Chelsea seem to have resigned themselves to making a major loss on Romelu Lukaku, who has only netted five times on loan at Inter this term.

According to a Football Insider report, the Blues are ready to move him on in at the end of the season, with Inter unlikely to try to extend his stay in Milan.

Chelsea spent £97.5milion to bring Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge in August 2021, but they are unlikely to get anywhere near that now.

TOP STORY – GERMAN CHAMPIONS LINE UP SHOCK LUKAKU MOVE

Bayern Munich are lining up a shock move for Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku to bolster their attacking options, claims Fichajes.

The report claims Bayern boss Julian Nagelsmann is an admirer of the Belgium striker, who he believes is one of the world's best forwards if injury free.

Bayern will not commence negotiations with Chelsea until the end of the season. The German champions had been linked with Harry Kane as they look for someone to replace Robert Lewandowski, who left for Barcelona last year.

Calciomercato reports that Chelsea may try to land a deal with Roma with a swap deal involving Tammy Abraham.

 

ROUND-UP

– 90min claims Manchester City have reignited their interest in signing 19-year-old Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Florian Wirtz following a long-term knee injury which forced him to miss the 2022 World Cup. Fabrizio Romano claims Real Madrid will compete for the German's services too.

Tottenham are interested in Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson, reports ESPN. Henderson is currently on loan at Nottingham Forest from United, who could use Spurs' interest as leverage in a deal for Harry Kane, per the report

– Leeds United forward Wilfried Gnonto is drawing interest from Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, while 90min claims Juventus and Napoli are among a list of Italian clubs tracking him too.

– Fabrizio Romano claims Barcelona on the cusp of agreeing to a deal with Athletic Bilbao centre-back Inigo Martinez to join the Blaugrana on a free transfer in the off-season.

– Paris Saint-Germain are prepared to let Portuguese midfielder Renato Sanches exit amid interest from Milan along with Premier League clubs Aston Villa, Liverpool, Newcastle United, Tottenham and Wolves, reports 90min.

– Football London reports Arsenal are ready to ramp up their interest in Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi with a bid to come in the coming months, although he has a €60m release clause in his contract.

Xabi Alonso said it was an "incredible" thrill to beat Bayern Munich as the Bayer Leverkusen boss enhanced his growing reputation with Sunday's victory.

Former Bayern midfielder Alonso, who won three Bundesliga titles in a three-year spell with the Bavarians, has turned his hand to coaching since 2017 and dealt his old team a huge blow to their hopes of an 11th successive championship.

Alonso took over at Leverkusen in October, shortly after a 4-0 defeat away to Bayern, and has lifted the team from second-bottom at the time of his arrival to eighth position.

They are just three points off sixth after a 2-1 win over Bayern, who trail Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund by one point with nine rounds of games remaining.

Victory came courtesy of two Exequiel Palacios penalties, after Bayern took the lead through Joshua Kimmich.

Bizarrely, Amine Adli was booked for diving initially in both penalty incidents, before the bookings were rescinded and spot-kicks were awarded.

"The feeling after the game is incredible," said Alonso, quoted on the Bundesliga website.

"We won against one of the best teams in Europe."

His team are also through to the Europa League quarter-finals, with Alonso's first season proving a roaring success so far. They won away to Ferencvaros on Thursday, and following that up by beating the 10-in-a-row German champions was no mean feat.

"I'm very happy and proud that we were able to continue the performance from the Europa League," Alonso said. "It was very important that we equalised. We played with a lot of energy and it wasn't easy."

Referee Tobias Stieler spoke about the penalty incidents and pointed out the value of VAR, thanking the television match official.

"He was my lifesaver – and also the lifesaver for the game," Stieler told DAZN. "In the end, both teams were happy because the right decision was made."

He was glad Adli was not affronted by the decisions that initially went against him.

"The only thing left to do is take it with humour," Stieler said. "We hugged each other during the game and also after the game. Now he promised me the shirt."

Hasan Salihamidzic blasted Bayern Munich as "inferior in all areas" in their loss to Bayer Leverkusen, as the champions slipped up in the Bundesliga title race.

A 2-1 defeat in the final game before the international break saw Julian Nagelsmann's side fail to reclaim top spot a day after losing it to Borussia Dortmund.

With the two sides set to meet in their first game back on April 1, Bayern will enter the crunch clash knowing a second reverse in a row could spell the end of their title defence.

