Euro Paper Talk: Man Utd, La Liga giants battling to steal star defender away from £24m rivals

Merih Demiral, Uros Djurdjevic Turkey v Montenegro September 2021

Manchester United are in the hunt for a top-class Serie A star amid La Liga interest, while Roma plot a shock Chelsea raid – both in all the latest Euro Paper Talk.

MAN UTD EYE MERIH DEMIRAL

Manchester United have joined Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid in the race for on-loan Atalanta defender Merih Demiral, according to a report.

The 24-year-old has already enjoyed spells across Europe before settling in Italy. After the Turkey international’s initial progress at Fenerbahce, he moved to Portugal. Demiral then signed for Sassuolo in June 2019 but immediately moved on to Juventus.

Injury problems held him back in his first season in Turin and he again spent parts of last term on the bench. As a result, he moved across Italy again last summer, to Atalanta.

He has impressed in Bergamo and Atalanta have a £24million option to buy clause in the loan deal. And according to Fanatik, Gian Piero Gasperini’s side intend to pay that sum.

However, Demiral’s performances have also reportedly attracted the attention of Man Utd, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.

Indeed, Fanatik adds that the trio are closely following the player’s performances. United have reportedly identified a new centre-back as one of three major summer transfer priorities.

Demiral has played in 20 of his side’s Serie A games this season. Atalanta sit in fifth and still have a slim chance of making the top four.

However, they are firmly in the hunt for Europa League glory. Atalanta dropped into the competition after finishing third in Manchester United’s Champions League group.

Demiral played in all six group games and has subsequently played every minute of the Europa League knockout stages so far. Atalanta face RB Leipzig in the quarter-finals.

Amid his impressive domestic displays, Demiral is also a senior Turkey international. He has 31 caps to his name, including three at Euro 2020.

AND THE REST FROM EURO PAPER TALK

Charly Musonda, Jason Davidson Perth Glory v Chelsea July 2018

Roma boss Jose Mourinho wants to sign Chelsea midfielder Charly Musonda, who is out of contract in the summer following a host of loan spells away from Stamford Bridge. (Goal)

Tottenham loanee Pape Matar Sarr is facing struggles at Metz ahead of his move to north London, according to Metz manager Frederic Antonetti. (L’Equipe)

Brentford goalkeeper David Raya has described realising a “dream” after his call-up to the Spain national team. (Cadena SER)

Newcastle will make a new bid for Napoli striker Victor Osimhen in the summer. However, Arsenal, Tottenham and Man Utd are also showing interest. (Gazzetta dello Sport)

Former Fiorentina star Domenico Caso has lauded Arsenal loanee Lucas Torreira’s spell, but insisted that the Uruguayan is not a special find after his previous record in Italy. (Tuttomercatoweb)

EURO PAPER TALK – POCHETTINO, PSG FUTURE LOOKING BLEAK

PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino faces the media. Pochettino sack talk is growing

The future of Mauricio Pochettino as Paris Saint-Germain manager is looking increasingly bleak following Sunday’s 3-0 Ligue 1 defeat to Monaco. (L’Equipe)

Indeed, PSG centre-back Marquinhos declared the defeat his side’s “worst match of the year”. He added that the Ligue 1 title will be “in danger” if performances do not change. (Get French Football News)

Mauricio Pochettino is on the verge of being sacked

After crashing out of the Champions League, Mauricio Pochettino is under massive pressure at PSG.

Real Madrid want to sign West Ham midfielder Declan Rice but will not pay the £120million asking price. As such, they could turn to Monaco’s Aurelien Tchouameni or Ajax’s Ryan Gravenberch. (Defensa Central)

However, Bayern Munich are also after Dutch midfielder Gravenberch. They have made a €15million (£12.6million) bid, but Ajax want more. (Fabrizio Romano)

Erling Haaland should reject a move to Manchester City and instead stay at Borussia Dortmund, according to Markus Babbel. Indeed, the former Liverpool player has claimed that Pep Guardiola “doesn’t like centre forwards”. (Sky Germany)

BARCELONA THUMP REAL MADRID – REACTION

Barcelona players celebrate against Real Madrid, March 2022

Barcelona boss Xavi did not expect his side’s 4-0 thrashing of Real Madrid in Sunday’s El Clasico but insisted the result is confirmation of Barca’s major recent progress. (Marca)

Xavi did not rule out a subsequent charge on Madrid for the La Liga title. However, getting Barcelona back in the Champions League remains his top focus. (Marca)

Meanwhile, Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti took full responsibility for his side’s humbling on home turf. (Marca)

Lazio manager Maurizio Sarri admitted that his side’s game plan was “non-existent” as they lost 3-0 to city rivals Roma on Sunday. (DAZN)

But Roma striker Tammy Abraham said that he “couldn’t ask for a better day” after his two goals helped his side secure victory. (DAZN)