Manchester United have agreed a deal to sign Benfica attacker Umaro Embalo. The 16-year-old Guinean-born forward, who can play as a striker and on the right-wing, has been likened to Angel Di Maria and has impressed with the Portugal Under-17 side. (Record)
Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata believes Neymar may join Real Madrid after he has won trophies with Paris Saint-Germain. The Brazilian signed for the Ligue 1 side in a world record £198m deal in the summer but there have been reports recently that all is not well at the Parc des Princes, with Neymar falling out with Edinson Cavani and manager Unai Emery. (El Larguero)
Meanwhile, Sergio Ramos has thrown the door open for a potential move for Neymar in the summer by saying that Real Madrid are open to signing anyone. “I like to have the best and it’s clear Neymar is one of them,” the Los Blancos defender said. “Maybe it was easier for him to go to PSG, instead of directly to Real Madrid.” (Cadena Ser)
However, in a sensational report, Sport claim Neymar has asked Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez whether Barcelona would take him back. The Brazilian recently paid his old team-mates a visit and supposedly floated the idea of him making an extraordinary return to the Camp Nou by them. (Sport)
Barcelona legend Xavi has confirmed his plans to retire at the end of the season and says he is considering going into coaching. “I have had the luck of not having injuries and I think my career has gone down progressively,” the 37-year-old said. “I have the idea of getting a licence and becoming a coach next year.” (MARCA)
Barca pair Messi and Suarez pushed the Catalan club to sign Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho in the summer. The Brazilian was a Barcelona transfer target throughout the summer window but, despite several sizeable bids, a deal never materialised. But Suarez, who remains good friends with Coutinho after their time together at Anfield, is hopeful the club will return with a bid for the midfielder in January. (Mundo Deportivo)
Several senior Real Madrid players have spoken to coach Zinedine Zidane about their growing dissatisfaction with Cristiano Ronaldo. Isco, Marco Asensio, Dani Ceballos, Lucas Vazquez and Marcos Llorente have expressed their frustration at Ronaldo’s belief he is ‘untouchable’ at the Bernabeu. Captain Sergio Ramos recently publicly disagreed with the Portugal international over his assertion that the club misses Pepe, Morata and James Rodriguez, who were all sold in the summer. (Diario Gol)
PSG and Manchester United are set to go head-to-head in a race to sign Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos and Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak. (El Chiringuito)
Juventus centre-back Giorgio Chiellini believes Pep Guardiola’s style of football has ruined Italian defending. The Italy international highlights Guardiola’s renowned brand of football, which features high pressing and fluid attacks, as the reason defenders no longer know how to mark strikers. “Guardiolismo has ruined Italian defences,” the 33-year-old said. “When I was young they trained me to feel the man, mark them well in the box – now that doesn’t exist. Now Italian defences leave everyone free.” (Tuttosport)
Roma starlet Lorenzo Pellegrini has emerged as a Chelsea and Manchester United transfer target. The 21-year-old midfielder moved to the Giallorossi from Sassuolo in the summer and has impressed recently, being touted as a future star of the Italy national team. (Calciomercato)
Juventus are pursuing the signing of AC Milan midfielder Manuel Locatelli. The 19-year-old broke through last season and is considered one of the most promising young players in European football. (Calciomercato)
PSG have made Chelsea boss Antonio Conte a managerial target. While Jose Mourinho has also been linked with a switch to Paris, the Italian – who is strongly tipped to leave Stamford Bridge before the start of next season – is preferred to the Portuguese coach. PSG have made initial contact with Conte and are keen to appoint the former Juventus manager if Emery fails to reach the Champions League semi-final. (Le Parisien)
Arsenal transfer target Nabil Fekir has vowed never to join PSG because of his love for Lyon, but admits a move to either Spain or England could tempt him in the future. The 24-year-old playmaker has been in scintillating form with Les Gones this season, scoring 11 goals. “Spain and England, those are the two most attractive leagues,” Fekir said. “They love football. From a technical point of view, it is neat. It is the best!” (Le Parisien)
Germany’s team sports director Oliver Bierhoff has fuelled speculation that Liverpool and Tottenham transfer target Leon Goretzka is set for a Premier League move by saying the player is moving to England. Bierhoff was addressing a press conference in which he was talking about the success of England at youth level and appeared to let slip that the much sought-after Schalke midfielder would be joining his compatriot Leroy Sane in England.
“We feel that England, because of the amount of money you have with TV rights, young talented players like Leroy Sane and [Schalke’s] Leon Goretzka are moving to England and this is not good for our league but also for the quality of our game,” Bierhoff said.