Erling Haaland is the striker Manchester City needed and suggestions the Norwegian only scores "easy" goals are "a lie", according to his team-mate Ederson.

Haaland has scored 32 goals in 31 appearances for City across all competitions since his move from Borussia Dortmund last year – more than any other player from Europe's top five leagues.

He has hit 26 of those goals in the Premier League, but with City struggling to pull clear of Arsenal and Manchester United in the title race, the 22-year-old has attracted criticism recently.

Arsenal great Thierry Henry suggested Tottenham's Harry Kane may have been a better fit for City, while former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher said Haaland "might have picked the wrong club".

However, Ederson believes Haaland is well-suited to City's style, though he acknowledges Pep Guardiola's men have had to adapt to his characteristics. 

"When he arrived, we said he was going to score a lot – and that's been happening. He is a brilliant goalscorer, he always looks to score and help the team," Ederson told UEFA.com.

"He is the striker we needed, because in comparison to Gabriel [Jesus], they are different players. Gabi likes to come in from out wide, he is stronger and more versatile. Haaland plays more centrally, looking to get into the box, he is a target in the area. 

"That has been the major difference. When you get into the final third you have someone who will always be in the area.

"Many people say most of the goals he scores are easy – but that is a lie. It's his positioning – that's his best ability. He doesn't score easy goals, he positions himself very well. 

"I hope he continues to score many goals, making us happy and we'll keep working together for all the titles."

City return to Champions League action when they visit RB Leipzig for the first leg of their last-16 tie on Wednesday, and with Haaland netting 28 times in 23 appearances in the competition throughout his career, the club hope his finishing ability will help deliver their first European crown.

Ederson is in no doubt as to the importance of continental success to City, saying: "That's our main objective, the main objective of the club. 

"We've been trying [to win it] and will carry on trying. We haven't won it yet, we reached the final [in 2021], and a few semi-finals, and we didn't come out of it with a good result. 

"But I think this year, we're more than capable of getting to the final and challenging for the title.

"Now this title is what the club needs, it's what we athletes need and it's what Guardiola needs here at the club, too. This year, we're going to try. We're going after it."

Haaland scored six goals in four appearances against Leipzig during his time with Dortmund, averaging a goal every 60 minutes against them. 

RB Leipzig captain Willi Orban could miss the Bundesliga clash with Union Berlin on Saturday as he attempts to save a life.

The defender will undergo a procedure to donate his stem cells in Dresden on Wednesday after recently finding he is a match for a patient who has blood cancer.

Orban, who has been registered with the DKMS (German national bone marrow donor registry) since 2017, has been taking special injections since Saturday in order to increase the number of stem cells in his bloodstream.

The 30-year-old may sit out the showdown between his fourth-placed side and a Union side that are in second place due to having a much more important commitment.

He told the club's official website: "Of course I was surprised when I received the info that I was a match. I without a doubt wanted to make the donation as soon as possible.

"I have the chance to potentially save another person's life with very little effort. It was a no-brainer. I hope my donation will help the recipient to recover from their illness.

"I might of course miss the Union game but even with my sporting ambitions, football is of secondary importance. Those who know me know that I will do everything I can in order to rejoin the team as soon as possible.

"I hope this inspires more people to register. The process was really simple and I feel like I've been very well looked after. My example shows that it makes total sense to register."

Julian Nagelsmann was happy to trust the referee's decision despite the fury of Bayern Munich's players after RB Leipzig's equaliser on Friday.

Marcel Halstenberg restored parity early in the second half at Red Bull Arena, cancelling out Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting's opener with a scrappy close-range finish.

That goal was enough for Leipzig to claim a 1-1 draw in the first Bundesliga match of 2023 following a 68-day mid-season break – the longest the competition has been halted for during a season since the 1996-97 campaign (69 days).

However, Bayern's players were unhappy Leipzig's equaliser was allowed to stand, with Joshua Kimmich claiming he had been dragged down by Andre Silva in the build-up, while Leon Goretzka also had previously had a goal disallowed for Matthijs de Ligt straying offside.

Those appeals fell on deaf ears, with the VAR not deeming the referee had made a clear error, and Nagelsmann said he was satisfied enough, even though he suggested Kimmich did not go down of his own accord.

He told reporters: "Kimmich won't fall on his own, but in the end I trust the referee."

Nagelsmann instead claimed his team must have done better to defend in the first place.