Sporting director Salihamidzic was left fuming by what he perceived as a poor mentality throughout, and felt the visitors deserved nothing at BayArena.

"That's not what Bayern means," he told SPORT1 in discussing the performance. "We missed everything [that we] demanded from a team that won on Thursday. We were inferior in all areas."

"Confidence or not, we have to bring [our] mentality and greed onto the pitch. It is about the championship [race].

"We had two shots on goal in the last few minutes, but [we had] so little drive, [or] mentality, [or] assertiveness. I've rarely experienced that.

"This team is so good when the mentality is right from the start, but [they can be] just as bad when they don't do it and think that they can do everything with [their] quality."

Bayern had won three straight league games after losing to Borussia Monchengladbach last month but will now welcome Dortmund trailing their Klassiker rivals by a point.

Julian Nagelsmann felt his team deserved to lose after two Exequiel Palacios penalties condemned Bayern Munich to a 2-1 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen at BayArena on Sunday.

After title rivals Borussia Dortmund picked up three points on Saturday to move them top, a 22nd-minute deflected goal from Joshua Kimmich looked to have set Bayern on their way to retaking their position at the summit.

But Palacios converted twice from the spot after the break, both for fouls on Amine Adli, to inflict a third league defeat of the season on Bayern and hand Dortmund the advantage ahead of the pair's table-topping Klassiker after the upcoming international break.

Nagelsmann had no complaints with the defeat or the penalty decisions, both of which saw Adli initially handed a yellow card for diving until a VAR review intervened to award a spot-kick.

"I saw relatively quickly that both are penalties," Nagelsmann told DAZN after the game. "They definitely weren't dives.

"We deserved to lose. Except for the last ten minutes, we were the worse team. 

"We did a lot on our own. A lot of pressing by ourselves, a lot of walking by ourselves."

Nagelsmann blamed fatigue for the below-par display, which saw them lose a Bundesliga game after leading at half-time for the first time in 87 matches since a 3-1 defeat against Leverkusen in February 2019.

"Today we were pretty sluggish overall," Nagelsmann added. "We won very few duels up front, but also in defence.

"We have some exhausted players, so of course it was difficult. We were very weak in our game."

Captain Thomas Muller agreed with his head coach that Bayern's efforts did not warrant anything out of the game, saying: "Leverkusen did very well today.

"Unfortunately, we put very little of what has made us strong in the last few games onto the pitch.

"Looking at the game as a whole, the defeat is unfortunately deserved today."

Though some of his players are now set to jet off to their respective national teams, Nagelsmann's sights are set firmly on that crucial clash with Dortmund in just under two weeks.

He is under no illusion of the importance of that fixture, explaining: "We definitely have to win [against Dortmund], otherwise it will be difficult to win the championship."

Bayern Munich missed the chance to return to the top of the Bundesliga after they were sunk by two VAR-assisted penalties in a 2-1 loss to Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday.

Joshua Kimmich's first-half strike had given the champions the lead at BayArena, putting them back on course for the summit heading into the international break.

But a pair of spot-kicks in the second half from Exequiel Palacios instead sealed a deserved comeback for the hosts, who often looked more threatening.

It means Julian Nagelsmann's side lie second behind Borussia Dortmund heading into the pair's table-topping Klassiker at the start of April.

Having been leapfrogged by their rivals on Saturday, Bayern knew they needed a result on the road to retake top spot.

After withstanding early Leverkusen pressure, they set about finding it amid torrential rain, with Kimmich drilling a close-range finish home in the 22nd minute, aided by a kind deflection.

For the rest of the first half, however, it was Bayern who appeared to be more on the back foot, Leverkusen creating a flurry of chances, led by Moussa Diaby.

The hosts remained on top following the restart and were rewarded with a penalty after Benjamin Pavard stepped on Amine Adli's heel.

Palacios converted powerfully to equalise in the 55th minute and stepped up again 18 minutes later when Adli was caught once more by Dayot Upamecano.

The Argentinian again made no mistake to put Leverkusen into a worthy lead, and from there they clung on for a crucial victory that dealt Bayern's title defence a serious blow.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia has won plenty of admirers with 13 goals and 15 assists for runaway Serie A leaders Napoli this season.

