Manchester City are favourites to beat Liverpool to a £90m France star, while Chelsea will rival Manchester United for a Barcelona star, according to Saturday’s newspapers.
MAN CITY EMERGE AS SURPRISE LEADERS FOR THOMAS LEMAR
Manchester City are set to make a shock move to add Monaco’s Thomas Lemar to their raft of attacking options this summer, according to reports on Saturday.
The France winger was fully expected to sign for Liverpool this summer, who had earmarked the Frenchman as a £90million replacement for Philippe Coutinho following the Brazilian’s January switch to Barcelona.
But Pep Guardiola’s failure to land Alexis Sanchez in January means City are in the running to land Lemar – and the Daily Telegraph reckons they are at the front of the queue to land him.
The paper reckons City are also close to signing Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred, with Guardiola hoping to finalise City’s summer spending early in the window.
Despite their rich options in attack, Guardiola is keen to add one more body to his quota, with moves for both Sanchez and Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez falling short in January.
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AND THE REST
Chelsea are “willing to do anything” to sign Barcelona defender and Manchester United target Samuel Umtiti this summer, according to reports in Spain (Daily Express)
David Moyes has been told that he will have a £60m transfer war chest to spend next season if he can keep West Ham in the Premier League (Daily Express)
Bayer Leverkusen’s Jamaican midfielder Leon Bailey could be heading for the World Cup as part of the England squad, and his father will hold talks with the Football Association next week (The Sun)
AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma is set to leave in the summer after the Serie A club made an approach to sign Napoli No 1 Pepe Reina (The Sun)
The world’s biggest football stadium, with a capacity for over 135,000 supporters, is set to be built…in Iraq, as a gift from Saudi Arabia’s King Salman (The Sun)
Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano says the club wants to be revered for its football in the way Barcelona have for the last decade (Daily Telegraph)
Antonio Conte has insisted he will ask Eden Hazard to play as a “false nine” again if he feels it will benefit Chelsea and believes his players should express any dissatisfaction with their roles internally (Daily Telegraph)
Gareth Southgate will run the rule over Liverpool’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on Saturday as he ponders recalling the winger to the England squad (Daily Mirror)
Manchester United are considering Borussia Dortmund defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos as an alternative if they are unable to sign Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld this summer (Daily Mirror)
Joe Hart will be handed the chance to revive his season and World Cup hopes against Burnley (Daily Mirror)
Championship clubs with grievances over the way Wolves are run claim that star players including Diogo Jota and Ruben Neves are being paid way under market value to counter Financial Fair Play rules (Daily Mail)
Manchester United are planning to offer Luke Shaw to Tottenham as part of their efforts to sign Danny Rose (Daily Mail)
Manchester City could face a complaint from United after their ticket allocation for April’s derby clash was cut by 200 to only 2,800 over supporter safety concerns (Daily Mail)
Zinedine Zidane says criticism of Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema is wide of the mark and that his past record should speak for itself (Daily Star)
Mauricio Pochettino says Juventus are “specialists” in football’s dark arts as he described how they put pressure on the referee at half-time in Wednesday’s Champions League last-16 second leg at Wembley (The Guardian)
Swansea may face a fight to keep hold of Carlos Carvalhal next season because their manager is attracting interest from several Premier League clubs after his outstanding start at the Liberty Stadium (The Times)
David Moyes has been given the authority to revamp West Ham’s recruitment department in the strongest sign yet that the club want him to stay beyond his initial contract until the end of the season (The Times)
Garry Monk walked away from a substantial payoff from Middlesbrough to take the Birmingham City job last week (The Times)