Lautaro Martinez expects Inter to be quickly on the front foot when they tackle Liverpool in the Champions League at San Siro on Wednesday.

The blow of losing top spot to Milan in Serie A could be softened by a positive midweek result against Jurgen Klopp's Premier League giants.

Inter remain firmly in the Scudetto race, one point behind Milan and with a game in hand, and last season's champions are also eager to make progress in Europe.

Liverpool will provide them with a stiff test, and the Reds have already won away against Milan in the competition earlier this season.

Martinez told Prime Video: "Against Liverpool, we want to be protagonists, keep the ball, attack, defend the goal well and hurt the opponent."

The Argentinian forward has yet to score in the Champions League this season, despite totalling 2.14 expected goals (xG) in the group stage. That metric assesses the chances he has had, with Martinez having had 25 shots so far, of which just six have hit the target.

He has played six games in the Champions League in each of the last three seasons, hitting five goals in 2019-20 and one last term. Indeed, since scoring against Real Madrid in November 2020, Martinez has played 697 minutes without finding the net in the competition.

To get off the mark against Liverpool would be ideal timing.

"You will see a player who has grown a lot," Martinez said. "It will be a great game to play. We passed the group phase, which was already important to us. Now I hope to do well and to lend a hand to the team to try to move forward, which is our dream."

Martinez hailed Liverpool boss Klopp as "a great coach", and predicted the German will have done his homework on Inter.

"Liverpool have many strong players," Martinez added. "We have to prepare for the game well and work on the possession phase because it will be important. They attack with a lot of people, they play with very fast forwards. We will have to be careful."

Liverpool won home and away when these sides met at the same last-16 stage in the 2007-08 season, with Fernando Torres getting the only goal of the game at San Siro.

Up to this point, the only team to have recorded wins over both Milan and Inter in the same European Cup or Champions League campaign have been Harry Redknapp's Tottenham in the 2010-11 season.

Barcelona have been working to overcome their financial challenges over the past 12 months.

The Blaugrana have been plotting a way forward with their playing squad.

Barca landed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on a free transfer in January, as well as a loan move for Adama Traore.

TOP STORY – BARCELONA TARGET DE VRIJ

Barcelona are keen on Inter's Dutch defender Stefan de Vrij, reports Fichajes.

De Vrij is contracted with the Nerazzurri until the end of the 2022-23 season, but Barca may view him as Gerard Pique's successor.

Inter are reportedly open to interest from other parties, if the price is right, with the 30-year-old heading towards the final year of his present deal.

ROUND-UP

- The Daily Mail claims Paris Saint-Germain are putting together a lucrative deal to lure Paul Pogba to the club from Manchester United as a free agent. Pogba also has interest from Real Madrid and Barcelona, while he may still stay at Old Trafford.

- Newcastle United's efforts to sign Sevilla defender Diego Carlos will continue in the off-season after missing out in January, reports Marca.

- RB Leipzig forward Christopher Nkunku has been added to Manchester United's list of off-season targets, claims ESPN.

- Crystal Palace and Watford are both keen on Liverpool veteran James Milner, according to Fichajes.

Inter assistant Massimiliano Farris praised his team's mentality and fitness levels after they came from behind to secure a 1-1 draw at title rivals Napoli.

Nerazzurri coach Simone Inzaghi served a touchline ban in Naples after both he and defender Alessandro Bastoni were shown red cards in the aftermath of the defending champions' 2-1 derby defeat to Milan last week.

Lorenzo Insigne's first-half penalty gave Napoli a deserved half-time lead and left Inter staring at consecutive defeats to their main Scudetto rivals, but Edin Dzeko's equalising goal ensured the visitors escaped Naples with a point.

And Farris was pleased with how they responded to going behind.

"The second-half performance says a great deal about the quality of this squad," he told DAZN in the aftermath of the stalemate.

"We had some regrets at half-time, but in the second half [we] showed a great reaction and mental strength in a fiery atmosphere. 

"We smothered Napoli’s enthusiasm and we could've won it at the end, but we're content with a point here."

Inter managed just three shots worth a mere 0.17 combined expected goals before the break, but an improved second half display ensured the Nerazzurri earned a valuable draw, and they have now won 17 points from losing positions in Serie A this season, more than any other team in the division.

Farris, who accompanied Inzaghi during his five-year stint as Lazio boss before joining him at San Siro, put Inter's ability to rescue points from difficult situations down to their fitness levels.

