Manchester United are set to renew their interest in £40million Toni Kroos, Newcastle are considering Rafael Benitez if they sack Steve McClaren, while Real Madrid and Barcelona will battle with Manchester City for Ilkay Gundogan, according to Saturday’s papers.
UNITED KEEN ON KROOS SWOOP
Manchester United have renewed their interest in Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos and could make a £40million bid.
The Daily Star says that United, who wanted Kroos during his Bayern Munich days, is a key name on the Old Trafford wish list. It quotes a source as saying: “United want him, and he’s one of their main targets. Real are reluctant to do business with United, but the situation is different with Kroos because he hasn’t settled.”
As ever when we’re talking about Manchester United and Real Madrid, David De Gea’s name comes into the equation and the paper claims Real may use United’s interest to try and resurrect a deal for the Old Trafford No 1.
NEWCASTLE TARGET BENITEZ APPOINTMENT
Former Liverpool and Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez, who has been out of work since he was sacked by Real Madrid earlier this season, could be in line to return to England to succeed Steve McClaren as manager of Newcastle.
Benitez is currently back living in the UK, and The Sun claims he is ready to take over at Newcastle should the club decide to get rid of McClaren.
The papery revealed that the former England manager’s position at St James’ Park is under threat following a poor debut season, with Newcastle currently languishing in 19th place with only 11 Premier League games remaining.
Despite splashing the cash on big names including Jonjo Shelvey and Andros Townsend in January, McClaren has been unable to turn Newcastle’s fortunes around and is perilously close to the chop.
Managing director Lee Charnley has apparently drawn up a managerial hit-list which includes Benitez as well as ex-Roma boss Rudi Garcia, while Manchester United flop David Moyes is also under consideration.
Relegation would be a disastrous outcome for Newcastle, with Mike Ashley keen to grab a hefty slice of the huge TV cash windfall which is coming next season.
REAL & BARCA TO RIVAL PREM CLUBS FOR GUNDOGAN
Manchester City may need to slug it out with Barcelona and Real Madrid for Borussia Dortmund star Ilkay Gundogan, claims the Daily Mirror.
It reckons the trio of clubs will be scrapping it out for midfielder, who has turned down a new contract and looks all but certain to move on.
Although the paper says City are favourites to bring in the Germany international – reported to have signalled his interest in working with current Bayern boss Guardiola – they may have to work a bit harder than they thought for his signature.
Reports last month suggested that Arsenal were keen on the player, while Liverpool and Manchester United also have a long-standing interest in Gundogan.
AND THE REST
Roy Hodgson will make a check on Leicester’s in-form Danny Drinkwater ahead of naming his next England squad (Daily Mirror)
Pep Guardiola has played down rumours that he wants to bring Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, 29, with him to Manchester City in the summer (Daily Star)
Jose Mourinho is planning to recast the spine of the Manchester United team if he is appointed manager at Old Trafford in the summer, with a centre-back, a midfielder and a striker high on his list of priorities (The Sun)
Liverpool defender Jon Flanagan, 23, is desperate to sign a new contract at Anfield so he can be a one-club man like Jamie Carragher (Daily Star)
Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew is eyeing a summer move for Blackburn’s Republic of Ireland international centre-back Shane Duffy (Daily Mirror)
Lorenzo Insigne’s agent says the 24-year-old Napoli winger is wanted by a number of Premier League clubs (Daily Express)
David Beckham has made the audacious capture of Lionel Messi one of Miami United’s long-term priorities (Daily Mail)
Italy coach Antonio Conte will meet with Chelsea owener Roman Abramovich in Monte Carlo within the next week to thrash out the final details of his appointment as the club’s next manager (Daily Telegraph)
Liverpool have been linked with a summer move for Malaga midfielder Ignacio Camacho, 25, who could be available for around £4m (Metro)
Everton passed up a chance to sign Dimitri Payet last summer because they see Ross Barkley as their long-term No 10 (Daily Mail)
Tottenham striker Harry Kane says the current Spurs squad is the best he has ever been involved with and that teams do not want to face the “unbelievable” way they press opponents (The Times)
Atletico Madrid star Saul Niguez has told the club to pay him £4m-a-year amid interest from Manchester United and Arsenal (The Sun)
Willy Caballero says he will look for another club in England if he cannot dislodge Joe Hart as Manchester City’s No 1 (The Sun)
Marc Bartra could easily leave Barcelona this summer, according to his former agent (Daily Express)
Alan Pardew believes he could soon have a £30m striker on his hands in Connor Wickham (Daily Star)
Aston Villa captain Micah Richards has a buy-out clause in his contract and can leave the club for £5m (Daily Telegraph)
Arsenal could miss out on long-term transfer interest Ilkay Gundogan because the Borussia Dortmund midfielder wants to play for Pep Guardiola (The Independent)
Chelsea sent scouts to watch Juventus star Paul Pogba this week, according to reports in Italy (The Independent)
Everton have started planning for the era under new owner Farhad Moshiri by targeting Villarreal teenager Alfonso Pedraza for a summer move (The Independent)
Louis van Gaal has said the recent emergence of Marcus Rashford, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Guillermo Varela and other youngsters will affect Manchester United’s summer transfer policy (The Guardian)
Jose Mourinho’s charm offensive towards Manchester United gathered pace when one of his aides went to great lengths to undermine the perception that the former Chelsea manager is not interested in developing young players (The Times)
Remi Garde has admitted that he could be sacked as Aston Villa manager this summer after cutting short a heated media conference on Friday (The Times)
A banner calling on Massimo Cellino to leave Leeds United will fly over Elland Road on Saturday as the fans stage another protest against the club’s controversial owner (The Times)