"I think we can resolve the situation more clearly beforehand, then this scene won't happen at all," he added.

The draw ended a 10-match winning run for Bayern in all competitions, but Nagelsmann was content enough to come away from his former club with a point.

"In the end, you have to take the result as it comes. It was a very wild game at times, but that's normal after such a long time," he told Sat1. 

"We did many things well and many things badly. We can improve certain things. We gave away good opportunities, so the point at the end was fair."

Bayern Munich were pegged back by RB Leipzig as the Bundesliga returned with an entertaining 1-1 draw on Friday.

Marcel Halstenberg struck in the 52nd minute at Red Bull Arena to draw third-placed Leipzig level against the league leaders.

Julian Nagelsmann had seen his team take the lead against his former club eight minutes before half-time, with Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting picking up where he left off before the World Cup break.

Bayern were lucky ex-Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano stayed on the pitch after a rash challenge on Dominik Szoboszlai, but the visitors' run of 10 successive wins in all competitions came to a halt regardless.

Jamal Musiala was a rare bright spot for Germany in Qatar, and the teenager teed up the first chance when he played in Serge Gnabry, whose shot was deflected against the post by another World Cup star Josko Gvardiol.

Leon Goretzka thought he had nosed Bayern ahead when he nodded in from Choupo-Moting's flick-on, but the goal was disallowed for Matthijs de Ligt straying offside in the build-up, with the VAR upholding the linesman's decision.

Bayern were not to be denied the lead, though, with Choupo-Moting turning in his seventh Bundesliga goal of the season after meeting Gnabry's pinpoint left-wing cross.

Yann Sommer had little to do in the first half, but the Bayern debutant was picking the ball out of his net seven minutes after the restart.

Joshua Kimmich's slack pass put Bayern in trouble, with the champions failing to clear their lines and eventually allowing Halstenberg to prod home from close range despite appeals for a foul in the build-up.

Upamecano was fortunate to escape a red card when he scythed down Szoboszlai and appeared to be the last defender, yet Bayern made their luck count to come away with a point.

Marco Rose joked Yann Sommer would have snubbed a move to Bayern Munich in order to reunite with him at RB Leipzig if he had only asked.

The goalkeeper made the switch to the Bundesliga champions from Borussia Monchengladbach on Thursday after almost a decade at Borussia-Park.

He arrives to replace the injured Manuel Neuer and could slot straight into the starting line-up for Bayern's league match with Leipzig on Friday.

Rose, who coached Gladbach for a two-year period between 2019 and 2021, quipped that Sommer could have made the move to another destination if he had intervened.

"He called me and said 'if you don't take me, I'll go to Bayern'," he said. "I hold Yann in very high regard, as a person but also as a player.

"I think he's had an outstanding phase [of form]. I think he's a good signing for Bayern Munich. [But] I think that Sven Ulreich is an excellent goalkeeper who has also done well.

"There will be a good goalkeeper in goal [whoever it is]. Yann, I wish all the best of course."

Sommer made 272 Bundesliga appearances for Gladbach following his arrival in 2014, and enjoyed a 71.1 save percentage among goalkeepers with more than 10 league games.

He has the second-best figures in the division this term, with 77.1 per cent, behind only the 79.1 figure posted by Union Berlin's Frederik Ronnow.

Sommer is the second new face to arrive at Bayern this transfer window, following Daley Blind from Ajax.

Gladbach moved quickly by announcing fellow Switzerland international Jonas Omlin as Sommer's successor on Thursday.

Julian Nagelsmann is anxious to see Bayern Munich's pursuit of Yann Sommer reach a conclusion as the Bundesliga champions prepare to return to action at RB Leipzig on Friday.

Bayern have been strongly linked with Borussia Monchengladbach goalkeeper Sommer since Manuel Neuer broke his leg during a skiing trip last month.

With Sven Ulreich the only other senior goalkeeper in Bayern's squad and Alexander Nubel reportedly reluctant to return from a loan spell at Monaco, Nagelsmann said the club has "a duty" to sign another shot-stopper last week.

Bayern chief executive Oliver Kahn has revealed discussions are ongoing regarding a move for Sommer, and Nagelsmann is eager for the transfer saga to reach a resolution. 

"I've been a coach long enough to know it's never easy. There are always more than two parties that need to be satisfied," Nagelsmann said at Wednesday's pre-match press conference.

