensively. Offensively, this team are very organised and it's not easy to have a lot of chances. It's not good because we want to win but we are first, and this is our target."

Mustafi felt the Gunners could have defended better to prevent Vitoria equalising but the centre-back is content to have taken a point that moves them closer to reaching the next round.

"I would love to score in the 90th minute. When you score a goal and you still have to play against a team like today, they threw everything up front, sometimes it's not organised any more and they throw a lot of bodies into the box and they keep crossing," he said.

"I think we could have dealt with [the danger] a little bit earlier, instead of letting them cross again. In the end, you have to accept it and move forward and take the positive things.

"You have to say they are a good side, they're in the Europa League for a reason, they're quite compact. We played today with a back three and we needed some time to get the rhythm in. In the first half, we didn't do it as we wanted; the second half was better, better rhythm, better passing.

"We just need to stay calm. Everyone wants to show and give everything and sometimes, when you're over-motivated, it's difficult to deal with that. At the end of the day, we need to stay calm, play our football, believe in ourselves and then in the final third try and do it a little more intelligently, with a little more accuracy in our final pass."

Granit Xhaka has been stripped of the Arsenal captaincy following his angry confrontation with fans.

Switzerland midfielder Xhaka reacted to ironic cheers and then jeers when he was substituted against Crystal Palace last month, appearing to shout expletives in the direction of the supporters before sarcastically applauding. He then removed his shirt while leaving the field and headed straight down the tunnel.

The 27-year-old, who has not played for Arsenal since and is not in the Gunners' squad for Wednesday's Europa League clash with Vitoria SC, had been named his club's captain in September following a player vote.

However, head coach Unai Emery has confirmed Xhaka will no longer captain Arsenal and striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will take the armband instead.

"I have spoken to Granit and he is no longer one of the captains in the group," Emery said at a news conference to preview Wednesday's game.

Unai Emery was left frustrated and disappointed after Arsenal's winless Premier League run extended to three games with a 1-1 draw at home to Wolves.

Raul Jimenez's header with 14 minutes to go means Arsenal have only won one of their past five games in all competitions, against Vitoria Guimaraes in the Europa League.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's 50th Arsenal goal had put the Gunners ahead but they dropped points having taken the lead once more.

Last weekend saw Arsenal go 2-0 up in the first 10 minutes at home to Crystal Palace, only for Emery's men to throw away their lead, and the full-time whistle was again met with boos from Gunners fans on Saturday.

"Yes, it's disappointing," Emery told a post-match news conference.

"I think the players tried and we scored the first goal, but we needed a second for more confidence.

"Wolves are consistent in playing matches like they did today and they did that again. It was an equal match and maybe we deserved more.

"I am frustrated because we are dropping points at home like we did last year.

"We can improve that balance defensively. But the key was to have more clear chances to take the result for us.

"I am very demanding of myself and we have to come back with better matches."

Wolves are now unbeaten in six league games, but Nuno Espirito Santo felt his side could have been more effective in the final third.

"I think we started really well in the first 15 minutes and should have punished them," Nuno told reporters.

"We were good in the second half and finished the game on the front foot and we should have punished because we were on top. We should have been more clinical.

"We are not disappointed. Now we have to recover and go again."

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored his 50th Arsenal goal but Wolves came from behind to earn a 1-1 Premier League draw at Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

The Gabon striker was captaining Arsenal in the absence of Granit Xhaka, who was left out for the second game running after his reaction to being substituted against Crystal Palace.

Aubameyang had failed to score in three consecutive league games but opened the scoring in the 21st minute, though Arsenal remain winless in three top-flight matches after a late leveller.

Wolves struck with 14 minutes to go, Raul Jimenez climbing at the back post to head in Joao Moutinho's cross and extend Wolves' unbeaten league run to six games.

Wolves dominated the opening exchanges before Aubameyang - Arsenal's fifth starting captain of the season - hit a weak volley to waste a clear chance at the other end.