The 22-year-old Georgian joined Napoli in July 2022, penning a contract until 2027 for a for a reported fee of €10–12 million from Dinamo Batumi.

Kvaratskhelia has helped Napoli into the Champions League quarter-finals, while winning the Serie A's Player of the Month twice.

 

TOP STORY – PSG TO TABLE LUCRATIVE OFFER FOR NAPOLI STAR

Paris Saint-Germain are ready to go all-out and offer Khvicha Kvaratskhelia a whopping €180m deal, claims Le10Sport.

Real Madrid are also reportedly monitoring the winger's status although he has previously shown no interest in exiting Napoli. It has been claimed Napoli would not accept anything below €100m for their emerging star.

The lucrative deal is plausible given PSG hold the record for the two most expensive transfers in world football, signing Neymar for €222m in 2017 and Kylian Mbappe for €180m in 2018.

 

ROUND-UP

– Mundo Deportivo reports Borussia Dortmund have placed a bumper €125m (£110m) minimum price tag on midfielder Jude Bellingham as a long list of clubs chase his signature including Real Madrid, Liverpool and Manchester United.

Manchester United are willing to pay the €50m (£44m) release clause in Ousmane Dembele's Barcelona contract as they look to sign the French winger, reports Fichajes. The report claims the Blaugrana may be open to that as they look to sort their financial challenges.

Chelsea are interested in an off-season move for Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier, reports Football Insider. The report claims Blues boss Graham Potter wants a new stopper, with Meslier seen as a cheaper option if Leeds go down. Fichajes claims Chelsea are keen on Inter goalkeeper Andre Onana to take over from Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Newcastle United have revived their interest in Bayer Leverkusen pair Moussa Diaby and Mitchel Bakker claims 90min. Arsenal have been linked with Diaby in the past, with the French winger reportedly worth €70m (£62m).

Juventus are still pushing to sign Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante as a free agent despite reports he will re-sign with the Blues, according to Calciomercato.

– The Mirror reports Manchester United are set to hand manager Erik ten Hag a new three-year extension, despite the ongoing uncertainty around the sale of the club.

Xabi Alonso saluted the development of former team-mate Joshua Kimmich as the Bayer Leverkusen boss prepares for a reunion with Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich on Sunday.

Almost six years have passed since Alonso retired as a player, bringing an illustrious on-field career to a close at Bayern, where he won three consecutive league titles.

Kimmich was making his way in the game during Alonso's three-season spell at the club, arriving from Stuttgart and becoming increasingly important to Bayern but still having plenty to improve in his game.

Now 28, Kimmich has matured into one of Europe's most complete midfielders, which is what Alonso expected he might become.

Asked whether he saw similarities between himself and Kimmich, Alonso said: "In terms of position, yes. When I saw Joshua for the first time, I knew he had a great future just based on his style of play, his personality and his character.

"He has developed really well. His passes are special, the way he distributes the ball as well as his vision on the pitch. I like the way he plays. He’s a super player in the way he presents himself."

There have been few playmakers as complete as Alonso in the past 20 years. Kimmich is not far off, and the Germany international has time in which to rival the Spaniard's trophy haul, which includes two Champions Leagues, two European Championships and a World Cup.

 

On Sunday, Alonso's Leverkusen will confront a Bayern side that should feature Kimmich. After a slow start under predecessor Gerardo Seoane, Leverkusen have shown huge improvement under Alonso, who is almost six months into his first top-flight coaching job.

Thomas Muller, Kingsley Coman and Kimmich were team-mates of Alonso, but the Leverkusen boss, a former Real Madrid and Liverpool star, does not see any obvious advantage from their past acquaintance.

"I do know them, but that doesn't make it easier," Alonso said, quoted on his club's website. "Our aim is to stop their players and make the game as difficult as possible for our opponents."

He will offer a few pointers, all the same.

"Yes, of course I can do that," Alonso said, "but it's always easier to say these things than to do them."

Xabi Alonso and Bayern Munich were once a perfect match, and few would be surprised should they couple up again somewhere down the line.

Yet Alonso could put a dent in Bayern's Bundesliga title prospects on Sunday, when his Bayer Leverkusen side host the 10-in-a-row champions at BayArena.

Six years have passed since Alonso announced he would be retiring as a player at the end of the 2016-17 season, sparking an outpouring of tributes to one of the great midfield artists of his era.

