Paper Talk: Liverpool back in for Bundesliga playmaker; Chelsea face Zidane rivals

Liverpool are ready to renew their interest in a creative midfielder, while Chelsea are facing major rivals for Zinedine Zidane, according to Friday’s papers.



Liverpool could reportedly make a return for Bayer Leverkusen star Julian Brandt this summer after missing out on the midfielder in 2017.

The Reds, who moved for Mo Salah after failing to seal a deal for Brandt, are being enticed by the player’s £21.4million release clause, according to reports in Bild and Kicker.

A creative midfielder is high on Jurgen Klopp’s list of priorities for the summer, even if Liverpool go on to win the Premier League title this season.

Other clubs in England are also said to be keen on the 22-year-old Germany international, but Klopp’s Bundesliga links are said to be giving the Anfield club the edge over their rivals for the player’s signature.

The sale of Philippe Coutinho and a serious injury to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has robbed the Reds of a creative force in midfield and has put more pressure on the front three of Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, although Liverpool did return to their fluid best in a 5-0 thumping of Watford on Wednesday night.

Klopp’s men, who are a point clear of Man City in the title race, are back in action on Sunday when they head to Everton for the Merseyside derby.



Chelsea must move fast to tie up Zinedine Zidane as their next manager – because Juventus want him (The Sun)

Tottenham fear Mauricio Pochettino will quit for Real Madrid in the summer (The Sun)

West Ham midfielder Jack Wilshere is to miss the rest of the season after a fresh setback to his ankle injury (The Sun)

Gareth Southgate could hand a England call-up to Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse for the first time since March 2017 (The Sun)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is winning the race to be named as Manchester United’s permanent manager because of his stunning success (Daily Mirror)

Bristol City manager Lee Johnson is a contender for the permanent Fulham manager’s job following Claudio Ranieri’s sacking (Daily Mirror)

Romelu Lukaku rates Luke Shaw as Manchester United’s player of the year (Daily Mirror)

Norwich City are interested in signing Tottenham’s 18-year-old English central defender Maxwell Statham, but could face competition from Brentford, Nottingham Forest and Sunderland (Daily Mirror)

Major doubt has been cast on the legality of the flight which killed Emiliano Sala after Willie McKay admitted agreeing to pay the full cost of the trip (Daily Telegraph)

Manchester United risk losing David de Gea unless they make him the club’s highest-paid player alongside Alexis Sanchez in a deal that reflects his status as their outstanding performer over the past five seasons (Daily Telegraph)

David de Gea TEAMtalk

West Bromwich Albion’s players will land a £10m bonus if they are promoted back to the Premier League this season (Daily Telegraph)

Fulham sacked Claudio Ranieri amid concerns over what they perceived as outdated coaching methods from the Italian (Daily Mail)

Marcelo Bielsa may quit Leeds if they do not win promotion to the Premier League this season (Daily Mail)

The Football Association have formally submitted their application to register Declan Rice as an England player (Daily Mail)

League Two side Crawley are on the brink of a £7m takeover by a Singapore consortium (Daily Mail)

Fulham have Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke high on their list of potential replacements for Claudio Ranieri (Daily Star)

Steve Clarke: Out in LA

John Kennedy insists he was never going to walk out on Celtic with Brendan Rodgers (Daily Record)