Arsenal took the lead within three minutes of that opportunity. David Luiz found space on the right wing and picked out Alexandre Lacazette in the box, the striker feeding Aubameyang to tuck home.

Lucas Torreira and Lacazette then forced saves from Rui Patricio as Arsenal gained control, but after the interval Wolves got on top again.

Bernd Leno denied Jimenez before a series of defensive blocks kept the visitors at bay, while Romain Saiss was perhaps fortunate only to be booked for a poor challenge on Arsenal's substitute striker Gabriel Martinelli.

Arsenal's inability to kill the game came back to haunt them as a clever Wolves throw-in from Jonny Castro Otto allowed Moutinho to cross for Jimenez and salvage a point for his side, deepening the woes of Emery and prompting full-time boos from home fans.


What does it mean: Arsenal lack resilience again

Following some poor defensive displays, what Emery will have craved was a solid performance at the back. He seemed to be getting just that as Arsenal aimed to collect what would have been only their second clean sheet in the Premier League since August. But their weaknesses were exposed once more as Wolves claimed a point they certainly deserved.


Aubameyang leads by example

Arsenal's rotating captain's armband ended up with Aubameyang and he should have proved the match-winner, scoring his goal moments after wasting a good opening. 

Only six players have reached 50 goals for Arsenal faster than Aubameyang. The former Borussia Dortmund striker, who joined in January 2018, did so in his 78th appearance.


Ozil struggles to take his chance

Restored to Arsenal's Premier League lineup for the first time since September after impressing against Liverpool in a midweek EFL Cup thriller, Mesut Ozil had a chance to prove Emery wrong for sidelining him this season. 

But the former Germany midfielder was unable to dominate with Arsenal often on the back foot. While he did record more passes than anyone on the pitch they were typically not incisive. Lacazette recorded as many key passes despite being withdrawn for Martinelli after an hour.


What's next?

Both sides have Europa League action in midweek, with Arsenal away to Vitoria Guimaraes on Wednesday and Wolves hosting Slovan Bratislava the following day. Next weekend's Premier League action sees Arsenal travel to top-four rivals Leicester City and Wolves host Aston Villa.

Mesut Ozil will make his first Premier League start since September after being named in the Arsenal team to face Wolves on Saturday.

Ozil's only previous start in the league this season came away to Watford with the playmaker seemingly slipping out of favour under Unai Emery.

But the former Germany international has been recalled after playing a starring role in an extraordinary EFL Cup clash with Liverpool in midweek.

Captain Granit Xhaka is left out of the Arsenal squad for the second game in a row after Emery criticised his reaction while substituted to widespread jeers during last weekend's draw at home to Crystal Palace, though the midfielder this week apologised on social media and said he had received abuse following the incident.

Lucas Torreira is the beneficiary of Xhaka's continued absence, with the Uruguay international included for his first Premier League start in over a month, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang becomes the fifth starting Gunners captain of the 2019-20 season.

Arsenal, who lost to Liverpool on penalties after a 5-5 Anfield draw on Wednesday, are fifth in the Premier League table after 10 matches.

Emery's side have won only once in their past four matches in all competitions and have beaten Wolves just once in their four most recent Premier League meetings.

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo named the same starting XI as for his team's last league game, a 1-1 draw away to Newcastle United.

Unai Emery claims Mesut Ozil may earn a Premier League recall for Arsenal's home fixture with Wolves on Saturday.

Ozil impressed at Anfield during the week as the Gunners were eliminated on penalties by Liverpool after a thrilling 5-5 draw in the Carabao Cup.

The 31-year-old German has found chances hard to come by this season with just three appearances in total for Arsenal, having fallen out of favour under Emery.

But given his performance midweek and an improved attitude in recent times, the Spaniard says a return to regular first-team action may not be far away.

"He is in the squad and I think he has the possibility to play," Emery told reporters.