That news, revealed in March 2017, raised the question of 'what next?' for a man who as a player won a World Cup and two European Championships with Spain, Champions League titles with Liverpool and Real Madrid, and would end up with a hat-trick of Bundesliga medals at Bayern.

Suave, sophisticated and wealthy, with a happy family life, would he even need football again?

Only on his terms. What do you give the man who has everything? You give him control.

Stats Perform has looked at the coaching career so far of the 41-year-old Alonso, who might be a Bayern coach of the future but for now is plotting their downfall.

Softly, softly approach pays off

Like his former Liverpool team-mate Steven Gerrard, Alonso began his coaching education out of the spotlight, at the clubs he knew best.

Where Gerrard started off learning the coaching ropes at Liverpool's academy, Alonso accepted a role with Madrid's Under-14 team in 2018, while polishing off his coaching qualifications.

On June 1, 2019, Alonso stepped away from Madrid to become boss of Real Sociedad B, leading the Basques to promotion to Spain's Segunda Division, their first appearance at that level in 59 years.

Alonso spent three years with that second-string unit, and although they were relegated before he left, La Real noted his "brilliant" spell at the helm in a farewell note at the end of last season.

The club said Alonso had succeeded in "enriching, thanks to his knowledge and involvement, the training and progress of the players of our subsidiary", and pointed to his players successfully progressing through to the first team.

The future was uncertain for Alonso at that point, but only in the sense he would soon have his pick of clubs and would need to choose his pathway.

Bundesliga beckons again

Leverkusen were crushed 4-0 at Bayern in late September of last year, and it proved to be Gerardo Seoane's final Bundesliga game in charge of Die Werkself. They began the season by taking five points from eight league games and were in crisis.

Seoane was sacked and Alonso placed at the helm, telling reporters what had attracted him to his first top-flight coaching role.

He reasoned there was "always a risk" in taking on a new challenge. "But you have to always improve and take steps forward," Alonso added. "I firmly believe that it will work out here and I am fully motivated."

He had previously been presented with "the chance to coach good teams" but waited for the right opportunity, he said, and now he "realised that I'm ready".

Explaining what he would look for from his new team, Alonso urged them to buy into his methods.

"As a former midfielder, I like control," he said.

As graceful as he was in central midfield, Alonso was also a serial winner, and tellingly he had played under some of the great coaches: five years with Rafael Benitez at Liverpool, five years split between Manuel Pellegrini, Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti at Madrid, and two years with Pep Guardiola at Bayern before one last campaign under Ancelotti with the Bavarians.

What an education.

Leverkusen sporting director Simon Rolfes described Alonso as a player who was "an absolute world-class professional for many years, an intelligent strategist and extremely successful in three of the most demanding European leagues".

The message was clear: Leverkusen expected Alonso the coach to match up to Alonso the player. They were confident he was a world-class acquisition.

 

So far, so good

Guardiola sang the praises of Alonso in the week of his appointment by Leverkusen, saying he was a man who, in terms of understanding the game, "reads perfectly".

Leverkusen sat 17th in the 18-team Bundesliga, far from where they expected to be. They have finished in the top six in each of the last five seasons, and 12 of the last 13 campaigns, so the club's standards are high and were not being met.

After that risible start (W1 D2 L5) under Seoane, Bundesliga results have significantly picked up, with Alonso's haul of 29 points from 16 games (W9 D2 L5) having only been bettered by three teams (Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig) during the course of his reign, heading into this weekend's round of games.

Control, that watchword, is slowly coming. Their possession has inched up from 51.3 per cent for the initial eight games under Seoane to 53.5 per cent over the games bossed by Alonso. Bayern lead the way in possession with 63 per cent, followed by Dortmund (58 per cent). Leverkusen were ninth on the list under Alonso's predecessor but are fifth during his tenure.

Making changes and imposing new ideas in mid-season is far from easy, but Alonso is giving it a good crack.

Leverkusen ranked a distant fourth in open play sequences of 10-plus passes during the opening eight rounds of Bundesliga games, with 68 such sequences compared to leaders Bayern's 142. Under Alonso, Leverkusen have logged 204 such sequences of 10-plus passes in open play possession, which puts them third on the list for the duration of his time in charge.

Having had less than half as many possessional sequences as Bayern in the opening eight games, Leverkusen are now much more comparable, with Bayern leading the way with 274 and Leipzig second with 252.

