CITY PONDER MOVE FOR UMTITI
It’s been, ooh, four whole months since Pep Guardiola spend a sodding fortune on a defender so the Manchester City boss is probably due another one.
Despite Guardiola’s insistence that City won’t spend big next month, The Athletic reckons the champions are serious about bolstering their defence. So serious that L’Equipe says Samuel Umtiti has been identified as their preferred target.
Umtiti could be available despite the Barcelona president saying over the weekend that the La Liga champions are unlikely to sell or buy during the winter window. Clement Lenglet is Barca’s first-choice partner for Gerard Pique and Umtiti has been linked with a move to the Premier League for the last year.
But, thanks to our friends at Sport Witness, we know City have reservations over Umtiti’s ‘physical fragility’. The last thing they need is another centre-back who can’t be trusted to stay fit, let alone worry about keeping the ball away from Ederson’s net.
So Sky Sports believes that Guardiola could go for Nathan Ake instead. One problem there: Chelsea have a buy-back option on the Bournemouth centre-back and now they have the opportunity to use it. The Blues can go and get Ake for £40million. Anyone else would probably have to add at least £20million to that.
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PSG FANCY MANE
Could Sadio Mane be heading for PSG? Probably not, no. But the Ligue 1 champions certainly have a soft spot for the Liverpool striker.
That’s the claim of France Football, at least. It is reported that Mane is making himself more popular with the PSG hierarchy and the Senegal star could be their primary target should Neymar finally get his move away from the Parc des Princes.
Can you see Mane swapping Liverpool for PSG? Not likely since he doesn’t seem the type to be swayed by nothing more than a truckload of cash. But we’ve been wrong before on that score…
Manuel Pellegrini is on perilously thin ice at West Ham after the defeat to Arsenal last night. The Mirror says it’s touch and go whether he’ll be around to take them to Southampton at the weekend.
Maybe Marcelino could throw his hat in the ring while he’s in London? The former Valencia boss has been heavily linked with Arsenal but we’re sure it’s just a coincidence that he’s been spotted in the capital over recent days.
Marcelino has also been mentioned as a target for Everton, but The Telegraph says the Toffees have held positive talks with Shanghai SIPG boss Vitor Pereira over a three-year contract. The CSL club don’t want to lose Pereira, though, and they have reportedly offered the boss a pay rise on the £20million a year he already earns.
Unai Emery has also been spoken to by Everton, while the Daily Mail says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been contacted by the Glazers to reassure him that they have no intention of turning to Mauricio Pochettino.
AND THE REST
Man Utd are planning to give Scott McTominay a new £60,000-a-week contract… United retain their interest in Christian Eriksen… Arsenal, Inter and Juventus are all ready to fight Roma for Chris Smalling… Newcastle and Bournemouth are continuing to monitor Hull forward Jarrod Bowen… Bologna are keen on Wolves striker Patrick Cutrone and Everton forward Moise Kean – but they are not moving for Zlatan Ibrahimovic.