A new striker in January is a priority at Manchester United and reports suggest a familiar face could make a sensational return to England.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has previously said the club will be doing business after Christmas, with a striker still required following the departures of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez.

Marcus Rashford has scored three goals in his previous two matches, while Anthony Martial marked his return from injury with a goal against Norwich City last Sunday, but a surprising name could provide the answer to United's depth issues up top.

 

TOP STORY – MANCHESTER UNITED MAKE CONTACT WITH IBRAHIMOVIC

Manchester United have made contact with former striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, according to TuttoMercatoWeb.

Ibrahimovic scored 30 goals in MLS for LA Galaxy in 2019, but they were eliminated from the post-season after a 5-3 defeat to cross-town rivals LAFC in the Western Conference semi-finals last weekend.

Interest in the former Barcelona, Inter Milan and Paris Saint-Germain striker has increased since the end of LA Galaxy's season with the Swede still believing he can contribute at the highest level.

The 38-year-old is currently a free agent and scored 29 goals at Old Trafford in a brief spell with the club previously.

ROUND-UP

- One player who may create funds for Manchester United's January business is defender Chris Smalling, but Corriere dello Sport claim the Red Devils want double the €10 million price Roma are expecting to pay for him. 

- AS are reporting Edinson Cavani is weighing up his future at Paris Saint-Germain with Atletico Madrid and Inter Miami keeping tabs on the Uruguayan.

Stefano Sensi is currently on-loan at Inter Milan from Sassuolo, but Sport claim Sensi's agent is in Barcelona as speculation of a move to the Spanish champions grows.

- The Daily Mail claims Wolves will turn to Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes in January as they seek reinforcements to cover the injured Willy Boly.

- Chelsea are interested in signing Hertha Berlin winger Javairo Dilrosun when their transfer ban expires, according to Calciomercato.

- L'Equipe say Nantes are among several clubs showing interest in free agent forward Hatem Ben Arfa.

Arsenal desperately need a positive result against Wolves if they are to draw a line under a tumultuous week at Emirates Stadium, but Nuno Espirito Santo's men have a strong record against the top flight's 'big six'.

The Gunners have been reeling since they squandered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Crystal Palace in a game that saw Arsenal captain Granit Xhaka booed by his own supporters, and the visibly angry Switzerland international cupped his ear to the disgruntled crowd as he left the field.

The result left Arsenal winless in two league games and facing something of a crisis of leadership as they prepare to face Wolves, who arrive in north London unbeaten in their last five league matches.

Last season's FA Cup semi-finalists have conceded just three goals in that time, and Arsenal need only look at the champions to learn about the threat they pose - it is less than a month since Wolves stunned Manchester City at Etihad Stadium, Adama Traore scoring two late goals in a 2-0 victory.

All eyes will be on Xhaka, should he play, as fifth-placed Arsenal seek to stave off the challenge of five teams within three points of them in the Premier League table.

EMERY MUST FIND MEN WHO CAN GO THE DISTANCE

Unai Emery has rotated his Arsenal midfield continuously this season and he has no shortage of match-fit replacements for Xhaka should he opt to leave his under-fire playmaker out against Wolves.

Lucas Torreira and Joe Willock have both played deep-lying midfield roles in recent matches and Emery may opt to trust one of them alongside Matteo Guendouzi in what is likely to be a high-octane battle in the middle of the park.

Nuno likes to pack the middle of his midfield in away games and the combination of Leander Dendoncker, Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho helped Wolves come from a goal down to draw 1-1 with Newcastle United last time out.

That game followed a familiar pattern for Wolves, who have conceded the first goal in more Premier League matches (seven) than any other side this season, though they have come back to draw five of those games.

While the average time Arsenal take to score their first goal in Premier League matches is 39 minutes, Wolves take an average of 61 minutes to find the net.

Twice in league games this season Arsenal have led by more than one goal only to draw 2-2. As they go up against the division's comeback specialists, they can ill afford to slip up again.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: GRANIT XHAKA V RUBEN NEVES

Having left him out of the rollercoaster EFL Cup defeat to Liverpool at Anfield, Emery has a big decision to make about whether to recall the much-maligned Xhaka.