"We need a decision to happen. I'd like to change the transfer window so it doesn't affect the ongoing matches as much.

"It's normal that at some point you want to have a certain amount of peace and quiet in this position.

"Integrating a new goalkeeper is not rocket science. This usually takes about 15 minutes, it works quickly. It depends on the goalkeeper, generally the behaviour is very similar."

With Sommer having 272 Bundesliga appearances to his name, some have suggested his arrival could mark the end of Neuer's time as Bayern's number one, but Nagelsmann remains focused on the immediate need for reinforcements.

"It's more a matter for the people further up," Nagelsmann said. "I might have some things to say on that, but my business is day-to-day business, winning games.

"I assume that Manuel Neuer, a great goalkeeper, will come back in the summer. We're looking forward to a player of his quality returning."

Meanwhile, Nagelsmann is yet to decide whether Thomas Muller will see off competition from Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting to start as Bayern's striker against Leipzig, saying he is comfortable using the 33-year-old in a variety of positions.

"Thomas had an injury where he couldn't play as much in the first part of the season. Thomas is an extremely important player for me, I'm always exchanging with him," Nagelsmann said.

"He's aware that Choupo-Moting is doing very well, but he's also intelligent enough to know that he is world-class in several positions.

"It's important that all the players are in top condition and that we see that on Friday. The same goes for Thomas, he's very flexible. He likes to play in attacking midfield but can play in different areas, so he's going to be important for Bayern going forward. 

"I've already decided on six positions out of 11. I won't reveal whether Choupo-Moting is among the six. I'll sleep on it for two more nights."

Dani Olmo says he is not thinking about leaving RB Leipzig but "everything is possible".

Chelsea, Manchester United and Real Madrid are among the clubs who have been linked with a move for Olmo during the January transfer window.

The Spain international is under contract with Leipzig, who he joined from Dinamo Zagreb in 2020, until the end of next season.

Olmo stated he is not looking to leave the Bundesliga club as he prepares to resume the season after playing in the World Cup, but the 24-year-old is also not ruling out an exit.

"I have a contract until 2024. I'm not thinking about it right now, just about the next games." he told Bild. "We have three competitions ahead of us.

"Things happen so quickly in football, things can change all the time. We won the DFB-Pokal last season, and we want to do everything we can again this season to play for titles again.

"I have my advisor who takes care of it. I only focus on football. I've talked to Max Eberl [Leipzig's director of sport] quite a few times, but so far not on the subject.

"Maybe we'll talk about that again here in the training camp. We'll see what happens. Everything is possible."

Olmo has scored three goals and provided two assists in all competitions for Leipzig this season.

Negotiations are continuing as Manchester United seek to secure out-of-favour Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix on a loan deal this month.

Joao Felix became Atletico's club-record signing back in 2019 when they purchased him from Benfica for €126million, but he has failed to live up to his potential under Diego Simeone.

The Portuguese international with 28 senior caps has only started seven of the 15 LaLiga fixtures he has been available for this campaign, but has recently hit some form, scoring four goals in his past three appearances prior to Sunday's 1-0 loss to Barcelona.

Joao Felix's performances at the World Cup, coupled with his rediscovered nose for goal, have begun to rehabilitate a depressed transfer value – and he is said to be United's for the taking.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED IN THE BOX SEAT FOR JOAO FELIX

According to the Mirror, United have been given the "first option" on any Joao Felix deal, meaning they will have 48 hours to match any bid Atletico perceive to be acceptable.

United are understood to have submitted a loan offer, inclusive of a £3m (€3.4m) fee, while also covering the 23-year-old's wages, but this was rejected.

As a counter, Atletico proposed a £9.5m (€10.8m) loan fee as well as a commitment to a mandatory £70.5m (€80.2m) transfer fee at the end of the season.

The report also included information that the Spanish side are expecting a bid from Arsenal, while Fichajes add the Rojiblancos have strong interest in United youngster Alejandro Garnacho – a former member of Atletico's youth academy.

ROUND-UP

– According to the Daily Mail, Chelsea will turn to versatile RB Leipzig attacker Dani Olmo if they are unsuccessful in their pursuit of Shakhtar Donestk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk

Tottenham have locked in on Everton and England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford as their desired replacement for captain Hugo Lloris, per the Mirror.