"I spoke with him on Tuesday and told him what my plan with him was. When he's available, training well, consistent and positive he can help us a lot.

"Now I am seeing him positive and consistent. On Wednesday with his performance in Liverpool, I think this is what we want. I am helping him, supporting him, demanding of him and this is the Mesut (Ozil) I think everyone wants.

"He has big experience. When you talk about players who are ready to play under high pressure, one is Mesut Ozil.

Ozil may come into contention to replace Granit Xhaka after Emery confirmed Arsenal's captain will not feature this weekend.

Granit Xhaka will not be involved for Arsenal in Saturday's Premier League match against Wolves, head coach Unai Emery has confirmed.

The meeting with Nuno Espirito Santo's side will be the Gunners' first at Emirates Stadium since Xhaka clashed with fans in the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace last week.

The club captain appeared to swear loudly and cupped his hand to his ear as sections of the home fans booed him when he was substituted after Arsenal had let a two-goal lead slip.

Xhaka was then left out of the thrilling EFL Cup encounter with Liverpool on Wednesday and later released a statement to explain his outburst, revealing he has received abusive messages online that include death threats made against his family.

The Switzerland international called on supporters to "move forward positively together" but Emery will keep him out of the firing line this weekend.

After confirming Xhaka would not play, Emery told reporters on Friday: "He is training. He didn't play at Liverpool. For me, he is continuing; above all, [we are] focusing on tomorrow.

"The first is the person. The human, like everyone, feels. Xhaka's issue last week is one issue that needs time. He needs time to recover the normality in him.

"He said sorry. He gave apologies to the supporters and everybody. Now, the focus on tomorrow's match."

Arsenal, who lost to Liverpool on penalties after an extraordinary 5-5 draw, are fifth in the Premier League table after 10 matches.

Emery's side have won only once in their past four matches in all competitions and have only beaten Wolves once in their four most recent Premier League meetings.

Barcelona are planning for life after Luis Suarez.

With Suarez now aged 32, the clock is ticking on his career at Camp Nou.

Barca are identifying potential replacements and have their sights on an Argentina international setting Serie A and Europe alight.

 

TOP STORY – MARTINEZ INTERESTS BARCA

LaLiga champions Barcelona are interested in Inter star Lautaro Martinez, reports Mundo Deportivo.

Ernesto Valverde's Barca are looking for a long-term replacement for Uruguay forward Luis Suarez, who turns 33 in January. 

And the front page of Friday's newspaper says Argentina international Martinez fits the bill for Barca amid reported interest from Manchester United.

 

ROUND-UP

Roma have opened talks with Manchester United about signing Chris Smalling permanently, according to the Express. Smalling is on loan from United and the English defender scored his first goal for Roma during the week. The Red Devils are reportedly seeking £17.2million (€20m).

- Remaining at Old Trafford and Sport Italia claims Paul Pogba was close to joining Paris Saint-Germain during the previous transfer window. Pogba was heavily linked to LaLiga giants Real Madrid and former club Juventus .

- Tuttosport says Juventus are ready to make another attempt to sign Real Madrid midfielder Isco. The Spain international has struggled for regular game time and Madrid are reportedly holding out for €70m. The Italian champions have also been linked to Manchester United teenager Tahith Chong, who is out of contract at the end of the season, via the Daily Mail.

- Barcelona's Arturo Vidal is ready to snub the Chinese Super League in favour for a move to Inter, says InterNews. Vidal continues to be heavily linked to a reunion with former Juve boss Antonio Conte at Inter, while Chinese giants Shanghai SIPG are reportedly interested.

United could be set for a raid on Juve. Tuttosport claims the Old Lady will allow Emre Can to leave in January as United, Bayern Munich and PSG eye the Germany international.

- According to the Daily Mail, former Manchester United and Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is the front-runner to replace Unai Emery at Arsenal. Emery is under mounting pressure in London.

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