Real Madrid want to pair Kylian Mbappe with Erling Haaland in a forward row that would be the envy of world football – ESPN’s Insider Notebook has the latter. MORE: Arsenal are considering replacing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Go to: Arsenal’s list of substitutes for Suba | City’s goodwill towards Barca in Torres deal | Chelsea Worthy Challenge | Napoli eye Axel
Madrid’s tantalizing gesture for Mbappe-Haaland
Real Madrid are trying to sign Erling Haaland as well as Kylian Mbappe next summer in an attempt to take advantage of Barcelona’s financial woes by landing the two most wanted players in world football, sources have told ESPN.
Real failed with a € 200million transfer for Paris Saint-Germain striker Mbappe during the summer transfer window, but the France international is expected to move to the Bernabeu as a free agent when his contract with PSG will expire at the end of this season.
And although they face competition from Manchester City, Manchester United and PSG for Borussia Dortmund striker Haaland, Real believe they can structure a deal to take the 21-year-old Norwegian to Madrid.
– January transfer window: everything you need to know
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With four big earners – Gareth Bale, Isco, Luka Modric and Marcelo – who will be out of contract and out of Real payroll at the end of the season, La Liga leaders will have the financial room to fund a move for Haaland and also pays his salary and that of Mbappe.
ESPN reported in October that Haaland will receive an annual salary of £ 30million if he leaves Dortmund, where a € 75million release clause will be active at the end of this season.
Sources have told ESPN that Haaland and his advisers will consider interest from various clubs, but Los Blancos are the main contenders for the Norway international to sign.
While Barcelona president Joan Laporta remains determined to challenge Haaland, the club’s financial woes will likely make such a move impossible. Barcelona announced debts of € 1.35 billion in September – a situation which forced the club to accept defeat in their efforts to keep Lionel Messi at Camp Nou and also led to Antoine Griezmann’s departure for the Atletico Madrid.
Although Barca are now taking steps to strengthen their squad, with Ferran Torres arriving from City on a € 55million contract this week, the five-time Champions League winners are unable to compete with lesser clubs. richest in Europe in the race to sign Haaland and sources said The Reals know they have a rare opportunity to open a huge gap between themselves and Barca by strengthening themselves as their biggest rivals are in a state of financial crisis.
Premier League leaders City appear to be in a strong position to sign Haaland due to the club’s wealth and success under Pep Guardiola. Neighbors United have a long-term interest in Haaland, but management uncertainty at Old Trafford and the struggle to secure a league top-four spot this season could hurt their hopes of signing the player. Sources told ESPN that PSG are ready to move to Haaland if Mbappe confirms he will not sign a new contract at Parc des Princes, but Real could still prove to be City’s biggest rivals for the signing. of the player. –Marc Ogden
Arsenal’s plans to replace Aubameyang
Mikel Arteta has a shortlist of attackers to replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at Arsenal with Alexander Isak, Dusan Vlahovic, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Ollie Watkins among his targets, sources told ESPN.
– Transfer analysis: Aubameyang must leave Arsenal
Aubameyang’s future at Arsenal has been cast in doubt by disciplinary issues and Arteta is ready to listen to offers for him in January.
Arteta and Arsenal’s recruiting team plan to live without Aubameyang and are considering a range of options. Among them is Watkins, who joined Villa for £ 27.7million from Brentford last summer and scored 18 league goals in 51 appearances for the club. Sources said Arteta was a fan of Watkins’ style of play and his ability to play in a number of different roles on offense. There has been no direct contact between Arsenal and Aston Villa over Watkins and sources said a change in January would be highly unlikely, but the 25-year-old will be watched ahead of a summer move.
Real Sociedad’s Isak, Fiorentina’s Vlahovic and Everton’s Calvert-Lewin are also options in case Aubameyang continues, although sources have said Arsenal are aware of the cost of a replacement and other options. were being considered.
Elsewhere, having failed to sign Jorginho from Chelsea 18 months ago when the Italy international was in excess of Frank Lampard’s demands, Arteta still wants a starting midfielder. Watkins Villa teammate Douglas Luiz is on his radar, sources added. – Julien Laurens
Julien Laurens thinks Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was stripped of his post as Arsenal captain.