Gunners greats Ian Wright, Nigel Winterburn and Emmanuel Petit have been among the many to condemn his actions but a return to the XI has not been ruled out.

Should he get the nod, Xhaka could win back some favour with supporters by getting the better of Neves in a key midfield battle.

The pair operate in similar roles to vastly differing degrees of adulation, even as the Opta data portrays Wolves star Neves as generally less effective than the Arsenal skipper.

Xhaka has created four more scoring chances, registered three more tackles and provided three more blocks in the Premier League this season despite playing one game less.

He has additionally contested 33 more duels at a superior success rate and his passing accuracy of 86.54 per cent is comfortably in advance of Neves' 75.45 per cent.

However, the Portuguese former Porto man can lay claim to having made seven more interceptions than Xhaka, a skill that will prove useful as the visitors attempt to stymie their opponents' play in north London.

FORM GUIDE: WOLVES IN CAPITAL MOOD

The prospect of a trip to London will not daunt Wolves, who have not lost a Premier League match in the capital since March 2012, when Fulham thumped them 5-0.

They have won three and drawn four of their seven subsequent matches in the city, and their recent form has been good no matter where they play.

Nuno's men have scored in each of their last nine Premier League games and could set a club record in the competition by finding the net on Saturday. Only table-topping Liverpool (19) are on a longer current goal-scoring run in the competition.

Arsenal must make the most of early opportunities, given that Wolves have scored a league-high 85 per cent of their Premier League goals in the second half of games this season (11/13), and Emery will take heart from his side's imperious home record on Saturday afternoons.

Arsenal have not lost at home at this time on a Saturday since the opening day of the 2013-14 season (1-3 vs Aston Villa), winning 20 and drawing two since then.

Goals are rarely in short supply at the Emirates, where Arsenal have scored in each of their last 23 league games, but the Gunners have kept just one clean sheet in their last seven.

HISTORY SAYS...

Arsenal have faced Wolves 10 times in the Premier League, breezing to consecutive victories in their first six matches against them in the competition.

Since then, however, they have won just one of their last four (D2, L1) and they failed to win either of their clashes with Nuno's newly promoted side in 2018-19.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan rescued a point for the Gunners in this fixture last season, scoring an 86th-minute equaliser in a 1-1 draw, and Wolves were 3-1 winners when the sides met at Molineux in April.

That victory ended a run of 16 league games without victory against the Gunners and another win on Saturday would see Wolves recording consecutive top-flight wins against them for the first time since September 1979 (a run of three).

Wolves defender Willy Boly will be out for "a number of months" after surgery on a fractured fibula.

The 28-year-old damaged the bone in his left ankle during training last Saturday and subsequently missed the 1-1 Premier League draw with Newcastle United.

The club confirmed in a statement on Wednesday that Boly is set to be sidelined for some time, although they have not discounted a possible return this season.

Wolves head of medical Phil Hayward said via the club's website: "Willy had surgery in London this morning to repair the bone with a small metal plate and screws.

"The procedure went as planned with no complications and he will now return to Compton to begin the early stages of his rehabilitation.

"Willy will be in a boot for the first six weeks, working hard to maintain fitness and muscle bulk in the leg before progressing to more functional activities.

"In terms of time scales, a lot depends on how he progresses in the first few weeks and how well the fracture heals."

Boly has made 16 appearances in the Premier League and Europa League this season and scored the only goal in a 1-0 win at Besiktas earlier this month.

Wolves extended their unbeaten Premier League run to five matches after Jonny Castro Otto took advantage of a Martin Dubravka error to earn a 1-1 draw with Newcastle United, who ended the game with 10 men.

Newcastle's waves of first-half pressure almost paid off when Miguel Almiron lashed a shot into the side-netting after outpacing Romain Saiss.

Less than three minutes later Jamaal Lascelles broke the deadlock, rising at the near post to meet Federico Fernandez's cross with a crashing downward header that gave Rui Patricio no chance.

