Liverpool striker Christian Benteke and Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez are being linked with a move to Italy, while Chelsea are tracking a £20million Athletic Bilbao midfielder, according to Sunday’s newspapers.
CHELSEA ON TRAIL OF £20M BILBAO STAR
Chelsea fancy snapping up Athletic Bilbao’s £20m-rated Spanish midfielder Oscar de Marcos this summer.
The player was watched by Stamford Bridge spies in the Europa League last week, according to The Sun on Sunday.
De Marcos, 26, is seen as the ideal replacement for Brazilian star Ramires, whose surprise exit has left them short of legs in midfield.
Chelsea chiefs know they have to freshen up their stale side after enduring a nightmare defence of their Premier League title.
De Marcos’ high-energy game is seen as ideal for English football and he knows this summer may be his last chance to secure a lucrative move to the Premier League. Manchester United wanted him three seasons ago after he dazzled against them in Europe.
His committed style has drawn comparisons with Roy Keane, but United baulked at the transfer fee quoted.
Now De Marcos’ impressive form in La Liga has caught Chelsea’s eye as they start planning for a huge squad overhaul.
JUVENTUS CHASE BENTEKE…
Christian Benteke will be offered a route out of Liverpool by Juventus who are lining up a move for the Belgium striker as a long-term replacement for Mario Mandzukic.
The Sunday People claim the Italian champions enquired about the 25-year-old’s availability in the January transfer window, but the Reds were not willing to let him leave then.
However, boss Jurgen Klopp will cash in at the end of the season if a suitable offer is made for a player on whom Liverpool splashed £32.5million last summer.
It is claimed Klopp will demand at least £25m for Belgium international Benteke, who has struggled to prove his worth at Anfield since his move from Aston Villa.
Juve are long-time admirers of the powerful striker and see him as a long-term replacement for Mario Mandzukic, who turns 30 in May.
Benteke, who spent three years at Villa Park after a £7m switch from Genk in his homeland, has scored eight goals in 35 appearances in all competitions this season.
Since Klopp’s arrival in October, he has been in and out of the side despite injuries sidelining fellow forwards Daniel Sturridge and Danny Ings.
He has failed to establish himself as the No.1 striker Liverpool fans hoped he would become when then-manager Brendan Rodgers signed him last July.
…WHILE SERIE A GIANTS ALSO WANT SANCHEZ
Arsenal face a battle this summer to keep hold of star forward Alexis Sanchez, with Juventus keen to bring the 27-year-old Chile international back to Serie A.
The Sunday Mirror claims the Italians are monitoring the progress of contract talks between former Udinese frontman Sanchez and the Gunners.
Sanchez – signed from Barcelona for £35million two years ago – has been a major success at the Emirates, and Arsenal are keen for him to extend his deal to keep him at the club for the next four years.
But Turin-based Juventus – who went out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage last week in a dramatic defeat against Bayern Munich – have Sanchez high on their wanted list.
And they would match the fee Arsenal paid to Barcelona to get their man.
Sanchez was last week reported to have issues with manager Arsene Wenger about the amount of game time he is given.
If the talks about a contract extension stall, Juve are ready to move in for Sanchez.
Spain’s Atletico Madrid are also keen on Sanchez, but Wenger wants to keep his all-action front man at Arsenal and is hopeful that he will stay on a long-term basis.
AND THE REST
Jose Mourinho has signed a pre-contract deal to replace Louis van Gaal at Manchester United, according to reports in Spain (The Sun)
Jose Mourinho will make Tottenham’s 22-year-old striker Harry Kane his priority transfer target if he replaces Louis van Gaal at United (Independent on Sunday)
Louis van Gaal claims Manchester United need a director of football, even if he stays as boss, and has told friends in Holland that running the club from top to bottom is almost impossible without help (The Sun)
Pablo Zabaleta has admitted that Manchester City stars have been unsettled by looming arrival of Pep Guardiola (Sunday Mirror)
Mauricio Pochettino has alerted his Spurs chairman Daniel Levy to one of Argentina’s brightest young stars in Jonathan Calleri (Sunday Mirror)
Manchester United are chasing Valencia’s 22-year-old midfielder Andre Gomes (Sunday Mirror)
Pep Guardiola could make Bayern Munich’s £10m-rated Sebastian Rode one of his first signings at Manchester City (Sunday Mirror)
Aston Villa manager Remi Garde is on the verge of being sacked after four months in charge of the Premier League’s bottom club (Sunday Mirror)
Manchester United are facing another summer of strife over David De Gea, with Real Madrid poised to make a renewed attempt to sign the goalkeeper (Daily Star Sunday)
The Premier League are in negotiations to introduce up to 16 of their clubs’ Under-21s teams into the Football League’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy next season (Sunday Telegraph)
Manchester United are reportedly ready to launch a major bid for Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos (Daily Star Sunday)
Manchester United could outbid Atletico Madrid for Chelsea’s 27-year-old Spain international striker Diego Costa this summer (Fijaches)
Manchester City will launch a £60m bid for Manchester United and Liverpool target Robert Lewandowski this summer (Sunday Express)
Juventus will target Arsenal’s 29-year-old French striker Olivier Giroud if they fail to sign Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani, also 29 (Tuttosport)
Liverpool are reportedly eyeing a double raid on Bundesliga side FC Cologne this summer with goalkeeper Timo Horn and defender Jonas Hector wanted by Jurgen Klopp (Sunday Express)
Chelsea’s hopes of appointing Roma director Walter Sabatini have taken a blow despite the Italian revealing he will quit the Rome club at the end of the season (Sunday Express)
Louis van Gaal has held crisis talks with Manchester United players as the under-fire boss bids to save his side’s season ahead of the derby (Mail on Sunday)
Napoli will try to sign Everton striker Romelu Lukaku, 22, if they sell Gonzalo Higuain. Chelsea, Manchester United and Bayern Munich are all interested in their 28-year-old Argentine forward (Tuttomercatoweb)
Manchester City have joined the race for Rennes winger Ousmane Dembele as Barcelona and Bayern Munich keep tabs on French starlet (Mail on Sunday)
Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick, 34, turned down “crazy money” from China to stay at Old Trafford (The Sun)
West Ham have agreed an £8.5m deal to sign Besiktas’s 24-year-old winger Gokhan Tore this summer (Takvim)
Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge won’t have any training restrictions placed on him by Jurgen Klopp when he joins up with England this week (Mail on Sunday)