"Napoli changed tactics to a [back] five and that was a sign of them backing off, [but] we still had fuel in the tank, despite coming off the derby and a Coppa Italia match, whereas Napoli had all week to prepare for this game," he said.

"The team was controlling the situation well [in the second half]. It's all a positive sign."

Despite seeing their 440-minute stretch without conceding an away goal in Serie A come to an end, Inter maintained their one-point lead over Luciano Spalletti's Napoli at the Serie A summit with the draw, although cross-city rivals Milan could leapfrog the Nerazzurri by beating Sampdoria on Sunday.

Inter held on to top spot in Serie A after coming from behind to claim a 1-1 draw at second-placed Napoli on Saturday.

Lorenzo Insigne gave the hosts the lead from the penalty spot after just seven minutes at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

But the reigning champions equalised inside a minute in the second half as Edin Dzeko fired in only his third league goal since October.

Although Napoli looked the more likely to find a winner, they missed the opportunity to displace their opponents at the summit.

Inter had kept a clean sheet in each of their previous four away games in Serie A, but they were breached early on when Insigne confidently swept home from 12 yards after the VAR ruled Stefan de Vrij had fouled Victor Osimhen.

Although forced into an early change as Matteo Politano limped off injured, Napoli continued to carry the greater threat going forward.

Piotr Zielinski hit the post from distance, while Osimhen and Insigne also went close to doubling the lead.

Aiming to avoid suffering back-to-back league defeats for the first time since March 2020 following last weekend's Derby della Madonnina reverse against Milan, Inter looked to respond with Dzeko heading straight at David Ospina from close range.

And there was no denying Inter's number nine just after the restart. He slammed in off the underside of the crossbar after an initial cross ricocheted kindly into his path.

Napoli went close to regaining the lead as Samir Handanovic produced smart reflexes to deny Osimhen and Eljif Elmas, but the sides could not be separated as the title race remains too close to call.

Olivier Giroud declared that Milan "are back" after inspiring their comeback win in the derby with Inter.

Giroud scored twice to cut Inter's lead at the top of Serie A to one point - though the Nerazzurri do have a game in hand - in a 2-1 win for the Rossoneri, who had fallen behind to Ivan Perisic's first-half volley.

The France international contentiously converted from close range to equalise in the 75th minute and completed the turnaround three minutes later to stun Simone Inzaghi's side, Milan's only blemish a late red card for Theo Hernandez.

"As I said before the game, this was a special fixture. You win the derby, we were struggling in the first half, but after the break for 45 minutes we got back into it," Giroud told DAZN.

"I was hoping for one or two balls into the box, the first was a bit lucky, but the second was a fine [Davide] Calabria pass.

"I am so happy for my fans, I am proud of this team that never gave up.

"We score goals in the box, so it's true I was a bit isolated in the first half, but the whole team didn't play well and we knew that.

"We proved our great team spirit after the break and we are back!

"There's a long road ahead of us, we are still in the running, but there are many games to be played and Inter remain the leaders.

"So let’s win our matches and then see what Inter do."

October 17, 2020. Zlatan Ibrahimovic's double proved enough for Milan to claim a derby day victory over their great rivals, with Romelu Lukaku's goal not enough to inspire a comeback.

Much has changed in the intervening period between then and now.

Inter recovered from that defeat by going on to win the Serie A title for the first time since 2010. Yet coach Antonio Conte and talisman Lukaku have both departed for pastures new – London, to be precise, with Tottenham and Chelsea respectively.

Milan, meanwhile, finished second, 12 points behind their neighbours, but they have had a relatively settled period under Stefano Pioli. And on Saturday, the Rossoneri truly ignited the 2021-22 title race by ending Inter's domestic unbeaten streak at San Siro – a run that stretched to 28 matches in total, since that day in October 2020.

There was no Ibrahimovic for Pioli to call on this time, but another veteran forward stepped up in the form of Olivier Giroud, whose quickfire double did the damage.

Having been on the verge of going seven points clear, the incredible turnaround leaves Inter just one point above Milan, as the title battle between the two northern powerhouses looks set to go down to the wire.

Giroud brings the Z factor

Ibrahimovic is a big miss in any game, but in particular, a derby with title hopes resting on it.

The 40-year-old has scored eight Serie A goals in Milan Derbies (six for AC Milan, two for Inter) – only Giuseppe Meazza (12), Gunnar Nordahl (11) and Stefano Nyers (11) have scored more times in this fixture in the history of the competition.

For much of Saturday's clash – 75 minutes, in fact – the void in Milan's attack was evident, the Rossoneri having managed just one attempt on target, from Sandro Tonali in the first half.