– ESPN is reporting Arsenal, Chelsea, United, Newcastle United, Aston Villa, Bayern Munich and Milan are all competing for Borussia Monchengladbach striker Marcus Thuram as he enters the final six months of his contract.

– According to Sky Sports Germany, Leeds United are taking a close look at Hoffenheim forward Georginio Rutter. The Bundesliga club have confirmed there is Premier League interest, having elected to leave Rutter out of their upcoming friendly against Servette. 

– Diario Sport is reporting Arsenal and Newcastle are the two main sides monitoring Barcelona left-back Alejandro Balde, who could become available at the end of the season if he decides to not extend his contract beyond 2024.

Josko Gvardiol named Liverpool as his "dream" destination as the RB Leipzig defender continues to attract interest from a host of Europe's biggest clubs.

Gvardiol has been linked with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Real Madrid after enjoying an outstanding World Cup campaign with Croatia, starting all seven of his country's games as they clinched the bronze medal.

The 20-year-old led all defenders for interceptions (11) and clearances (37) at the tournament, also scoring with a brilliant diving header in his team's third-place play-off against Morocco.

Gvardiol partnered former Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren at the heart of Croatia's defence in Qatar, and he is enthusiastic about the prospect of following in his footsteps by moving to Anfield. 

"My dream club? That would definitely be Liverpool," he told RTLDanas. 

"Since I was little, I watched a lot of their matches with my dad. We covered every season in detail. It is a club that has remained in my heart."

However, Gvardiol is in no rush to leave Leipzig – who sit third in the Bundesliga during the competition's mid-season break – before the end of the campaign. 

"I'm not in a hurry," he said. "I'm at Leipzig and we still have six months to finish the season and to win something. Then we will look further to the future."

Chelsea were strongly linked with a move for Gvardiol in the last transfer window before signing fellow defenders Kalidou Koulibaly and Wesley Fofana, and the Leipzig man revealed he was close to moving to Stamford Bridge. 

"Last summer a transfer was close and [Leipzig] simply kept me. I hope to spend these six months with [Leipzig]," he added. 

"Chelsea did not give up, but it was agreed that we would go for the winter. Winter has come, so we need to see what and how to proceed, but it's okay, there's still plenty of time, so we'll see.

"Nobody presented anything to me. But I'm not in a hurry, we have time, let them arrange the plan and we'll see."

Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham will all reportedly attempt to sign Inter defender Denzel Dumfries after his stellar World Cup performances for the Netherlands.

Dumfries, 26, played in all five of his country's World Cup fixtures, highlighted by a stunning display against the United States in the last 16 where he scored one and assisted two in a 3-1 win.

The marauding right-back has played in all 15 of Inter's Serie A outings this season, making 13 starts, although he has only produced a full 90 minutes on four occasions.

Despite the Italian side rejecting all bids for Dumfries in the previous transfer window, he is said to no longer be viewed as indispensable, and could be pried away for a fee of €60million.

 

TOP STORY – PREMIER LEAGUE CLUBS CIRCLE DUTCH STANDOUT DUMFRIES

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Inter are willing to accept a €60m (£53m) fee, although it remains to be seen if the amount of interest drives that price up even further.

Chelsea reportedly view Dumfries as the answer to their depth issues at right-back while Reece James battles injuries, as well as being able to play as part of a back-three.

United believe he can replace Diogo Dalot, and Tottenham feel he is a superior option to Sporting's Pedro Porro, who they had been reportedly close to securing on a €35m (£31m) deal, per the Daily Star.

 

ROUND-UP

– Spanish newspaper Nacional is reporting Man Utd have made an offer for 24-year-old RB Leipzig winger Dani Olmo, who could cost as much as €66m (£58m).

– The Evening Standard is reporting Arsenal, Chelsea and United are not willing to pay the €11m (£10m) loan fee and €283,000 (£250,000)-per-week wages being demanded by Atletico Madrid for forward Joao Felix.

– According to 90min, Manchester City will sign 19-year-old Velez Sarsfield midfielder Maximo Perrone.

– Nottingham Forest will allow 25-year-old striker Emmanuel Dennis to leave the club for a fee of £10m just five months after his arrival, per The Athletic.

– The Telegraph is reporting Liverpool will investigate a potential £44m move for 24-year-old Wolves midfielder Matheus Nunes at the end of the season.

Enzo Fernandez is the epitome of the type of footballer Germany must look to produce, according to RB Leipzig sporting director Max Eberl.