Wolves raised their game in the second half and Diogo Jota was denied in a one-on-one with Dubravka when the Slovakian goalkeeper reacted quickly to block his low, close-range shot.

But Dubravka was at fault for the equaliser, parrying Matt Doherty's cross right into the path of Jonny, who slammed a first-time shot back into the net to level the match.

Sean Longstaff was sent off for a clumsy challenge on Ruben Neves with eight minutes remaining, but the 10 men of Newcastle survived an intense late spell of Wolves pressure to emerge with a point.

Wolves have suffered a major blow after defender Willy Boly suffered a suspected broken ankle in training on Saturday.

Boly has not travelled with the team for Sunday's Premier League match away to Newcastle United.

A full diagnosis and a decision on whether the 28-year-old requires surgery will follow after he has undergone further tests.

"Unfortunately, Willy Boly sustained a serious injury to his left ankle in training," said Wolves' head of medical Phil Hayward.

"Initial tests show a fracture to his fibula and he will undergo further imaging over the coming days. If surgery is required that will take place during the next week."

Boly has been a crucial player for manager Nuno Espirito Santo this season, starting eight of Wolves' nine Premier League games after playing in 36 top-flight matches last season.

He scored the winner in Wolves' Europa League win away to Besiktas earlier this month and has helped his side go on a seven-match unbeaten run that has spanned over a month.

Reports this week suggested the club were keen to tie Boly down to a new contract amid speculation he was garnering interest from Champions League teams in England and overseas.

Juventus are set to have money to splash at the end of the season.

Eight-time reigning Serie A champions Juve are repeating the rewards of their domestic dominance.

And it could see some of Europe's elite join Cristiano Ronaldo in Turin.

 

TOP STORY - JUVENTUS REACH FOR THE STARS

Juventus are eyeing a blockbuster signing, with Kylian Mbappe, Neymar and Paul Pogba the targets, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

Italian champions Juve are reportedly set to announce an increase of capital by €300million as they establish their position among Europe's elite clubs.

PSG's superstar pair Mbappe and Neymar fit the profile of a future eye-catching signing, as well as Manchester United's former Juve midfielder Pogba, Gazzetta says.

The report also mentions Borussia Dortmund sensation Jadon Sancho, Atletico Madrid's Joao Felix and Tottenham forward Son Heung-min.

 

ROUND-UP

- Manchester Evening News reports Manchester United are confident about signing James Maddison from Leicester City. After splashing out a world-record fee for a defender to lure Harry Maguire from Leicester, United are said to have their eyes on another Foxes star as they look to add quality in the attacking third.

Real Madrid are considering a move for AC Milan full-back David Calabria, according to Fichajes.net. The alternatives would be RB Leipzig's Lukas Klostermann and Youcef Atal from Nice as Madrid reportedly look to replace Alvaro Odriozola.

West Ham and Wolves are eyeing January moves for Milan star Suso, says The Sun. The former Liverpool attacker was wanted by Roma during the previous window.

- Soccer Link says Paris Saint-Germain are monitoring Chelsea defender Tariq Lamptey and plan to sign him at the end of the season. The 19-year-old's contract expires at the end of the campaign.

Arsenal will have to spend £30.1million (€35m) if they want to make Dani Ceballos' loan deal from Real Madrid permanent, according to El Desmarque.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich rejected an offer from a Middle East-based consortium to buy the Premier League club, The Daily Telegraph reports.

- The Guardian says Manchester City are stepping up their pursuit to sign in-demand Napoli star Fabian Ruiz. Fabian is also being targeted by Barcelona and Madrid.

The Glazer family have owned Manchester United since 2005.

However, a change of owners could be on the cards, with Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman reportedly interested in buying the club.

Sunday's focus will be on a crunch clash with arch rivals Liverpool, but talk of a takeover at Old Trafford dominates the headlines in our look at the day's gossip.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED BRACED FOR NEW APPROACH

According to The Mirror, Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman is set to make a new offer to purchase Manchester United.

The Glazer family have owned United for 14 years, and they are not prepared to sell having reportedly turned down two offers from Bin Salman already.