But Giroud turned that on its head, first showing his poacher's instinct to prod in from Brahim Diaz's shot-cross, before holding off his marker and drilling in a low strike on the turn three minutes later.

Samir Handanovic should have done better to prevent Milan's winner, mind. Perhaps the Inter goalkeeper had been caught unawares, given his lack of action prior to the late red-and-black charge.

"Playing with him is something I see as a challenge, something that pushes me every day," Giroud said of Ibrahimovic in a recent interview.

"It's an opportunity to have him as my partner, to learn something more. He's an example for many strikers and when I was young I loved him, both on the pitch and for his strong character, and for the fact that he's demanding every day.  It's a healthy competition between us."

Giroud proved an old dog can still learn new tricks (from an older dog, that is) with his match-winning turn. The former Chelsea forward converted both of his two attempts, which came from two of his four touches in the penalty area, and a combined expected goals (xG) value of 0.8, as he became the first French player to score twice against Inter in a Serie A match.

All seven of Giroud's Serie A goals this season have come at San Siro, with those strikes coming only when he has started games (eight starts in total).

 

Inter's charge hits its first hurdle?

There has been a pretty seamless transition for Inter since Simone Inzaghi replaced Antonio Conte.

Edin Dzeko has come in for Lukaku, and Lautaro Martinez is still brilliant. Indeed, Inter are scoring at a similar rate to last season, netting on average every 38 minutes in the league.

Yet they more than met their match in the form of Milan, who earned a thrilling 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture in November.

Inter had less possession (46 per cent) and won fewer duels (42 compared to 57), yet still created more chances (nine to seven) and had more attempts (11 to 10). They were unable to make the most of going ahead, though.

 

Ivan Perisic's goal – his 50th for the club – had the Nerazzurri in front by half-time but Inter have now failed to win three of their last four derby clashes, while Milan came from behind to beat them in Serie A for the first time since February 2004.

This result can hardly be considered as putting Inter into anything resembling a crisis. They have lost just two of their last 12 Serie A derbies and are still top, with a game in hand on their title rivals, though the manner of the defeat may take some coming back from.

Since the turn of the year, Inter have taken seven of the 12 points on offer and, in a title race with such fine margins (Napoli are only four points back in third), that has enabled the challengers to gain ground.

One positive for Inter, however, was a late red card for Theo Hernandez, who will face a suspension after lunging in recklessly on Denzel Dumfries.

Hernandez is one of Milan's best players, and his absence may just mean that, even though Inter lost the battle, they could go on to win the war provided they bounce back quickly.

Simone Inzaghi scoffed at the idea Inter might kill off Milan's title hopes in Saturday's derby, as he claimed even Juventus remain in the Scudetto hunt.

A victory for Inter would move them seven points clear of Milan, while also having the advantage of a game in hand.

Inzaghi's Inter will be the home side at the San Siro stadium the teams share, and the Nerazzurri lead the way at the top of Serie A after losing just one of their opening 22 games.

It would be hard to see Milan coming back from defeat to their great rivals, but Inzaghi is not discounting the prospect.

Asked if three points for Inter would count out Milan, Inzaghi said: "I don't think so. There are another 15 matches to go and we all saw what happened in the first half of the season. We were seven points behind and drew the derby and still managed to close the gap."

Milan made a flying start to the season but were reeled in, with 2021-22 carrying distinct echoes of how the 2020-21 campaign panned out.

Then, it was Antonio Conte pulling the strings as Inter charged through to capture the title, and now it is Inzaghi's turn, with a first Scudetto of his coaching career beckoning.

He triumphed in Serie A as a player with Sven-Goran Eriksson's double-winning Lazio in 1999-2000, and is not getting ahead of himself this time.

"It's an important game and we know how much it means to the fans," Inzaghi said of derby day. "But there are 45 points and a lot of football to play before we can draw any conclusions.

"I played in lots of derbies and there's never a favourite. Tomorrow will be no different: it's a game that will be won by fine margins. It will come down to our motivation."

Inter have lost only one of their last 11 Serie A meetings against Milan. That defeat was a 2-1 setback in October 2020, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring twice in the opening 16 minutes. Inter have won six and drawn four of those 11 games, with Milan keeping a clean sheet just once.

Most signs point to Inter giving up no ground to their city rivals this weekend. Their last Serie A home defeat was that 2020 loss to Milan, and they are undefeated in 28 games since in the competition when hosting.