Benfica midfielder Fernandez had an outstanding World Cup for Argentina and has since been linked with a host of major European clubs, prompting speculation of a move in the January transfer window.

The 21-year-old was an all-action figure in the team that carried off the trophy, and Eberl said Fernandez and Rodrigo de Paul were players whose industry caught the eye.

Eberl, previously sporting director at Borussia Monchengladbach for 14 years, is considered one of German football's smartest thinkers.

He wants to see leaders produced and believes that character trait can be as significant as skill.

"We should have this heart for the cause more into focus again. We have recently moved away a bit from the German virtues such as robustness and assertiveness," Eberl said.

In an interview with Kicker magazine, Eberl spoke of the players who are approaching the end of their international careers.

With Germany hosting Euro 2024, this is a moment where the pressure is on to deliver a winning team, and the World Cup group-stage exit suggests coach Hansi Flick is a long way off establishing such a group.

Eberl said: "I think we have outstanding football players in Germany, but we also know that we will lose very important players like Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller and Ilkay Gundogan.

"We need players like Enzo Fernandez or Rodrigo de Paul with the Argentines. Good footballers who act with total dedication and the ability to work as part of a team. We've lost a bit of that greed to win every single duel."

Among players from teams who reached the World Cup knockout stage and contested at least 60 duels, only Croatia's Mateo Kovacic in the select group of 16 bettered Fernandez's 59 per cent success rate (40 of 68 duels won).

Germany goalkeeper Neuer broke his leg in a skiing accident after the World Cup and will be sidelined for the rest of the season. He is 36, while his Bayern Munich team-mate Muller is 33 and Manchester City midfielder Gundogan is 32. They are in the twilight of their international careers, and the new generation has yet to show it can deliver the success Germany expects.

Eberl added: "Time is clearly against us, because we will only see in the next 10 to 15 years what we have missed.

"We have to get more boys into football again. And one question would be: does it make sense to have youth academies up to under-eight or should we leave the boys in their clubs and start with the junior academies later?"

Chelsea have reportedly made Monaco centre-back Benoit Badiashile their top defensive target in the January transfer window.

They have been strongly linked with RB Leipzig and Croatia standout Josko Gvardiol, but Fabrizio Romano believes Chelsea will have to break the record for the most expensive transfer fee paid for a defender to get a deal done.

Instead, the Stamford Bridge club are said to have pivoted to 21-year-old Monaco powerhouse Badiashile, who stands at six-foot-four and has racked up 106 club appearances since debuting at the age of 17.

Badiashile also earned his first senior caps for France this year, playing a full 90 minutes in UEFA Nations League fixtures in September against Austria and Denmark before ultimately missing out on the World Cup squad.

With just over 18 months remaining on his contract, Monaco will need to decide if they can tie him down up long term, otherwise it may be time to cash-in.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA TARGET YOUNG MONACO TALENT

According to The Athletic, Badiashile is a player who has been on the Premier League radar for some time, noting a £22million bid from Manchester United back in 2020.

The report claims Badiashile was in no rush to leave back then as he was already a first-team regular, but he has since opened up to the idea of moving on to take the next step of his career.

Chelsea are said to be preparing a £35m offer for the man who has experience playing in a back-three, which would be less than half of the potential asking price for Gvardiol.

 

ROUND-UP

– Fichajes is reporting Aston Villa boss Unai Emery has no interest in retaining Argentinian World Cup hero Emiliano Martinez, and would prefer to replace him with Sevilla and Morocco star Yassine Bounou for a fee in the range of £40m.

Chelsea are in the best position to land 23-year-old West Ham midfielder Declan Rice as he enters the final 18 months of his contract, per The Athletic.

– Journalist Nicolo Schira is reporting Atletico Madrid have agreed to personal terms with 26-year-old Leicester City centre-back Caglar Soyuncu, and he could be allowed to join the club in January despite his contract not expiring until the end of the season.

– Atletico will allow Joao Felix to join a Premier League club on loan in January if their financial demands are met, per the Mirror.

– According to Teamtalk, Liverpool and Tottenham are included in the Premier League sides prepared to offer a contract to 27-year-old Inter centre-back Milan Skriniar for when he becomes a free agent at the end of the season.

Christoper Vivell has joined Chelsea as the Premier League club's new technical director.

Vivell was dismissed from a similar role at Bundesliga side RB Leipzig in October, amid reports Chelsea were attempting to bring the 36-year-old to west London.

