Euro Paper Talk: Liverpool lynchpin afflicted by doubts as Spanish giants plot bid

Date published: Monday 26th April 2021 12:28 - Samuel Bannister

Mohamed Salah, Fabinho, Thiago Alcantara Arsenal v Liverpool April 2021

One Liverpool regular has emerged as a top target for one of his former clubs amid uncertainties about the Reds’ direction, while Arsenal are battling a London rival for a player Mikel Arteta has specifically requested – all according to the latest Euro transfer gossip.


Real Madrid have identified Liverpool midfielder Fabinho as their preferred replacement for Raphael Varane, according to reports.

World Cup winner Varane is about to enter the final 12 months of his contract at the Bernabeu. As such, he has been heavily linked with an exit – potentially to Chelsea or Manchester United.

If he does leave, there could be consequences affecting another Premier League club. According to Fichajes, Madrid want to replace him with Fabinho.

The versatile Brazilian spent time with Los Blancos earlier in his career but was not first-team ready. After cementing his reputation with Monaco, he has now become a lynchpin for Liverpool.

Previously a right-back, Fabinho has dominated from a defensive midfield role at Anfield. This season, he has taken on different responsibilities, often filling in as a centre-back due to other injuries in the position.

He has been a convincing presence there and Madrid could see a long-term future for him in that role.

Zinedine Zidane appreciates Fabinho’s versatility and physical qualities. Therefore, they could take advantage of any doubts he has about his future at Liverpool.

Under contract until 2023, Fabinho is unhappy with the way things have gone for Liverpool this season. He could be tempted to seek a new challenge elsewhere – and his fondness of Madrid remains.

Liverpool would surely be keen to keep him, but know they may need to sell one of their big names if they are to pursue other signings in the summer.

Given Fabinho’s current hesitancy over their project, they may be wary of losing him.

As things stand, though, Madrid are weighing up all their options. They have also been heavily linked with David Alaba, who will be a free agent in the summer after leaving Bayern Munich.

Alaba can operate as a centre-back or defensive midfielder much like Fabinho, and would not come with a transfer fee. Hence, Madrid will have to consider the pros and cons of either deal.

Chelsea leading race for Varane

As for Varane, it seems Chelsea have overtaken Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain in the race for his signature.

Man Utd appeared to be his prime suitors as they look for a partner to Harry Maguire. It was claimed earlier this month that the Frenchman would be open to a move to Old Trafford.

But according to Mundo Deportivo, Chelsea remain very much in the hunt. In fact, they seem even more likely than United to secure a deal at this stage.

Madrid are trying to talk Varane into signing a new contract, but would need him to accept a wage cut. He does not seem willing to accept the terms currently on offer.

President Florentino Perez has confirmed in public that he is willing to sell players who are not committed. Therefore, Varane could be shown the door if a suitable offer arrives.

It seems Chelsea are willing to meet those requirements. Madrid want as much as €70m for the 28-year-old, but Thomas Tuchel has asked his club to pay that price to get their man.

Chelsea need a long-term successor to Thiago Silva at the heart of their backline despite the Brazilian impressing in his first season in England.

Varane could be their man if they can stay ahead of United in the battle for his signature.

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Mikel Arteta wants Arsenal to sign Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Unai Simon amid Bernd Leno’s inconsistent form. West Ham are also keen on Simon. (La Razon)

Leeds United remain keen on Cagliari midfielder Nahitan Nandez and the conditions may now be in place for his transfer. (CentoTrentuno)

Man Utd defender Diogo Dalot could stay in Serie A after his loan with AC Milan, as Napoli are now eager to sign him. (Fichajes)

Crystal Palace are willing to meet the wage demands of soon-to-be free agent Nikola Maksimovic. However, the Napoli defender does not see that move as a priority. (Estadio Deportivo)

Inter Milan are not yet out of the race to sign Sergio Aguero after he leaves Manchester City. (Tuttosport)

AC Milan have reportedly agreed to sign Mike Maignan from Lille to replace Gianluigi Donnarumma, whose contract is up in June. (Sport1)


Erik Lamela; Gareth Bale TEAMtalk

Milan have made contact with Tottenham over the possible signing of Erik Lamela. (Todofichajes)

Juventus remain interested in Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele. (Mundo Deportivo)

Sevilla are showing an interest in Rangers midfielder Ianis Hagi. (Fichajes)

River Plate are keen to sign Manuel Lanzini from West Ham, but a deal would be complicated financially. (El Intransigente)

Manchester United and Arsenal are still keeping tabs on Lille forward Jonathan David. (Fichajes)


Wolves will target Porto’s Zaidu Sanusi if they don’t activate their option to buy Rayan Ait-Nouri. (Todofichajes)

Juventus have cast their eyes on Fiorentina forward Dusan Vlahovic as a potential partner for Cristiano Ronaldo. (Gazzetta Dello Sport)

Alternatively, Juventus could try to re-sign Moise Kean from Everton after his loan spell at PSG. (Tuttosport)

Roma are closing in on an agreement with Maurizio Sarri, who has also been linked with Tottenham, to be their next head coach. (Corriere Dello Sport)

Bayer Leverkusen are aiming for the signing of PSG attacking midfielder Julian Draxler. (Todofichajes)

RB Leipzig sporting director Markus Krosche has terminated his contract by mutual consent. (Official)


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