Inzaghi won just three of 10 Serie A games against Milan while serving as head coach at Lazio, and his Inter side drew 1-1 with Stefano Pioli's Rossoneri earlier this season.

For obvious reasons, Inzaghi would dearly love a win this time. Napoli and Milan both enter the weekend as Inter's closest challengers, four points back and having played one game more than Inzaghi's men.

Despite this position of strength, Inzaghi said the title race was "all still open".

"Besides Milan and Napoli, there's Atalanta and Juventus, who are very good teams," Inzaghi told a news conference, according to Inter's website.

"Juventus have been doing really well in the last two months and they've made some great signings. All of the teams down to Juventus could win the Scudetto."

Juventus raided Fiorentina last week to sign Dusan Vlahovic, the exciting Serbian forward who hit 33 goals in Serie A in 2021, and that should fortify Massimiliano Allegri's fifth-placed Bianconeri for a push into the Champions League places.

Juve are 11 points off the top, also having played 23 games to Inter's 22. Atalanta are a point better off than Juve, occupying fourth spot.

Inter have confirmed the signing of Felipe Caicedo on loan from fellow Serie A side Genoa until the end of the season.

The 33-year-old, who previously worked under Inter boss Simone Inzaghi at Lazio, ​becomes the first Ecuadorian player to represent the Nerazzurri.

Caicedo joined Genoa from Lazio in August but will spend the rest of 2021-22 at San Siro, where he will provide competition to the likes of Lautaro Martinez and Edin Dzeko.

"I'm very excited. I want to be a success here," Caicedo, who will wear the number 88 shirt, told Inter's official website. 

"I want to thank the coach, Inzaghi, for trying his best to bring me here. I'm delighted and can't wait to start training and playing for Inter.

"I'm really proud to represent my country and to be the first Ecuadorian to play for Inter. I'm very happy and I think I can do very well here."

 

Caicedo scored only one goal in 10 appearances for Genoa in all competitions – albeit just two of those were starts – while chipping in with a couple of assists.

Since arriving in Serie A with Lazio in August 2017, the former Manchester City player has scored 29 goals in 114 games at a rate of one goal every 162 minutes.

That is a similar strike rate to new team-mate Martinez, who has netted a goal every 158 minutes across 120 appearances in the Italian top flight.

Caicedo played a part in Lazio's Coppa Italia triumph under Inzaghi in 2018-19 and is looking forward to reuniting with the Italian coach.

"I worked with him for four years at Lazio, and now we get to link up again," the former Ecuador international said. "He was really important. 

"He convinced me to join straight away. So I am grateful and can't wait to start training under him again."

Caicedo is the second player to join Serie A leaders Inter this window following the arrival of wing-back Robin Gosens from Atalanta, with that deal also initially a loan.

Inter have terminated the contract of Christian Eriksen by mutual consent, with the Denmark international unable to play in Serie A due to health regulations following his cardiac arrest.

Eriksen collapsed following a cardiac arrest in Denmark's Euro 2020 opener last June and was given CPR before subsequently undergoing successful heart surgery.

The former Tottenham man was then fitted with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD), which means he is unable to play for Inter in Serie A due to not meeting the "requirements of achieving sporting fitness" in Italy.

Eriksen would be allowed to play in other European leagues, as Daley Blind does for Ajax in the Eredivisie with an ICD fitted, and the 29-year-old has been using the training facilities of former club Odense to build up his fitness in Denmark.

The midfielder has returned to Inter on just the one occasion, visiting their training ground in early August, but Simone Inzaghi's side confirmed on Friday that Eriksen would be free to negotiate with other clubs after they parted ways.

"FC Internazionale Milano can confirm that an agreement has been reached to terminate Christian Eriksen's contract by mutual consent," the statement by Inter said. 

"The club and the entire Nerazzurri family wish Christian all the very best for his future.

"Although Inter and Christian are now parting ways, the bond shall never be broken. The good times, the goals, the victories, those Scudetto celebrations with fans outside San Siro – all this will remain forever in Nerazzurri history."

Eriksen was the part of the Inter side that ended a 10-year wait for the Scudetto last term under now-Tottenham manager Antonio Conte.

Inter head coach Simone Inzaghi said the Nerazzurri can be proud of their efforts after moving top of Serie A, but insisted there is plenty of work still to be done.

Defending champions Inter moved a point clear of city rivals Milan at the Serie A summit following a 4-0 rout of Cagliari at San Siro on Sunday.

