West Ham are ready to hand a lifeline to a Juventus star as they look to solve their striker crisis, while two LaLiga sides are keen on a Chelsea stalwart, according to Thursday’s papers.
WEST HAM READY TO HAND JUVE STAR LIFELINE
Mario Mandzukic could be offered a Premier League lifeline after failing to secure a move to Manchester United – with West Ham reportedly keen on the veteran Juventus striker.
Mandzukic was strongly linked with a move to Old Trafford this summer, as the Red Devils prepared for Romelu Lukaku’s departure to Inter Milan.
However, at the age of 33, the Juve star did not fit the profile of players Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking to sign – with the United boss looking for younger players who can play a higher tempo style of football.
And now the Daily Mirror reports that the Hammers are lining up a January swoop for Mandzukic, who has yet to play for the Italian giants this season and did not make their Champions League squad.
Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini is currently dealing with a striker crisis at the London Stadium, following the sale of Javier Hernandez to Sevilla and a serious injury sustained by central striking option Michail Antonio.
West Ham also allowed Marko Arnautovic, Lucas Perez and Andy Carroll to exit the club, leaving them woefully short of striking options until the new year.
Antonio is expected to be sidelined for up to five months after a hamstring injury, meaning West Ham’s only senior options up front are Sebastien Haller and Albian Ajeti, who has yet to make his Premier League debut.
Pellegrini also added 22-year-old Portuguese forward Xande Silva to his Premier League squad following the departure of Hernandez, but Silva, a £1.3m signing from Vitoria Guimaraes last summer, has played just 17 minutes of top-flight action and is around a month away from fitness after an emergency bowel operation.
The report goes on to add that the Hammers also have concerns over the age of Mandzukic, so a loan deal would appear to be more likely than a permanent switch.
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AND THE REST
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Paul Ince wants clubs to be thrown out of Europe or hit with points deductions to stop the racist abuse of players (Daily Mirror)
Steve Bruce is facing a huge squad overhaul if he keeps Newcastle in the Premier League this season (Daily Mirror)
Dejan Lovren has revealed he was ready to quit Liverpool because he felt like a fraud sitting on the bench (Daily Mirror)
Juventus manager Maurizio Sarri has returned to the club to take training after recovering from pneumonia (Daily Mirror)
Vincent Kompany has warned England’s football chiefs they need more diversity in the boardroom to defeat racism (The Sun)
Inter Milan will look to sign Alexis Sanchez on a permanent deal from Manchester United next summer after his loan (The Sun)
Gary Neville says Declan Rice should not be allowed to play for England because he has three Republic of Ireland caps (The Sun)
Bayern Munich are set to renew their interest in Leroy Sane in January – despite his serious knee injury (The Sun)
Pep Guardiola will look at signing a new centre-back in January after Aymeric Laporte was ruled out for the rest of the year (Daily Mail)
Chelsea’s army of players out on loan has been slashed by more than a third as a result of the club’s transfer ban (Daily Mail)
England technical director Les Reed claims player arrogance is largely responsible for the U21s dismal showing at the European Championships (Daily Mail)
Manchester United must manage Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s fitness over the coming weeks as it emerged he was already carrying the back injury that ruled him out of England contention (Daily Mail)
Gareth Southgate has extended England’s training sessions beyond two hours as he crams in tactical work before the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo (The Times)
Derby County could yet face sanctions for possible breaches of financial regulations after the English Football League ordered an independent valuation of their Pride Park stadium (The Times)
Rangers have apologised to Celtic captain Scott Brown after he was the target of sickening abuse over the death of his sister (Daily Record)
Graeme Mathie is the front-runner to become Kilmarnock’s new head of football operations (Daily Record)
Ross McCrorie admits he had to be selfish and leave Rangers after a chat with Steven Gerrard (Scottish Sun)
Northern Ireland are set to pinch St Johnstone winger Matty Kennedy from Scotland (Scottish Sun)