TOP STORY: United ward off suitors for Pogba, Lingard, Greenwood
With David De Gea and Victor Lindelof both earning new contracts this week, it would see that Manchester United are intent on ensuring their squad are kept together rather than torn apart.
And the Evening Standard reports that Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard and 17-year-old Mason Greenwood could be next in line, with the Red Devils seeking to tie them to long-term deals rather than lose them for nothing.
Pogba spent all summer seeming to agitate for a move to Real Madrid or Juventus, and with his existing deal expiring in 2021, United now find themselves in a position in which they need to sign him to a new contract, sell him next summer, or risk losing him on a free transfer in less than two years. Lingard’s contract exists on the same timeline.
Greenwood signed his first professional contract in October, but United are moving fast in order to ensure that he isn’t snapped up by another of Europe’s top clubs.
08.58 BST: Tottenham are considering recalling Jack Clarke from his loan spell at Leeds, according to the Daily Mail.
Spurs signed Clarke, 18, from Leeds in the summer transfer window for £8.5m and loaned him back to the Championship club for the 2019-20 season. However, the winger is yet to make a league appearance for Marcelo Bielsa’s side this term, featuring in just two EFL Cup fixtures so far.
The Mail reports that Spurs inserted a release clause into the loan deal, and they may look to bring him in sooner than expected in order to give him some game time and freshen up their squad after some mixed results and performances this season.
08.27 BST: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has suggested he will keep searching for a solution to his defensive crisis because Fernandinho and Nicolas Otamendi are too old to play every game.
Fernandinho slotted in for the 3-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk after injuries to Aymeric Laporte and John Stones but Guardiola admitted afterwards he wants to try other options because the Brazilian and Otamendi have a combined age of 65.
“I didn’t have doubts [Fernandinho] could do it,” Guardiola told a news conference at Metalist Stadium. “Nico is 31, Fernandinho is 34 and next alternative is 18. For three or four months I don’t know what will happen.
“Both were incredible tonight. Nico showed incredible personality after what happened in the previous game. We need another solution — Rodri or Kyle Walker maybe — because they cannot play every game at their age.”
08.00 BST: Manchester United have signed defender Victor Lindelof to a long-term contract that will keep him at the club at least until June 2024, the club announced on Wednesday.
The deal includes an option to extend the contract a further year.
Lindelof, 25, joined United in the summer of 2017. The Sweden international has made 74 appearances for the club since that time.
PAPER TALK (by Richard Edwards): Dybala’s Juve future looks in doubt
The future destination of Paulo Dybala has been the source of speculation throughout the summer, and new Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri is doing little to convince anyone he will be in Turin beyond the January transfer window.
The Argentinian wizard was linked with a move to the Premier League — and pretty much anywhere else in Europe — during the transfer window, but has played only 14 minutes for the Bianconeri so far this season, which hardly suggests he is part of Juve’s long-term plans.
“Let’s see, at this moment my feelings are that the team is not yet ready for a full rotation,” Sarri said in an interview with Sky Italia. “You have to be careful because the players must be put in a position to do well and not in difficulty.”
Dybala has made it clear that he wants to prove himself to Sarri but, with opportunities limited, the chances of him doing that appear remote. And that could see the Premier League’s big fish circling back to him when the transfer window opens again in the new year.
Chelsea ready to reward Abraham, Tomori
The Guardian reports that both players are in talks with the club over new five-year deals following the reversal of Chelsea’s longtime protocol of bringing in expensive overseas talent, in no small part thanks to the transfer ban slapped on the club.
Both Tomori and Abraham — that latter of which has now scored seven Premier League goals this season — have proved themselves more than capable in the top flight, and their performances are set to be rewarded, provided that the players and club can come to a suitable agreement.
Abraham, in particular, has been little short of sensational so far this season, as the West London side look to put a positive spin on their transfer embargo. Getting both players on long-term deals will be further evidence of the club’s desire to promote from within and will be welcomed by supporters who are loving the opportunities being handed to the club’s young stars under Lampard.
– QPR are taking a look at Austrian goalkeeper Heinz Lindner, according to the Mail, after new Hoops boss Mark Warburton invited him over from Vienna to train with the Championship side. The 29-year-old made more than 200 appearances for Austria Vienna.