Lautaro Martinez scored twice – and missed a penalty – while Alexis Sanchez and Hakan Calhanoglu were also on target for high-flying Inter.

It was a dominant display as Inter enjoyed a whopping 75.2 per cent of the possession, registered 24 shots and, but for the heroics of Cagliari goalkeeper Alessio Cragno, they could easily have extended their winning margin.

Inter are also through to the knockout stages of the Champions League and will discover their last-16 opponents in Monday's draw.

Inzaghi was pleased with the way his players responded from their midweek defeat to Real Madrid, but maintained they cannot afford to take anything for granted.

"The lads did really well. I had asked for concentration and focus, as I saw this weekend so many big clubs struggle after European games," he told DAZN.

"I knew Cagliari would be organised, and we needed the right approach. I congratulated them at half-time for their attitude as, although it was only 1-0, they had the right performance, and we just needed to convert more of those chances.

"We are top of the table; we reached the Champions League round of 16 after 11 years, so it's hard to do better."

Inter have won 18 home games in 2021 and have never done better in a single calendar year in Serie A.

Meanwhile, Inter scored 98 goals in Serie A this year, only in 1950 the Nerazzurri scored more goals (99) in a calendar year in the top flight.

"I knew we were playing well from the very start; that was 23 games ago, but there's a long road ahead. We've done well to put together a run of positive results," Inzaghi added.

"Now that we are top, naturally we want to stay there. However, we were seven or eight points off the top just a month ago, so we know it's a tricky and very open season.

"Our aim for Christmas was to reach the Champions League round of 16, because Inter deserved to be there after 11 years, and we did it with a game in hand. Now, we can focus on Serie A for the next few weeks."

Lautaro Martinez scored twice as Inter went top of Serie A with a commanding 4-0 win over Cagliari at San Siro.

Martinez, who also had a penalty saved, opened the scoring with a first-half header and Alexis Sanchez doubled the lead shortly after the restart.

Hakan Calhanoglu’s thumping 25-yard strike increased the advantage, before Martinez put the icing on the cake by taking his Serie A tally for the season to 10 with a neat finish.

Simone Inzaghi's side moved a point clear of city rivals Milan at the summit of the table after an eighth win in 10 league meetings with the Rossoblu.

No team have scored more goals from set-pieces than Inter in Serie A this season.

So it was no surprise that the hosts netted another to open the scoring against the side that had conceded the most in the Italian top flight, with Martinez powerfully heading in from Calhanoglu’s corner just before the half-hour mark.

Martinez had a great chance to add a second just before the break after Denzel Dumfries was brought down by Alessio Cragno in the box, but the goalkeeper redeemed himself by guessing correctly to keep out the spot-kick.

Inter doubled their lead within five minutes of the restart as Sanchez neatly guided home Nicolo Barella's cross on the volley.

Calhanoglu got in on the act 66 minutes in as he beat Cragno with a stunning long-range strike.

Martinez was on target again two minutes later; latching onto Barella's lofted through ball before slotting in his sixth league goal against Cagliari in seven appearances.

Sanchez rattled the bar late on as the defending champions made an emphatic statement as they rose to the summit.

Manchester United's search for a permanent new manager continues to roll on.

Ralf Rangnick has taken over on an interim basis following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's axing.

Several big names have been linked with the vacant post.

 

TOP STORY – TEN HAG TOP OF MAN UTD'S LIST

Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag has moved to the head of the queue to be Manchester United's new manager, claims The Mirror.

Ten Hag guided Ajax through a record-breaking Champions League group campaign where they won all six games.

United have now made appointing him their priority as he ticks all the boxes for the 20-time English champions.

 

ROUND-UP

- Newcastle United have reached out to Manchester United about the prospect of a January move for Jesse Lingard, claims The Sun.

- Tottenham are tracking Chelsea's Andreas Christensen, joining Manchester City and Manchester United in pursuit of him, reports the Daily Star.

- Liverpool have set a £10million asking price for West Ham target Nat Phillips, according to The Sun.

- The Reds are also interested in signing Real Madrid winger Rodrygo and are willing to pay £68m (€80m), reports El Nacional.

- La Gazzetta dello Sport claims that Inter have not held any talks with Stefan dr Vrij amid links with Tottenham and Newcastle United.

- Brazilian powerhouse Corinthians have enquired about Manchester United's veteran Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani, claims Globo Esporte.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has hit another career milestone after netting his 300th goal across Europe's top five leagues.

The Milan veteran scored a spectacular stoppage-time equaliser against Udinese on Saturday in what was his 450th appearance in the top five leagues.