The German has now made the move to Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea confirming his appointment on Wednesday.

"Chelsea are building the most exciting project in global football and I'm extremely proud to be joining the club," said Vivell.

"There is so much potential for the club to continue to succeed, develop and grow. Under the new ownership, Graham Potter and the broader sporting team, there is a clear and sustainable philosophy underpinned by performance analysis, data and innovation, and I am looking forward to playing a part in that."

Chelsea lost four of their last five games prior to the World Cup break, with Potter's team losing three consecutive Premier League matches in that run.

That poor form had seen some suggestions of pressure building on Potter, but co-owner and chairman Todd Boehly believes Vivell will play a vital role in supporting the head coach.

"We are delighted that Christopher is taking up this important leadership role at the club," Boehly said. "His work in Germany and Austria speaks for itself. We are confident he will continue on his impressive trajectory here at Chelsea.

"He will provide important support to Graham and the ownership group and play a vital part in advancing our overall vision for the club."

Chelsea restart their campaign on Tuesday with a home match against Bournemouth.

Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester City are reportedly the three leading candidates to land prized RB Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol after his excellent World Cup for Croatia.

Gvardiol, 20, has emerged as one of the top young centre-backs in the world after breaking into Leipzig's starting XI last season, and with 19 senior caps for Croatia under his belt already, he is well established on the international stage.

Having been signed from Dinamo Zagreb for €16million in 2020, that deal has proven to be a bargain, but it remains to be seen if Leipzig feel it is good business to part ways with their young star with four more years remaining on his contract.

 

TOP STORY - EUROPE'S TOP CLUBS CIRCLE CROATIA'S ROCK IN DEFENSE

Gvardiol may feel his future does not lie in Leipzig, but with his contract tying him to the club until 2027, he has no leverage in negotiations.

According to The Mirror, Chelsea have been planning a raid on Leipzig for months and would like to bring Gvardiol across with Christopher Nkunku, who they are said to have already secured in a future deal.

That report states Madrid are hoping to place a bid at the end of the season, but Chelsea have a January move in mind, although with Leipzig only six points off the Bundesliga summit they will likely need a stunning offer to force their hand mid-season.

That offer could come from City, who The Sun believes are preparing a €110m bid that would make Gvardiol the most expensive defender in history.

 

ROUND-UP

– Sky Sports is reporting Chelsea and Liverpool are closely monitoring 21-year-old Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo, who was a standout for Ecuador at the World Cup.

– According to Foot Mercato, Fiorentina and Morocco midfielder Sofyan Amrabat is pushing for a move to Liverpool.

– Sky Sports Germany believes Manchester United will not renew the contract of goalkeeper David De Gea and will look for a replacement at the end of the season.

Manchester United are looking to sign 25-year-old Borussia Monchengladbach striker Marcus Thuram in January, per Sport Bild.

– The Daily Mail is reporting West Ham will pursue a loan deal for United right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka in January.

Manchester United are set to be a prime mover in the January transfer window.

The Red Devils have parted ways with Cristiano Ronaldo following their falling-out, meaning they are likely to be eager for a new forward option.

United are also six months into manager Erik ten Hag's tenure, which has got off to a solid start, sitting fifth in the Premier League, but the Dutchman wants to keep building.

TOP STORY - MAN UTD SET TO REVIVE BID FOR DE JONG IN JANUARY

Manchester United will revive their interest in Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong in January after their failed pursuit of him prior to this season, according to the Manchester Evening News.

United manager Erik ten Hag was keen to land his fellow countryman following his arrival at Old Trafford.

The cultured midfielder's contract with the Blaugrana is complicated by the LaLiga club's financial situation but De Jong has so far remained committed to Barca despite the interest.

However, the report claims De Jong has privately told Ten Hag he would be happy to move to United.

ROUND-UP

– Fabrizio Romano claims Chelsea have completed a deal for RB Leipzig's French forward Christopher Nkunku, which will officially go through at the end of the season.

Liverpool are interested in Milan's Algerian defensive midfielder Ismael Bennacer and are set to meet with him to open talks, claims Relevo.

– Sky Sports claims Chelsea and Liverpool will joust for the signature of Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Moises Caicedo, although neither club has opened talks yet.

– The Telegraph reports Gareth Southgate has decided he wants to remain as England manager despite their World Cup quarter-final exit to France.

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