Liverpool look set to ditch their interest in a long-time attacking target, while Tottenham have stepped up their efforts to sign two new full-backs, according to Thursday’s newspapers.
LIVERPOOL TO SNUB LEIPZIG STAR
Liverpool are reportedly ready to snub a January swoop for German RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner after agreeing a deal to sign Japanese Red Bull Salzburg forward Takumi Minamino.
The Japan international is expected to move to Anfield from Red Bull Salzburg on January 1 for a bargain £7.25million.
He underwent a medical with the Premier League leaders on Wednesday and is on the brink of finalising the switch to Merseyside.
While Minamino is capable of playing in a host of attacking positions, Werner is an out-and-out No.9, but German football expert Raphael Honigstein believes a move for the RB Leipzig hotshot now appears to be out of the question – as reported by the Daily Star.
Speaking about Minamino on Transfer Talk, Honigstein said: “He’s different because he’s not comparable to any of the front three forwards they have at the moment.
“Sadio Mane is very different from Mohamed Salah and Salah is very different from Roberto Firmino. Now you add a fourth guy and you can’t really say he’s going to be a replacement for X, Y or Z but what it does give you is just a bit more attacking quality.
“What Liverpool have seen over the last year or so was that whenever you bring on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain he perhaps doesn’t quite have the impact as one of the front three. He’s better in midfield and Xherdan Shaqiri, for all his deft skills, doesn’t really do it consistently enough. And unless you play Divock Origi through the middle it doesn’t really work. Yes, you can swap him for Firmino, but not Mane or Salah.
“So, to have a fourth guy that you can rely on would really release the pressure on the other three rocket men up front and would allow Jurgen Klopp to rotate a little bit. It makes a lot of sense to have the fourth guy.
“I was probably expecting Liverpool to make a move for Timo Werner. He could have been the fourth guy, but it didn’t happen. Minamino is a lot cheaper but perhaps also has more value in terms of the improvement and the places he can go.
“Again, Liverpool have learned as a club that you don’t buy the finished article for £100m. You buy that’s going to be worth £50m, £60m or £100m three years down the line thanks to good coaching and thanks to playing in a team that works, and that’s really the key behind their recent successes.
“In Premier League terms, Minamino’s release clause is almost a free transfer. It’s less than £10m and you don’t get anyone inside the Premier league for that kind of money. Even when you look at Germany or France it’s incredibly cheap so even if it doesn’t work out for some reason it still wouldn’t be a problem because you’d get your money back. It’s a no-brainer of a deal in financial terms.”
AND THE REST
Manchester United could face a £12m agent fee to complete the signing of Erling Haaland (The Sun)
Arsenal are hoping Mikel Arteta’s imminent arrival as manager will persuade skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to sign a new contract (The Sun)
Tottenham star Lucas Moura has hailed Jose Mourinho for helping him regain ‘confidence’ and a new lease of life (The Sun)
Manchester United and Tottenham are both in talks with Lille for midfielder Boubakary Soumare (The Sun)
Marseille boss Andre Villas-Boas is ready to sign Leicester wonder kid Sidnei Tavares (The Sun)
Mesut Ozil has been removed from the Pro Evolution Soccer game in China, following his criticism of the country’s treatment of Uighur Muslims (The Sun)
Tottenham will provide Jose Mourinho with transfer funds next month as Nathan Ferguson of West Bromwich Albion and Max Aarons at Norwich have been scouted (Daily Mail)
Manchester United captain Ashley Young could leave Old Trafford as early as next month (Daily Mail)
Southampton are determined to stick with Ralph Hasenhuttl, who has received a ringing endorsement ahead of the club’s huge basement battle against Aston Villa (Daily Mail)
Watford and Burnley have put 29-year-old Ghana right-back Daniel Opare on their watchlist for the January transfer window (Daily Mail)
Aston Villa are in danger of becoming the first Premier League club to breach Financial Fair Play rules and may need to sell to ensure they comply with regulations this season (Daily Mail)
Ryan Bertrand says Southampton are suffering from a Ronald Koeman hangover three years after he quit as manager at St Mary’s (Daily Express)
Manchester City are furious with Arsenal over the Gunners’ move for Mikel Arteta – with one club insider describing their conduct as “shambolic” (Daily Mirror)
James Chester admits fearing he may never play for Aston Villa again following 11 months on the sidelines (Daily Mirror)
Manchester City want more than £2m for Mikel Arteta, with Pep Guardiola set to lose his assistant to Arsenal midway through the season (The Times)
Daniel Levy has set a world record £25m-a-year naming-rights price on Tottenham Hotspur’s £1bn stadium, for which he has so far failed to find a buyer (Daily Telegraph)
Jose Mourinho wants to trim his squad in the January transfer window to his preferred size of 21 outfield players plus goalkeepers (Daily Telegraph)
The Abu Dhabi consortium set to take over at Charlton Athletic was questioned by the English Football League over the extent of its links with the owners of Manchester City (Daily Telegraph)
Rangers are planning a January clearout with up to five top-team stars set to be punted by boss Steven Gerrard (Daily Record)
Alex Dyer is in pole position to become the next Kilmarnock manager – if he wants the job (Daily Record)
Angelo Alessio has branded his sudden Kilmarnock sacking as strange (Scottish Sun)