Alonso's team have gone from an average of 3.31 passes per sequence to 3.77, a marked shift. Long passing success still leaves a little to be desired, with a gradual improvement from 44 to 46 per cent during Alonso's reign still leaving them behind Dortmund (60 per cent) and Bayern (59 per cent).

If only Alonso could be the one spraying such passes, Leverkusen would soon jump up that list. Like fellow great playmakers of years gone by, such as Andrea Pirlo and Glenn Hoddle, it is likely the case that Alonso has wowed players on the training pitch with his passing range, but he would give all that up now to have Leverkusen competing at the top of the Bundesliga.

 

Bring on Bayern

As it is, Leverkusen are not yet jostling near the summit. That slow start has meant even the major improvement under Alonso has only seen them rise to ninth spot, six points behind sixth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt.

They might still bridge that gap and snatch a European place, but they need to be winning games, so the Bayern game is huge for them, just as it is for Julian Nagelsmann's visitors in their title battle with Dortmund.

Alonso, quoted in the German press after Thursday's Europa League win against Ferencvaros, said there was "no room for emotions" heading into the reunion with his old club.

"I had a great experience at Bayern Munich; I have fond memories of those three years," Alonso said. "Playing against them as a coach for the first time will be nice – and hopefully with a smile for me after the final whistle."

Julian Nagelsmann is excited by the opportunity to face Manchester City and Erling Haaland in the Champions League, believing the Norwegian striker could be an even tougher opponent than Kylian Mbappe.

Bayern Munich eliminated Mbappe and Lionel Messi from the tournament when they beat Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16, and were drawn to face City in the quarter-finals on Friday.

Should they progress again, Bayern will then go up against holders Real Madrid or Chelsea in the semi-finals, having already faced Inter, Barcelona and PSG in this season's Champions League.

"I think it's a very good draw, a difficult draw but I think if you win the title at the end then you would not like to hear that we were lucky with our draws," Nagelsmann said at a press conference ahead of Bayern's Bundesliga clash with Bayer Leverkusen.

"We want to win it and do it by beating big teams. We've had PSG, we had Inter and Barcelona in the group stage, so now City and then Real Madrid or Chelsea, then probably an Italian opponent in the final, it would be a triumph that would certainly send a big message to everyone.

"It's going to be difficult, we know that... we will prepare well and I think everyone is looking forward to it."

Bayern will need to handle former Borussia Dortmund striker Haaland better than RB Leipzig, who conceded five to him in the last-16 second leg at the Etihad Stadium.

"He's a tremendous player, he has great abilities... he's probably a little more physical than Mbappe and certainly comparable in pace," Nagelsmann said. "He has great heart, when he runs it's difficult to defend against him, but we also have a couple of strong offensive players."

The 35-year-old is also an admirer of City boss and former Bayern head coach Pep Guardiola, but said he does not model his ideas on the Spaniard, or indeed, any other coach.

"I saw a lot of games when he was at Barcelona, also at Bayern and City," Nagelsmann said. "I never really copied any things from him, I've never really analysed or copied anything from any other coach.

"Pep's teams are always nice to watch, he always has a nice idea to play football. [City] have a very balanced team."

Manchester United must overcome Europa League specialists Sevilla in order to reach a semi-final against either Juventus or Sporting CP.

United defeated Real Betis in the last 16 and will now face their city rivals Sevilla, six-time winners of the UEFA Cup and Europa League.

The sides have met three times previously, with Sevilla knocking United out of the 2017-18 Champions League over a two-legged tie before beating the Red Devils again in a one-off 2019-20 Europa League semi-final.

It is a daunting draw for United, who could then have to play Juventus in the last four.

The semi-final draw, which was also conducted on Friday, paired the winners of United's tie with Juventus or Sporting, who eliminated Arsenal on Thursday.

Even in the final, should Erik ten Hag's men make it that far, United could be set for a reunion with former manager Jose Mourinho.

Mourinho's Roma were drawn against Feyenoord in the quarter-finals in a repeat of last season's Europa Conference League final, which the Giallorossi won.

Bayer Leverkusen meet Union Saint-Gilloise in the final last-eight tie, playing for the right to face Roma or Feyenoord.


