Paper Talk: Liverpool emerge as favourites to land star 2018 target amid Man Utd interest

Date published: Friday 26th March 2021 8:44 - Jonny Whitfield

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool at Burnley

Liverpool are joined by Manchester United as they register new interest in a former target, while Aston Villa fear a big transfer mistake – both in all the latest Paper Talk.

REDS REIGNITE FEKIR INTEREST

Liverpool have rekindled their interest in attacking midfielder Nabil Fekir, according to a report.

The Reds had all-but sealed the signing of the former Lyon star in the summer of 2018, only for the deal to collapse.

The Frenchman, who Liverpool eyed as Philippe Coutinho’s replacement, had even taken pictures in his new shirt. However, concerns arose about his injury history during his medical and the move fell through.

Fekir spent one more season at Lyon before moving to Real Betis ahead of the 2018/19 campaign. The 27-year-old has since made 63 appearances for the Spanish club, with his form improving in recent weeks.

Indeed, he has netted two goals and set up five others in 10 La Liga outings, which Fichajes.net claims has sparked fresh interest from Liverpool.

The report says that Manchester United are also attentive to his recent displays. But while the Premier League duo remain the best-placed teams to land Fekir’s signature, Liverpool are the favourites.

Inter Milan are also in the race, although there is no indication of the sort of fee Betis would expect. What’s more, Fichajes.net stresses that the interest in Fekir is in its infancy for now.

Liverpool ended up signing Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker instead of Fekir and the duo proved crucial in their recent Champions League and Premier League-winning campaigns.


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AND THE REST FROM EURO PAPER TALK

Morgan Sanson, Jesse Lingard

Aston Villa have concerns that they made a ‘big mistake’ over the signing of midfielder Morgan Sanson. (Football Insider)

Norway boss Stale Solbakken hopes to have Martin Odegaard fit for Saturday’s clash with Turkey. Indeed, the Arsenal loanee trained alone on Thursday after an ankle knock. (Daily Mirror)

However, Arsenal have no chance of signing the 22-year-old on a permanent deal from Real Madrid. Los Blancos see him as a crucial part of their future. (Marca)

Juventus striker Alvaro Morata says that he came close to suffering from depression during his time with Chelsea. (El Mundo)

SOLSKJAER TO GET NEW MAN UTD CONTRACT

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer TEAMtalk

Manchester United plan to offer manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a new contract, even if he fails to win a trophy this season. However, the pressure will be on next season to lift silverware. (The Times)

Solskjaer will earn another three-year deal worth a total of £30million. (Daily Mirror)

United winger Amad Diallo has been backed to win the Ballon d’Or in the next five years. (Goal)

Red Devils defender Eric Bailly has been in ‘protracted’ talks over a contract extension. (Daily Mirror)

LEICESTER STAR SET FOR NEW DEAL

Iheanacho.Leicester.TEAMtalk

Leicester striker Kelechi Iheanacho is ready to sign a new contract this summer. The Nigeria international has flourished in recent weeks in Brendan Rodgers’ side. (The Sun)

Meanwhile, Foxes star Harvey Barnes is targeting a return from injury in time for the club’s FA Cup semi-final showdown with Southampton. (Daily Mail)

Former Brazil star Rivaldo believes that Lionel Messi will sign a new Barcelona contract after Joan Laporta’s presidential election success. (The Sun)

CELTIC EYE BUTT AS KEANE ASSISTANT

Nicky Butt Man Utd 2018

Celtic have lined Nicky Butt up to be Roy Keane’s assistant following his Manchester United exit. (Football Insider)

United claimed that Butt left to seek a ‘new challenge’, but clashes with new football director John Murtough also played their part. (The Athletic)

Referees chiefs have told Premier League clubs of plans to “change and improve” VAR from next season. (The Times)

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