That took Ibrahimovic to 300 goals in those competitions – the Premier League, Bundesliga, Serie A, LaLiga and Ligue 1.

Only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have reached that mark previously in the 21st century.

Ibrahimovic has featured in four of the top five leagues, with the Bundesliga the only competition missing off his list.

Having joined Juventus in 2004 from Ajax, the Sweden striker has gone on to play for Inter, Barcelona, Milan (over two spells), Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United.

Ibrahimovic has now scored seven Serie A goals this term. He netted 15 last season and 10 in 2019-20 after he returned to Milan following a stint in MLS with the LA Galaxy.

The 40-year-old scored 17 goals in his sole full season in the Premier League with United, averaging a strike every 143 minutes.

His best minutes-per-goal ratio across a full league campaign so far came in his final season at PSG in 2015-16 (67), in which he also set up a career-high 13 league goals for team-mates.

Ibrahimovic scored 38 times in Ligue 1 that season, with an impressive shot conversion rate of 24.52 per cent from 155 attempts.

He has scored 30 or more league goals on two occasions, in 2015-16 and in 2012-13, also with PSG.

Ibrahimovic's maiden season in one of the big five leagues produced 16 goals for Juve. He failed to settle at Barca under Pep Guardiola but still contributed 16 LaLiga goals in 2009-10.

Just over half of his goals have have been scored in Italy (154), while 113 came in Ligue 1.

Barcelona's financial issues mean they need to get crafty in January transfer window.

The Catalans lost Lionel Messi during the off-season and have struggled this term.

Barca were bundled out of the Champions League this week but will be keen to rescue their season.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA PLOT RASHFORD SWOOP

Barcelona are planning to swoop for Manchester United's Marcus Rashford, according to El Nacional.

The stumbling block may be United's asking price for Rashford, but the Blaugrana believe they can prise him away based on opportunity.

Rashford has been in and out of United's starting line-up and Barca plan to offer him the chance to lead their attack.

ROUND-UP

- Calciomercato claims Georginio Wijnaldum could leave Paris Saint-Germain for Inter in January as part of a swap deal involving Marcelo Brozovic. The Croatia midfielder is out of contract at the end of this season.

Joao Felix could join Manchester City from Atletico Madrid, with his agent Jorge Mendes trying to engineer the switch, Calciomercato says.

Liverpool have an eye on Leeds United's Raphinha and West Ham's Jarrod Bowen ahead of the January transfer window, according to the Liverpool Echo.

Chelsea are considering a move for Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro, reports El Nacional.

- Brazilian giants Palmeiras want to sign Real Madrid full-back Marcelo, reports Mundo Deportivo. The former Brazil international's contract with Los Blancos expires at the end of this season.

Ajax and Juventus have their eyes on Bayern Munich teenager Kenan Yildiz, according to Fanatik.

Is a Leeds United midfielder ready to reject a switch to Old Trafford?

Typically, Manchester United are too big to turn down but Kalvin Phillips is believed to be willing to withstand their interest due to the rivalry between the two clubs.

The beneficiaries of such a decision? Liverpool apparently.

 

TOP STORY – PHILLIPS TO TURN DOWN MAN UTD

Leeds United star Kalvin Phillips will snub a move to Manchester United in favour of Premier League rivals Liverpool, according to The Sun.

Phillips has emerged as a target for Leeds' bitter rivals United, while Liverpool are also admirers of the England international.

Wary of the backlash a move to Old Trafford would cause among Leeds fans, Phillips is ready to reject United and join Liverpool.

 

ROUND-UP

Arsenal are plotting a move for Everton star Richarlison, claims Fichajes. The Brazil international scored against Arsenal on Monday, while he has been linked with Paris Saint-Germain.

- Fabrizio Romano reports Borussia Dortmund have made direct contact with Salzburg star Karim Adeyemi. The Germany international is Dortmund's main target as clubs queue up to sign Erling Haaland, who is wanted by Manchester United, Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool, Chelsea, PSG, Juventus and Bayern Munich.

- Tuttomercato says Franck Kessie could leave Milan on a free transfer. The soon-to-be free agent has been linked with Tottenham, Inter, PSG and United.

Fiorentina are poised to sign Lille star Jonathan Ikone, per Gianluca Di Marzio. The deal is reportedly not related to the future of wantaway forward Dusan Vlahovic – the Serbia international has been linked with City, United, Bayern, Inter, Juve, Tottenham and Arsenal.

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