However, Bin Salman is keen on investing in United – who have not won the Premier League title since 2012-13.

 

ROUND-UP

Manchester United are lining up a move for RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner, reports The Express. The Red Devils are desperate for reinforcements following the departures of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez and Germany international Werner – who signed a new contract in August – has emerged as an option.

- The Daily Mail claims Paris Saint-Germain are looking to sign soon-to-be free agent Christian Eriksen from Tottenham. The Danish midfielder has been linked to Real Madrid, Juventus, Atletico Madrid and United. However, Ligue 1 champions PSG are prepared to battle for Eriksen's signature.

Manchester City are planning to offer Raheem Sterling a new bumper deal to ward off interest from Real Madrid, according to The Express. The England international has been linked with a move to the Santiago Bernabeu at the end of the season.

Wolves want to sign AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie in January, says Calciomercato. The Premier League side attempted to lure Kessie to the Molineux before the transfer window closed, however, he did not want to leave Milan.

- Calciomercato reports that Inter have set their sights on in-demand Borussia Monchengladbach star Denis Zakaria. The Switzerland teenager has been linked to Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, United and Tottenham, and it will take at least €50million to prise him from the German club.

Tottenham were rescued by a late equaliser as Dele Alli salvaged a 1-1 draw at home to the Premier League's bottom club Watford.

Having gone into the international break on the back of a 3-0 defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion, which followed on from their 7-2 capitulation to Bayern Munich, Spurs looked set to become the first team to lose to Watford in the league this term until a mix-up between Ben Foster and Kiko Femenia presented Alli with the chance to sweep in a late equaliser.

Chelsea claimed a fifth successive win in all competitions by beating Newcastle United 1-0 as Frank Lampard's side temporarily moved up to third, a place behind Leicester City, who came from behind to beat Burnley 2-1 thanks to goals from Jamie Vardy and Youri Tielemans.

Leicester and Chelsea were then overtaken by Manchester City, however, as the defending champions – who started with Rodri and Fernandinho in the centre of defence – beat Crystal Palace 2-0 at Selhurst Park.

Aston Villa overcame 10-man Brighton 2-1, courtesy of a late effort from Matt Targett, who had been picked out by the excellent Jack Grealish, while Bournemouth shared the points with struggling Norwich City and Raul Jimenez's penalty earned Wolves a point against Southampton.

In the early kick-off, Everton claimed a much-needed 2-0 victory over West Ham at Goodison Park to hand under-pressure Marco Silva a lifeline.

WATFORD MIX-UP RELIEVES THE PRESSURE ON POCHETTINO

It looked to be going from bad to worse for Spurs, who fell behind early on at home when Abdoulaye Doucoure swept home from Daryl Janmaat's cross to increase the pressure on boss Mauricio Pochettino.

Tottenham dominated throughout, though Watford will point to what appeared to be a valid penalty appeal which was turned down by both the referee and VAR after Jan Vertonghen had slid into Gerard Deulofeu.

Foster made a terrific save to tip Son Heung-min's strike onto the crossbar early in the second half, but confusion between Watford's goalkeeper and Femenia ensured Alli salvaged a point.

Having raced out to claim a cross, Foster appeared to hesitate, only managing to bundle into Femenia, who headed directly to Alli, who lashed in from a tight angle - VAR confirming the goal.

CHELSEA AND LEICESTER INTO THE TOP FOUR

The Blues are hitting their stride under Lampard, though they looked set to be frustrated by Newcastle until Marcos Alonso's second-half winner.

With Tammy Abraham and Willian having squandered great chances, Newcastle's resolve was broken when their goalkeeper Martin Dubravka failed to keep hold of Alonso's strike.

Chelsea are level on points with Leicester, who bounced back from their defeat at Anfield last time out with a hard-fought victory over Burnley.

The Foxes restored parity through Vardy - who cancelled out Chris Wood's opener - before Tielemans hammered home with 16 minutes remaining. The Clarets thought they had snatched a draw late on, only for Jonny Evans' own goal to be contentiously disallowed.

