Liverpool have set their sights on a £22m-rated Benfica striker, while Manchester United have made a £145m duo their top summer targets, according to Monday’s newspapers.
LIVERPOOL SET SIGHTS ON BENFICA STRIKER
Liverpool have set their sights on Benfica and Mexico striker Raul Jimenez as a potential summer transfer target, according to reports on Monday.
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is said to be scouring Europe for new strikers with the club prepared to sell Daniel Sturridge, who has become frustrated by his bit-part role at Anfield.
Klopp is unlikely to sanction Sturridge’s sale now given the Reds are still to welcome Philippe Coutinho back from an ankle injury, while Sadio Mane is heading to African Cup of Nations duty with Senegal.
But the Reds boss is understood to be keen on a summer swoop for Benfica star Jimenez, who is rated in the £22million bracket.
Jimenez has scored eight times in 18 games across all competitions for Benfica so far this season and Liverpool understand that while he is going nowhere in January, he could be available at the end of the season.
The 25-year-old won the Spanish Supercup with Atletico Madrid in 2014 and helped Benfica win a league and cup double last season.
He was expected to join West Ham when he left Atletico in August 2015 but failed to show up for his medical claiming he had missed his flight to London after oversleeping.
Benfica then signed him in a two-stage deal which eventually became worth an estimated £18m when they finally bought out the remaining 50 per cent of his rights from a third party last summer.
That represented a club record and the Portuguese giants, who are already making contingency plans should he leave, are looking for a big return on their investment, according to Squawka.
UNITED MAKE ATLETICO DUO THEIR TOP TARGETS
Manchester United have made France forward Antoine Griezmann, 25, and Spain midfielder Saul Niguez, 22 their number one transfer targets for the summer.
The Atletico Madrid duo, who have both long been linked with United, have release clauses totalling £145m on contracts that were renewed last summer.
According to The Times, however, United are confident that they can negotiate on those release clauses and drive the price down on the pair.
It was claimed last month that United had already commissioned an agent to begin working on a deal for Griezmann, who Jose Mourinho sees as the ideal link man between his midfield and attack.
The link to Saul is nothing new either. The player was heavily linked with the club during Louis van Gaal’s era and it’s understood Mourinho also remains keen. The Spain star is very much an archetypal Mourinho midfielder: tall, athletic and very mobile.
Griezmann has recently spoken about his future and it seems a move from Atletico this summer is inevitable, with Chelsea and Manchester City also keen. But the player’s friendship with Paul Pogba and the riches United can offer him, make the Reds favourites to land the forward.
AND THE REST
Everton could miss out on Axel Witsel after he was offered a huge money to move to China (The Sun)
Bayern Munich star Arturo Vidal has fuelled speculation he is joining Chelsea by liking a post linking him with the Blues (The Sun)
Chelsea will bid £60m for Southampton’s Netherlands international defender Virgil van Dijk, 25, who is also wanted by Manchester City (Daily Express)
Chelsea have eyes on flying Napoli left wing-back Faouzi Ghoulam (The Sun)
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is also thought to want Real Madrid central defender Pepe, 33, but could face competition from clubs in the lucrative Chinese Super League (The Sun)
Everton and Arsenal may bid for Chris Smalling, 27, if Victor Lindelof completes a move to Manchester United (Daily Star)
Jack Wilshere will be offered his new contract by Arsenal this month despite still being on loan at Bournemouth (The Sun)
Georginio Wijnaldum has told close friend Quincy Promes: “Come and join me!” at Liverpool (Daily Mirror)
Sunderland manager David Moyes is concerned he may not be able to attract enough quality players this month (Daily Telegraph)
Liverpool could turn their attention to RB Leipzig winger Emil Forsberg, 25, after Borussia Dortmund insisted their 18-year-old American attacking midfielder Christian Pulisic is not for sale (Daily Mirror)
Arsenal want Sevilla’s French midfielder Steven N’Zonzi, 28, who is also a target for Chelsea, Manchester City and Juventus (Daily Express)
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has backed midfielder Paul Pogba as a potential Ballon d’Or winner (Daily Mirror)
Manchester City’s England goalkeeper Joe Hart, 29, is unlikely to make a permanent move to Torino because the Serie A side are unable to afford his high wages, club president Urbano Cairo has revealed (La Stampa)
Swansea are ready to back Paul Clement with a hefty transfer budget to try to spend their way out of relegation (Daily Mirror)
Stoke are set to land goalkeeper Lee Grant for £1m from Derby (Daily Mirror)
Newcastle have made contact with Everton about signing midfielder Tom Cleverley, 27, on loan (Newcastle Chronicle)
Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva, 29, could stay at Anfield beyond this month, despite interest from Inter Milan. The Reds are prepared to sell the Brazilian but the Italian club are thought to want a loan deal (Liverpool Echo)
Sunderland’s Adnan Januzaj says they could be six goals down by half-time against Liverpool on Monday (Daily Mirror)
Diego Costa admits he was close to leaving Chelsea for Atletico Madrid in the summer (Daily Mail)
Costa, meanwhile, is the subject of a rumoured £80m bid from Chinese Super League side Tianjin Quanjian, but says he is “very happy” at Stamford Bridge (Daily Mirror)
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola was spotted furiously gesturing with director of football Txiki Begiristain (Daily Mail)
Arsene Wenger has called Olivier Giroud’s scorpion kick against Crystal Palace as the greatest goal he has ever seen at the Emirates Stadium (Daily Mail)
Demarai Gray has apologised for his hippy crack video with Leicester preparing to discipline the winger (Daily Mail)
Birmingham have ended their interest in Nottingham Forest captain Henri Lansbury. Former boss Gary Rowett had been preparing a bid for the 26-year-old but successor Gianfranco Zola will not be pursuing the midfielder (Birmingham Mail)
Brighton are expected to make 33-year-old striker Glenn Murray’s loan from Bournemouth a permanent transfer in the January window (Sky Sports)