Sports

Gossip Column: Latest Rumours On Coutinho, Mertens, Ozil & More

Manchester United are the preferred option for an unhappy Barcelona star in January, while Mesut Ozil, Dries Mertens and Philippe Couti…


Manchester United are the preferred option for an unhappy Barcelona star in January, while Mesut Ozil, Dries Mertens and Philippe Coutinho are also headline makers in Tuesday’s newspapers.

Messi Favouritism Sees Gomes Seek Barcelona Exit
Andre Gomes has asked agent Jorge Mendes to secure his exit from Barcelona, with Manchester United continuing to be interested in the Portugal midfielder.
According to reports in Spain and via the Daily Star, the Portuguese star knows he is down the pecking order at the Nou Camp with other midfielders preferred by manager Ernesto Valverde.
And it’s claimed Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi has told Valverde to play Andres Iniesta and Ivan Rakitic ahead of Andre Gomes, with the latter having played in just two of their six matches so far this season.
Gomes has been linked to United in the past and it’s claimed Jose Mourinho will resurrect efforts to sign the player in January.
The report claims the player is keen to move to Old Trafford and has asked Mendes – who is also Mourinho’s agent – to set the wheels in motion.


However, United would not want to pay the €35m asking price, though rival interest from Tottenham could ensure the price stays high.


Could Coutinho Yet Join Barcelona?

Maybe the Philippe Coutinho saga isn’t over after all. Catalan outlet Sport reports that he could go to Barcelona next summer or even in January.
The report claims Liverpool are “contemplating the possibility” of selling Brazil international Coutinho, despite having rejected three big bids from the Camp Nou in the summer.
It says Coutinho has again told Liverpool officials he would like to move to Barcelona and adds that talks between Liverpool’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, and the player’s representatives have “resurrected” the possibility of a switch.
FSG would be “much more receptive to negotiating” if Liverpool are out of the Premier League title picture, with Barcelona set “to launch a new assault” to sign Coutinho.
City Target Barcelona Midfielder
Everything is rosy in the Manchester City garden — top of the table, goals flying in — but there won’t be any resting on laurels.
Citing reports in Spain, talkSPORT reports that City “are ready to stump up the £35 million required to land Barcelona star Sergi Roberto.”
Chelsea are also interested, but Guardiola has long had an interest in a player who can operate in midfield or at full-back and City are willing to pay his release clause after he produced a succession of impressive performances last season.
TalkSPORT says 25-year-old Roberto would be open to staying at Barcelona but wants an improved deal to do so — “and City could pay the sort of salary he is after.”
Real Madrid Want To Sign Julian Draxler
Real Madrid want to sign PSG’s German forward Julian Draxler, according to Bild. Madrid are one of the sides in the hunt for him, because with Neymar and Mbappe at PSG, he has lost his chance of playing regularly for Unai Emery’s side.

Draxler is looking for the exit and it could come in January, with Madrid sniffing around. Per Bild, they are the club most likely to get him.
Leicester Hoping For Silva Solution
One of the stranger transfer sagas of recent months has been the story of Adrien Silva at Leicester City.
Silva’s switch to the King Power Stadium from Sporting Lisbon remains in limbo after being rejected by FIFA when the Foxes filed their paperwork just 14 seconds late.

Now, the Telegraph reports, the Premier League club have submitted an appeal as they attempt to end the impasse.

Portugal international Silva, who is not allowed to train with Leicester as the situation continues, has returned to his homeland as he waits for a breakthrough.
The report says one could arrive after the appeal went in “following weeks of negotiations between club officials and lawyers.”
Although no date for a verdict has been given, “one possibility is that Silva’s signing is approved, but he will be unable to officially play for Leicester until January.”

Fenerbahce could mount a bid to prise Mesut Ozil away from Arsenal and from right under the noses of Manchester United, apparently his preferred destination (Daily Express)
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is keen to hand Marouane Fellaini, 29, and Marcus Rashford, 19, new contracts at Old Trafford (The Independent)
Leicester City have submitted their appeal to FIFA over the deadline day deal with Sporting Lisbon for midfielder Adrien Silva who remains in limbo (Daily Telegraph)
Arsenal could look to Napoli striker Dries Mertens to replace Alexis Sanchez if the Chilean opts not to sign a new contract at the Emirates (The Sun)
Former Arsenal midfielder Fran Merida, 27, who plays for Osasuna in the Spanish second tier, is reportedly a target for Championship side Leeds (The Sun)
Manchester United have joined Chelsea in the race to sign Genoa whizzkid Pietro Pellegri, but the club’s owner Enrico Preziosi wants £40m for the 16-year-old striker (The Sun)
Real Madrid will offer midfielder Mateo Kovacic to Tottenham as part of a deal to secure Dele Alli, who owner Florentino Perez sees as the next Galactico (The Sun)
Xabi Alonso is set to be the next big-name former player to enter the managerial ranks, although he is coy where his coaching career will begin (The Sun)
Liverpool and Manchester United supporters have been warned of “long spells” in prison if they cause trouble in Moscow this week (Daily Mirror)
Newcastle United are preparing to open talks with manager Rafa Benitez about a new contract in the hope of improving the manager’s relationship with owner Mike Ashley (The Times)

Arsene Wenger has hinted Arsenal were approached by Monaco over resurrecting their move for Thomas Lemar only two days before the summer window closed (Daily Express)
Liverpool could be “ready to sell” Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona in January according to fresh reports in Spain, but only if their Premier League campaign is not going well (Daily Express)
Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, who is a target for Arsenal, has told his club he wants a big pay rise (Daily Express)
Jose Mourinho is furious about Shane Long’s tackle on Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini, which will rule the Belgian out of their Champions League clash with CSKA Moscow (Daily Express)
Edinson Cavani asked Neymar if he ‘thought he was Lionel Messi’ when he first arrived at Paris Saint-Germain and the pair have enjoyed a strained relationship ever since (Daily Mail)
Youri Tielemans chose a move from Anderlecht to Monaco over Arsenal during the summer because he thought he would get more chances to play (Daily Mail)

Real Madrid are plotting a January move for Paris Saint-Germain forward Julian Draxler, whose role has been cut by the arrivals of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe (Daily Star)