CITY CLOSE THE GAP

Liverpool's lead at the top has, temporarily at least, been reduced to five points as City eased to a 2-0 win over Palace through goals from Gabriel Jesus and David Silva.

With Nicolas Otamendi injured and John Stones deemed not ready to start, Pep Guardiola opted to go with Rodri and Fernandinho at the back, though Palace could not test the makeshift pairing before Jesus headed City in front.

Silva added another with a sublime volley before the break, with City going for the jugular in the second half – though they were denied a penalty, Kevin De Bruyne hit the post and Raheem Sterling missed a golden chance to wrap up the points.

Ederson was called into action twice late on, but City were not made to pay for their profligacy as they returned to winning ways and edged closer to Liverpool, who face Manchester United on Sunday.

SILVA EASES THE PRESSURE

Everton entered Saturday's early match on the back of four successive league defeats, but the Toffees handed Silva a boost with a dominant display against West Ham - Bernard putting them ahead with a cute finish after some sublime footwork got him through a crowd of defenders.

Silva's side could easily have extended their lead, with Richarlison and Theo Walcott hitting the post and crossbar respectively while Everton also had two goals disallowed.

West Ham might have snatched an unlikely point if not for Jordan Pickford's save from Angelo Ogbonna's close-range effort, but the points were wrapped up when Gylfi Sigurdsson arrowed in his first league goal of the season in stoppage time as Everton ended their dismal run.

Tottenham were rescued by a late equaliser as Dele Alli salvaged a 1-1 draw at home to the Premier League's bottom club Watford. 

Having gone into the international break on the back of a 3-0 defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion, which followed on from their 7-2 capitulation to Bayern Munich, Spurs looked set to become the first team to lose to Watford in the league this term until a mix-up between Ben Foster and Kiko Femenia presented Alli with the chance to sweep in a late equaliser.

Chelsea claimed a fifth successive win in all competitions by beating Newcastle United 1-0 as Frank Lampard's side temporarily moved up to third, a place behind Leicester City, who came from behind to beat Burnley 2-1 thanks to goals from Jamie Vardy and Youri Tielemans. 

Aston Villa overcame 10-man Brighton 2-1, courtesy of a late effort from Matt Targett, who had been picked out by the excellent Jack Grealish, while Bournemouth shared the points with struggling Norwich City and Raul Jimenez's penalty earned Wolves a point against Southampton.

In the early kick-off, Everton claimed a much-needed 2-0 victory over West Ham at Goodison Park to hand under-pressure Marco Silva a lifeline.

WATFORD MIX UP RELIEVES THE PRESSURE ON POCHETTINO

It looked to be going from bad to worse for Spurs, who fell behind early on at home when Abdoulaye Doucoure swept home from Daryl Janmaat's cross to increase the pressure on boss Mauricio Pochettino.

Tottenham dominated throughout, though Watford will point to what appeared to be a valid penalty appeal which was turned down by both the referee and VAR after Jan Vertonghen had slid into Gerard Deulofeu.

Foster made a terrific save to tip Son Heung-min's strike onto the crossbar early in the second half, but confusion between Watford's goalkeeper and Femenia ensured Alli salvaged a point.

Having raced out to claim a cross, Foster appeared to hesitate, only managing to bundle into Femenia, who headed directly to Alli, who lashed in from a tight angle - VAR confirming the goal.

CHELSEA AND LEICESTER INTO THE TOP THREE

The Blues are hitting their stride under Lampard, though they looked set to be frustrated by Newcastle until Marcos Alonso's second-half winner.

With Tammy Abraham and Willian having squandered great chances, Newcastle's resolve was broken when their goalkeeper Martin Dubravka failed to keep hold of Alonso's strike.

Chelsea are level on points with Leicester, who bounced back from their defeat at Anfield last time out with a hard-fought victory over Burnley.

The Foxes restored parity through Vardy - who cancelled out Chris Wood's opener - before Tielemans hammered home with 16 minutes remaining. The Clarets thought they had snatched a draw late on, only for Jonny Evans' own goal to be contentiously disallowed.