City’s goodwill towards Barca in Torres deal
Manchester City have helped cash-strapped Barcelona by agreeing to receive Ferran Torres fees in installments, with the first not due until July, sources have told ESPN.
Barca confirmed Torres signing earlier this week in an initial deal initially worth € 55m – just four months after letting Lionel Messi go because they couldn’t afford to renew his contract.
Sources explain that the deal was made possible because Torres, 21, will earn much less than Messi at Camp Nou and because City were happy to spread the costs over several years.
The English club will be paid in at least four installments, with the first not due until July so Barca can include it in the books for next year, as they expect revenues to rise after a decline during the pandemic.
La Liga have imposed a spending limit of € 97million on Barca for the season, which includes spending on salaries and transfer fees. Barca’s payroll alone is well above that cap, but the league allows them to spend 25% of whatever they save on moving players and cutting their payroll expenses. – Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens
Newcastle pose a problem for Digne for Chelsea
Chelsea’s interest in Lucas Digne could be complicated by Newcastle’s desire to sign left-back permanently, sources have told ESPN.
The Blues are evaluating possible targets in the January transfer window after learning that Ben Chilwell is set to miss the remainder of the season following a decision to undergo surgery on a knee injury suffered in late November.
Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel has repeatedly lamented his squad’s impoverished nature in recent weeks as they have fallen eight points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City and have Marcus Alonso as their only specialist left winger.
Chilwell is expected to make a full recovery this summer, Chelsea are ideally looking for short-term cover and would be keen on loaning Digne.
However, Everton prefer a direct deal given the deteriorating relationship between Digne and boss Rafa Benitez, who is also looking to raise funds to reshape his squad in the transfer window.
Everton are believed to want around £ 25million, a figure that would not deter Newcastle after they were taken over by the Saudis. Newcastle are 19th in the table with the division’s worst defensive record and will be looking to sign at least two defenders in January.
Inter Milan and Napoli have also expressed interest, but it is not clear at this point whether either club would be ready to respond to Everton’s assessment.
There is an obvious allure for Digne to try and push for a move to European champions Chelsea, rather than a relegation spell with Newcastle, but the clubs must first come to an agreement with talks expected in the next days. – James olley
Craig Burley explains what went well and what went wrong with Manchester United’s 3-1 win over Burnley.
Napoli looks at Tuanzebe, Pereira wants to go out
Napoli have asked Manchester United about Axel Tuanzebe’s situation ahead of the January transfer window, sources have told ESPN.
Tuanzebe is on loan at Aston Villa, but the Italian side have inquired about United’s plans for the 24-year-old as they assess options to beef up his defense. Sources told ESPN that Napoli have yet to make contact with representatives for Tuanzebe, who are expected to meet with United chiefs first to discuss the future of the former England Under-21 international.
Tuanzebe signed a one-year loan deal at Villa Park this summer and has made 11 appearances so far this season, although he has not started a game since November 5. He has a contract at Old Trafford until 2023 and is highly rated by members of the coaching staff, but the center-back is fond of regular games and remains behind Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane in the pecking order.
United also have Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Phil Jones on their squad, as well as Teden Mengi, a 19-year-old academy graduate.
Meanwhile, Andreas Pereira has told United he will not be returning to the club to be a squad player and instead is looking for a permanent transfer at the end of his loan deal at Flamengo, sources said. at ESPN.
Pereira impressed in Brazil, helping Flamengo advance to the 2021 Copa Libertadores final – although it was his mistake that led to Palmeiras’ game-winning goal in the 2-1 defeat.
United caretaker coach Ralf Rangnick has told all club members he will assess them personally before decisions are made on their future, but Pereira – once capped by Brazil in 2018 – has made it clear indicated that he would not settle for a partial role at Old Trafford after becoming a key player in Flamengo.
He has a contract with United until 2023 but wants a permanent move to start his career. Flamengo is the 25-year-old’s fourth loan since 2016 after appearances in Granada, Valencia and Lazio.
Several Italian, Spanish and French clubs are interested in Pereira, but he does not rule out extending his stay at Flamengo. –– Rob Dawson