Manchester United are ready to do battle with rivals City for an Espanyol defender, while Barcelona have targeted two Bundesliga alternatives to Philippe Coutinho, according to Tuesday’s European papers.
MAN UTD TO BATTLE CITY FOR ESPANYOL STAR
Manchester United are reportedly keeping tabs on Spain under-21 left-back Aaron Martin.
Reports claim that the Red Devils sent scouts to Spain to watch the 20-year-old in action against Levante but neighbours City are also admirers of the player.
Martin, who has a €40million release clause, is under consideration at Old Trafford as Jose Mourinho looks for a new option at left-back, with Matteo Darmian, Daley Blind and Luke Shaw not convincing while Ashley Young has also been used out of position in the role.
City are looking for a new left-back after summer signing Benjamin Mendy suffered a knee injury last month.
BARCELONA OUTLINE BUNDESLIGA ALTERNATIVES TO COUTINHO
Barcelona look finally ready to end their chase for Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho after reports in Spain suggested they had lined up one of two German playmakers as alternatives.
According to Sport, Barcelona are still keen to strengthen their attacking midfield options in January, but are ready to accept they are wasting their time pursuing a deal for Brazilian superstar Coutinho.
The Reds rejected their £114.2million bid for Coutinho in January and it seems the Merseysiders will only sell for a crazy offer of around €200m (£177.5m).
That is far beyond what Barcelona are willing to spend and Sport reckons they will instead target one of Julian Brandt or Max Meyer as alternatives in January.
Two members of the club’s staff, Robert Fernandez and Urbano Ortega, attended Leverkusen’s 2-2 draw with Wolfsburg on Sunday and monitored the performance of Germany international Brandt.
Barca are also keen on Schalke’s Meyer. The 22-year-old is under contract until 2018 and has also been linked with both Liverpool and Tottenham in the past.
AND THE REST
Barcelona are planning to improve Samuel Umtiti’s contract (AS)
Paris Saint-Germain will pay Neymar a bonus of €3m (£2.6m) if he wins the Ballon d’Or (Le Parisien)
Borussia Dortmund midfielder Julian Weigl has emerged as a Manchester City transfer target, with Pep Guardiola seeing the 22-year-old as a long-term replacement for Fernandinho and Yaya Toure (AS)
Barcelona are considering January moves for Napoli trio Dries Mertens, Kalidou Koulibaly and Lorenzo Insigne after sending scouts to watch them (Mundo Deportivo)
Nikola Kalinic won’t recover in time for AC Milan’s next Europa League clash (Corriere dello Sport)
Celta Vigo have entered the race for Barcelona flop Paco Alcacer, who has also been linked with Southampton (Onda Cero)
Mahmadou Diawara is expected to start in place of Jorginho for Napoli against Man City on Tuesday night (Tuttosport)
Former Inter president Massimo Moratti claims the Nerazzurri’s title expectations are only an illusion (Gazzetta dello Sport)