Europa League quarter-final draw in full:

Manchester United v Sevilla
Juventus v Sporting CP
Bayer Leverkusen v Union Saint-Gilloise
Feyenoord v Roma

Marcus Thuram will leave Borussia Moenchengladbach at the end of this season when his contract expires.

As a result, the 25-year-old French forward is garnering plenty of interest from top European clubs.

Thuram has scored 14 goals in all competitions this season for Gladbach, having been part of France's 2022 World Cup squad.

 

TOP STORY – THURAM OFFERED TO BARCELONA

Marcus Thuram's agent has offered the French forward to Barcelona as an off-season signing, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Thuram has interest from Chelsea, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, Atletico Madrid and Inter.

Barcelona's economic challenges mean they have prioritised signing players on free transfers in recent times with Thuram offering that plus flexibility in attack.

 

ROUND-UP

– Fichajes claims Cristiano Ronaldo wants Sergio Ramos to join him at Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr, with the defender's contract with PSG to expire at the end of this season. Ramos will leave it late to make a decision, holding out hope for a PSG extension.

Liverpool will battle Bayern Munich in the off-season for the signature of Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic, reports Calciomercatoweb.

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Chelsea are all interested in Inter's Marcelo Brozovic, with the Serie A club open to selling him, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Manchester United are weighing up a move for Bayer Leverkusen right-back Jeremie Frimpong, reports Football Insider. Fabrizio Romano claims numerous top clubs are interested in the Dutch defender.

– La Gazzetta dello Sport claims Liverpool are tracking Inter's Nicolo Barella as they look to bolster their midfield options.

West Ham, Fulham, Crystal Palace and Brentford are all circling for Milan forward Olivier Giroud,  who is open to a return to England, claims The Sun.

Real Madrid are eager to bolster their forward options, with a quality striker wanted to deputise for Karim Benzema.

Benzema, who is now 35-years-old, has battled injuries this season and played in 12 of their 20 LaLiga games.

Los Blancos have been regularly linked with Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe, while there have been reports of a big-money bid for Eintracht Frankfurt's Randal Kolo Muani in recent days.

Instead of signing another French forward though, there is a report that Madrid are eyeing up a Brazilian.


TOP STORY – ANCELOTTI WANTS FIRMINO

Real Madrid want to sign Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino on a free transfer at the end of this season, claims Gazzetta dello Sport.

Liverpool are bullish on re-signing Firmino but no extension has yet been agreed, with his contract due to expire in June.

According to the report, Atletico Madrid and Inter are also interested in the 31-year-old, who has been battling a calf injury in recent months.

 

ROUND-UP

- Barcelona president Joan Laporta is determined to sign Julian Alvarez from Manchester City, reports Fichajes. The report claims "Laporta will do everything in his power" to land the Argentinean World Cup winner.

- Manchester City are monitoring Southampton full-back Tino Livramento, claims the Evening Standard. The English 20-year-old is viewed as a long-term successor to Joao Cancelo, who is currently on loan at Bayern Munich.

- Tuttomercatoweb reports that Bayer Leverkusen will compete with Juventus to sign Alex Grimaldo from Benfica. The Bianconeri want the left-back as a replacement for the departing Alex Sandro.

- Chelsea have joined the contenders to sign Brentford goalkeeper David Raya, writes Football.London. Raya's contract expires in 2024, with interest also from Tottenham and Manchester United too.

- West Ham United are circling for Brazil international striker Pedro, who plays for Flamengo, according to Fichajes.

- Former Leeds United manager Jesse Marsch is being considered for the vacant Southampton job following Nathan Jones' dismissal, claims The Athletic. Football Insider reports Southampton and Leeds both want Marcelo Gallardo, while the Mail adds that Saints are also interested in Torino boss Ivan Juric.

Highly rated Bayer Leverkusen defender Piero Hincapie has signed a contract extension that will keep him at the Bundesliga club until 2027.

The Ecuador international has impressed since his move from Argentinian side Talleres ahead of the 2021-22 season and was linked with a move to Premier League outfit Tottenham in the January transfer window.

He has 24 senior international caps for Ecuador under his belt, playing every minute of his country's three group stage fixtures at the Qatar World Cup.

Leverkusen are keen to hold onto the player and have extended his existing deal by a year to ward off any potential suitors.

Hincapie said: "They didn't promise me too much here, but as a young player at the highest level they gave me the playing time I wanted.

"I was able to establish myself here and also consolidate my position in the national team.