SILVA EASES THE PRESSURE

Everton entered Saturday's early match on the back of four successive league defeats, but the Toffees handed Silva a boost with a dominant display against West Ham - Bernard putting them ahead with a cute finish after some sublime footwork got him through a crowd of defenders.

Silva's side could easily have extended their lead, with Richarlison and Theo Walcott hitting the post and crossbar respectively while Everton also had two goals disallowed.

West Ham might have snatched an unlikely point if not for Jordan Pickford's save from Angelo Ogbonna's close-range effort, but the points were wrapped up when Gylfi Sigurdsson arrowed in his first league goal of the season in stoppage time as Everton ended their dismal run.

Liverpool's flawless start to their Premier League season continued on Saturday with a hard-fought 1-0 victory at Sheffield United thanks to Georginio Wijnaldum's winner.

The Reds were made to battle by the Blades and secured their seventh win in as many games after Dutch midfielder Wijnaldum's shot squirmed through the legs of Blades goalkeeper Dean Henderson.

Chelsea earned Frank Lampard his first league win at Stamford Bridge with a 2-0 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion, while top-four rivals Tottenham, who were reduced to 10 men, claimed a 2-1 win over Southampton.

Elsewhere, Wolves beat Watford 2-0, Crystal Palace battled to a 2-0 win against Norwich City, and Aston Villa's clash with Burnley and Bournemouth's match against West Ham both finished in 2-2 draws.

KLOPP'S MEN SHOW THEIR GRIT

This was a day when Liverpool had to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in. Sheffield United did not give Jurgen Klopp's side an inch and the German had to squeeze every ounce of effort out of his players.

It was even more acute when Liverpool's front three of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino seemed to forget where the goal was and errant finishing might have proved costly on another day.

Klopp's side have been renowned for their free-flowing football but they showed a grittier side against dogged opponents at Bramall Lane.

If they are to go one better than last season and beat Manchester City to the title that resilience, especially away from Anfield, is going to be key.

HOME COMFORT FOR LAMPARD

Lampard had gone into this game without a Premier League victory at Stamford Bridge – it was an itch he was absolutely desperate to scratch.

Chelsea thrashed Grimsby 7-1 in the EFL Cup on Wednesday to give Lampard his first win on home soil, but it is the league where the former England international will be judged and he needed three points against Brighton.

At half-time, with the scoreline goalless against the Seagulls, Lampard might have been more than a little concerned.

However, a penalty from Jorginho five minutes into the second half eased the nerves before compatriot Willian added a second to give Chelsea a routine victory.

SPURS SHOW THEIR METTLE

This had all the hallmarks of being a miserable day for Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino, but he ended up with a smile on his face.

A red card for Serge Aurier just after the half-hour mark and a howler from goalkeeper Hugo Lloris had the whiff of a Tottenham implosion.

Tanguy Ndombele put Tottenham ahead before Aurier was shown a second yellow card. Lloris then sloppily allowed Danny Ings to equalise when he casually received a Toby Alderweireld pass.

Harry Kane had Spurs ahead again before half-time but, playing the majority of the game with 10 men, Southampton had chances. Spurs, though, showed plenty of backbone to earn the three points.

LATE EQUALISERS FOR BURNLEY AND WEST HAM

Aston Villa missed the chance for a second league win after they were twice pegged by Burnley. Anwar El Ghazi put Villa ahead before Jay Rodriguez levelled. John McGinn had Dean Smith's side in front again, only for Chris Wood to equalise with nine minutes left.

Bournemouth's clash with West Ham also finished 2-2. Andriy Yarmolenko's third league goal of the campaign put the Hammers in the lead but Josh King equalised. In-form Callum Wilson then struck in the first minute after half-time only for Aaron Cresswell to secure a share of the spoils for the Hammers.

In the day's other games, Wolves banked their first three points of the season with a 2-0 victory over winless Watford, who prop up the rest of the table, thanks to a strike from Matt Doherty and Daryl Janmaat's own goal.

Crystal Palace clinched a 2-0 win over newly promoted Norwich to move into the comfort of mid-table following a penalty from spot-kick expert Luka Milivojevic and an injury-time strike from Andros Townsend.

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