Manchester United have dropped their interest in an Inter Milan star who is too costly, while Chelsea have identified a replacement for Kepa, according to Friday’s Paper Talk.
MAN UTD DITCH INTEREST IN INTER STAR
Manchester United have reportedly given up in their pursuit of Inter Milan forward Lautaro Martinez because they believe his release clause of £94m is too expensive.
Martinez scored 11 goals in 20 Serie A matches so far this season and is widely regarded as one of the top young striking talents in European club football.
The 22-year-old, who has already scored nine goals in 17 appearances for Argentina, has also been linked with LaLiga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid but it was United who were showing a strong interest in signing the player in January.
United’s need for a striker has been evident since top scorer Marcus Rashford was injured last month, and although they brought in Odion Ighalo on loan from Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua the Nigerian forward is not thought to be a long-term solution to their problems.
According to The Times, Martinez was one of the top names on the club’s wishlist following his good form for Inter, but the Italian side are refusing to accept a bid of anything less than his £94million release clause – a figure which United are not willing to meet.
Given that United could recoup as much as £73.7m for Romelu Lukaku’s sale to Inter, the fact that they are not willing to splash out a further £20m on one of the hottest properties in football is sure to frustrate the Old Trafford faithful.
Ighalo, meanwhile, is set to make his United debut in the huge clash against fellow top-four challengers Chelsea on February 17, after the club’s winter break.
AND THE REST
Paul Pogba has been given the green light to leave Manchester United, and the fed-up Old Trafford hierarchy are now ready to sell him for £150m after cutting £30m off his asking price (The Sun)
Boca Juniors have confirmed their intention to “fight” the free transfer of teenage star Santiago Ramos Mingo to Barcelona (The Sun)
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo could finally play together as Juventus eye a shock transfer deal for the Barcelona star (The Sun)
Chelsea could make their second major goalkeeping purchase in less than two years if they push ahead with a move for Andre Onana (The Sun)
Gareth Bale left the Bernabeu early as his Real Madrid team were being thrashed 4-1 by Real Sociedad (The Sun)
Barcelona are considering a shock £4m bid for Brighton’s England U19 keeper Carl Rushworth (Daily Mirror)
Erling Haaland was convinced to snub Manchester United and join Borussia Dortmund after being shown a ‘special video’ by the German giants (Daily Mirror)
Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson has shunned the chance for some time off as he trains with Fluminense back in Brazil during the winter break (Daily Mirror)
Liverpool’s players will share a bonus pot of over £4million for winning the Premier League this season (Daily Mail)
Barcelona are considering a summer move to bring Wolves star Adama Traore back to Catalonia (Daily Mail)
Chelsea fear they will take a huge financial hit if record signing Kepa Arrizabalaga has a prolonged spell on the bench (Daily Mail)
Premier League clubs will entrust their in-house medical departments to rule on whether to cancel summer tours to China because of the coronavirus – which could cost millions of pounds (Daily Mail)
Tottenham rookie defender Japhet Tanganga is in talks over a staggering 1500 per cent pay rise following his first-team breakthrough (Daily Mail)
Crystal Palace are confident they can tie Roy Hodgson down to a new contract that will see him remain as manager beyond his 73rd birthday in August (Daily Mail)
Paul Pogba has moved a step closer to leaving Manchester United after being excluded from the squad’s trip to Spain (Daily Star)
Arsenal are considering taking Arsene Wenger back at the club in a bid invoke harmony within warring factions of fans and hand new boss Mikel Arteta a boost at the beginning of his reign (Daily Star)
Marcelo Bielsa has lashed out after the ‘lies’ surrounding the situation with Arsenal and Eddie Nketiah (Daily Star)
Mikel Arteta’s summer plan at Arsenal to make a creative midfielder a top priority has placed the likes of Mesut Ozil and Granit Xhaha in danger (Daily Star)
David Brooks is set to hand Bournemouth and Wales a major boost by launching his comeback after six months out with an ankle injury (Daily Star)
Villarreal’s Pau Torres has emerged as the prime candidate to partner Aymeric Laporte at the heart of Manchester City’s defence next season (Daily Express)
Manchester United loanee Odion Ighalo is undergoing a special fitness regime to get up to speed with his new team-mates (Daily Express)
David Gold has declined to rule out selling West Ham but risked more wrath from supporters by suggesting he and co-owner David Sullivan deserved credit for keeping them in the Premier League (Daily Telegraph)