Liverpool hope their rivals’ interest in Erling Haaland will open the door to their own £90m swoop, while a candidate for the permanent Manchester United managerial position has spoken out – all in Wednesday’s Paper Talk.
LIVERPOOL PLOTTING CLUB-RECORD DORTMUND DEAL
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has fixed his gaze on landing Borussia Dortmund sensation Jude Bellingham. What’s more, the German isn’t perturbed by a £90m valuation and Liverpool hope their rivals’ interest in Erling Haaland will leave them free to pursue the midfielder.
That’s according to the Mirror, who put a club-record deal firmly in Liverpool’s near future.
Bellingham, 18, has been a revelation since swapping the Birmingham for Dortmund in 2020.
His rapid rise has already seen him earn 10 England caps at senior level. But for the emergence of Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips, the teenager would already be a guaranteed starter despite his tender age.
Now, the Mirror state Liverpool are ‘making plans’ to bring Bellingham back to England. And key to their hopes is their belief they can ‘exploit’ their rivals’ obsession with Haaland.
Indeed, Haaland is one of the most in-demand footballers in world football. His reported modest release clause of around £64m next summer will ensure Europe’s elite will wage war for his signature.
Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City are all namechecked as potential Haaland suitors. Spanish duo Barcelona and Real Madrid are also cited.
But with their attention fixed on the Norwegian, Liverpool hope to pounce for Bellingham.
The Reds are described as ‘focused firmly’ on the midfielder. He could be seen as the natural successor to Georginio Wijnaldum after Liverpool opted against signing a direct replacement last summer.
£90m valuation not enough to dissuade Klopp
Klopp has ‘not been put off’ by an apparent £90m valuation. That figure would break the club’s transfer record – currently held by Virgil van Dijk (£75m).
Any potential bids will be lodged ‘next summer’, and Bellingham’s former side Birmingham City will be watching with interest.
The Midlands club reportedly inserted a sell-on clause into the youngster’s contract. They, as much as Liverpool fans, will be hoping next summer sees the midfielder return to England.
MAN UTD MANAGERIAL CANDIDATE DISPELS TAKEOVER TALK
Roberto Mancini has rejected claims he holds a verbal agreement to become the permanent Manchester United manager next summer. The Italian described such a notion as “all false”. (The Sun)
Nicolas Pepe could join the exodus of forwards seemingly destined to leave Arsenal. The 26-year-old is unhappy at his lack of playing time and is assessing his January options. (Football London)
Man Utd’s search for an assistant to Ralf Rangnick continues after Gerhard Struber rejected their advances. (The Sun)
Liverpool and Man Utd are monitoring teenage American striker, Ricardo Pepi. However, Atletico Madrid will provide stiff competition for his signature. (CBS, via The Mirror)
Man Utd’s fringe players have been told to prove to Rangnick they have a future at the club. (The Sun)
WEST HAM INJURY BLOW PROMPTS MAN CITY RAID
West Ham’s top four bid has suffered an injury blow after Kurt Zouma seriously injured his hamstring. (The Times)
Accordingly, West Ham are considering a loan bid for Manchester City’s Nathan Ake. (The Sun)
Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger is on the verge of joining Real Madrid. (The Sun)
However, Manchester United and Tottenham have also expressed an interest in the German centre-back. (Independent)
Mohamed Salah’s ongoing contract situation is “completely normal”, says Jurgen Klopp. Liverpool want to wrap up a bumper new deal with all haste. (The Guardian)
AJAX SEEKING DOUBLE MAN UTD, TOTTENHAM DEAL
Man Utd goalkeeper Dean Henderson could leave on loan in January. The stopper has emerged as a target for Dutch giant Ajax. (Daily Star)
Furthermore, Ajax could make it an England double with hopes high of landing Tottenham winger Steven Bergwijn. (Times)
Tottenham could call for their clash with Brighton on Sunday to be postponed. Spurs are in the midst of a Covid-19 outbreak among their ranks. (Daily Mail)
Phil Foden has given Manchester City an injury headache after being forced off during their defeat to RB Leipzig with another ankle complaint. (Daily Mail)
Reports claiming Fenerbahce defender Attila Szalai was Chelsea-bound are wide of the mark, per the Turkish club. (90min)
AND MORE PAPER TALK
Newcastle United have hired an external recruitment firm to help in their search for a director of football. (Daily Mail)
Meanwhile, Newcastle have suffered a setback in their pursuit of Barcelona contract rebel Ousmane Dembele. Their woe stems from news of Man Utd entering the mix. (Daily Star)
Talk of Man City forward Ferran Torres joining Barcelona appear premature. Reports have suggested the two clubs are far apart regarding the player’s valuation. (Daily Express)
Former Liverpool favourite Wijnaldum is mulling quitting PSG and returning to England in January. (Daily Express)