"It's a huge motivation for me to confirm my achievements in the coming years and to aim for titles with Bayer Leverkusen."

Liverpool and Newcastle United are reportedly among the Premier League teams exploring a potential move for Bayer Leverkusen centre-back Jonathan Tah – and the interest could be mutual.

Tah, 26, is in his eighth season in Leverkusen after arriving ahead of the 2015-16 campaign, racking up 283 appearances in all competitions and earning 16 senior international caps for Germany.

After five consecutive seasons finishing in the Bundesliga's top-six, Leverkusen have struggled this campaign, with just seven wins and a negative goal difference after 19 games, leaving them 10th.

Facing an uphill battle for any European football next season, the club will reportedly struggle to convince Tah to stick around, especially with plenty of interest from his desired landing spot in the Premier League.

 

TOP STORY – TAH SETS HIS SIGHTS ON THE PREMIER LEAGUE

According to 90min, Tah is "keen to take his talents to England at the end of the season".

He has two more seasons on his contract, tying him to Leverkusen until 2025, leaving the club with a difficult decision about whether to hang on to one of their top players or cash in and use the funds to improve the squad.

As well as Liverpool and Newcastle, West Ham are also understood to have touched base with Leverkusen about Tah's availability in January, while his name also came up in discussions with Tottenham, but they are said to prefer his centre-back partner Piero Hincapie.

 

ROUND-UP

– The Mirror is reporting Tottenham are admirers of 26-year-old Leicester City midfielder James Maddison

– According to El Nacional, Real Madrid have held talks with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp about potentially taking over from Carlo Ancelotti at the end of the season, and Klopp is said to have requested the Spanish giants pursue Jude Bellingham and Kylian Mbappe.

Milan have an interest in signing 27-year-old Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita, per the Mirror, while the Daily Mail adds the Italian side are also impressed by 21-year-old Arsenal loanee Folarin Balogun, who has 14 Ligue 1 goals for Reims this season.

Manchester United and Newcastle are said to be two of many clubs keeping a close eye on 18-year-old Royal Antwerp prospect Arthur Vermeeren, per the Daily Mail.

– Fabrizio Romano is reporting United, Arsenal and Liverpool have all held talks with the agent of 20-year-old Barcelona forward Ansu Fati.

Barcelona feel Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves has one foot out of the door and are optimistic about their chance of signing him at the end of the season.

Neves, 25, has spent the past six seasons with Wolves after arriving during their last season in the Championship (2017-18), racking up over 200 appearances for the club along with 28 goals.

The central midfielder, a regular for Portugal, has caught the eye of Europe's elite clubs.

Wolves had been hopeful of extending Neves' stay at the club, but with their future in the Premier League in doubt, they might have already started to plan for life without him.

 

TOP STORY – WOLVES SIGNING INDICATES LOOMING NEVES DEPARTURE

According to Sport, Barcelona believe Wolves are signing 21-year-old Flamengo midfielder Joao Gomes as a direct replacement for Neves, who they expect to leave at the end of the season.

The report states Barcelona know what it will cost to pry him away from the Premier League and are comfortable with the price, which is said to be "much more feasible" than the €60million price tag for Real Sociedad's Martin Zubimendi.

Real Madrid are also expected to pursue Neves, who they reportedly feel has "the potential to become the new Casemiro".

 

ROUND-UP

– The Telegraph and Fabrizio Romano state Chelsea will make another run at signing 22-year-old Benfica and Argentina standout Enzo Fernandez, and are willing to meet the £105m (€120m) release clause if they can pay it in installments.

– According to Bild, Tottenham have submitted a £22m (€25m) verbal offer to Bayer Leverkusen for 21-year-old Ecuador centre-back Piero Hincapie.

Newcastle United have had their latest £20m offer for 18-year-old Flamengo midfielder Matheus Franca turned down, per Fabrizio Romano.

– Newcastle are also said to be looking to replace Jonjo Shelvey, who is set to join Nottingham Forest, with Sheffield United's Sander Berge.

– The Daily Mail is reporting Brighton and Hove Albion have rejected a £70m approach from Arsenal for 21-year-old midfielder Moises Caicedo, and are holding out for £80m.

– According to Sport, there is mutual interest between Barca and Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix, who will spend the rest of the season on loan at Chelsea.

Page 2 of 9
© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.