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Euro Paper Talk: Star’s decline sees Murtough rush through major Man Utd signing; Chelsea learn huge fee for crack Colombian

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John Murtough Manchester United

Manchester United have a contract in place to seal a big-name January signing, Chelsea are planning to sign a quality winger with another potentially leaving, while Tuesday’s Euro Paper Talk claims Everton are looking at a Russian attacker.

TRIPPIER DEAL ‘AGREED’ FOR MAN UTD

Manchester United have reportedly agreed a deal with Kieran Trippier to move to Old Trafford in January.

The England full-back has long been on their list of targets and was seemingly close to signing over the summer. However, having already brought in Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo, United were not prepared to meet Atletico’s £28m demands.

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Since then though an alarming slump in form from Aaron Wan-Bissaka has prompted United to step up that chase. The £50m man has been way below his best, but a lack of competition means he’s not being kept on his toes.

Now, as per AS, United are willing to meet Atletico’s price for the 31-year-old. They state director of football John Murtough has already agreed a contract for the England man on a reported two-and-a-half-year deal at Old Trafford.

They report that Diego Simeone doesn’t want to lose Trippier. However, the player’s desire to return to his native north-west will see the deal pushed through, with Atleti making a handsome profit on the side.

Trippier is reportedly being chased by Newcastle United but only has eyes for Manchester United.

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The Red Devils, meanwhile, will hope the signing of Trippier can have a positive affect on Wan-Bissaka. They employed a similar tactic in signing Alex Telles to put pressure on Luke Shaw. And the signing of Trippier will also be seen as a way of raising Wan-Bissaka’s game.

That said, Trippier is likely to be seen as a solid player who can very much improve their defence. Indeed, the full-back is viewed as an upgrade on Wan-Bissaka in a United side struggling for clean sheets.

READ MOREReal reason why Man Utd won’t sack Solskjaer emerges as Glazers shortlist eye-catching duo

PORTO TOLD OF HUGE FEE FOR LUIS DIAZ

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Chelsea have learned Colombia winger Luis Diaz will cost his full £67.7m (€80m) exit clause in January. (Record)

The Blues are looking to bring in Diaz should Christian Pulisic depart, with Genoa emerging as a possible option. (various)

Barcelona are ready to open talks over a deal for Edinson Cavani – but want him on an end-of-season free rather than to pay in January. (Fijaches)

Real Madrid star Vinicus Junior has reportedly turned down a huge £12m a year deal to join Manchester United in January. (El Nacional)

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Everton manager Rafael Benitez is chasing a deal to bring Monaco attacker Aleksandr Golovin to Goodison Park in January. (Telefoot)

GUARDIOLA BATS OFF STERLING SPECULATION

Raheem Sterling, Manchester City in Premier League action

Pep Guardiola remains unconcerned about reports linking Barcelona with Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling. (Mundo Deportivo)

Norwich are considering the appointment of Kjetil Knutsen, who currently is in charge of Bodo/Glimt. (TV2)

Crystal Palace’s chances of poaching André-Frank Zambo Anguissa away from Napoli appear over. That’s with Napoli sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli already triggering the option to make his loan permanent in January. (Radio Kiss Kiss)

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Juventus are ready to battle Roma for Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Denis Zakaria, who on Arsenal’s wishlist. (Tuttosport)

Newcastle target Philippe Coutinho still hopes to stay at Barcelona and is backing new coach Xavi to do “a great job”. (Mundo Deportivo)

Stade Brestois midfielder Romain Faivre – previously linked with Leeds – admits he feels flattered by interest from AC Milan. (Gazzetta dello Sport)

MOURINHO AT ODDS WITH ROMA PLAYERS

Jose Mourinho, Roma manager

Jose Mourinho is ‘at war’ with his Roma squad and only considers 13 of his players up to the required standard. (Il Messaggero)

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Liverpool still have a chance of signing Kylian Mbappe with the striker ‘unconvinced’ by Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti. (El Nacional)

Xavi Hernandez is backing Ousmane Dembele to become one of the world’s elite stars and says he hopes he signs a new deal at Barcelona. (Sport)

Juventus wing-back Juan Cuadrado hopes to sign a new two-year deal with the Bianconeri as soon as he returns from international duty with Colombia. (Gazzetta dello Sport)

Tottenham are willing to pay Fiorentina £60m to beat Arsenal to the signing of Serbia forward Dusan Vlahovic. (La Nazione)

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AND MORE FROM EURO PAPER TALK

Leicester and Watford are chasing a January deal for highly-rated Genoa left-back Andrea Cambiaso. (Tuttomercatoweb)

Roma have reportedly contacted Bodo/Glimt over a January move for striker Erik Botheim after starring against them in the Europa League. (TV2)

Juventus are willing to let Aaron Ramsey leave for free in January despite having 18 months remaining on his contract. (Calciomercato)

France boss Didier Deschamps is backing Real Madrid star Karim Benzema to win the Balon d’Or this year. (L’Equipe)

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Arsenal will priortise the signing of Real Sociedad striker Alexander Isak in 2022 as they bid to replace Alexandre Lacazette. (various)

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Man City ‘closing in’ on Man Utd striker target with replacement already lined up

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1642786803 Julian.Alvarez 1

Manchester City are ‘about to close’ a deal to sign Manchester United striker target Julian Alvarez, according to one journalist.

Alvarez, 21, has been making headlines in his native Argentina thanks to his promising form at River Plate. He hit 18 goals in 21 games during the most recent Liga Profesional season as River Plate won the domestic crown.

Alvarez is clearly good enough to make it at a top club in Europe and transfer rumours surrounding his future are rife.

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Aston Villa and Tottenham were the original clubs eyeing his signature, before Man Utd came in.

Reports claim Ralf Rangnick is eager to sign Alvarez, as soon as Anthony Martial’s future is sorted.

However, the Red Devils boss could be left disappointed as rivals City are marching ahead in the pursuit.

According to Sport Illustrated, who cite journalist Hernan Castillo, Pep Guardiola’s side will soon finalise an agreement for Alvarez.

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Two Julian Alvarez proposals made

Castillo is not the only person to provide a transfer update. According to Cesar Luis Merlo, City have made two proposals for a deal.

They are willing to sign him this month or in the summer, depending on River Plate’s preference.

There are also rumours of an initial loan move which will become permanent after a six-month spell at the Etihad.

Whatever form it may take, Alvarez’s transfer may be imminent as River Plate already have his replacement in mind. They are attempting to sign Atlanta United’s Ezequiel Barco.

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City were not expecting to bring in a new centre-forward this month, although Ferran Torres’ exit seems to have changed their stance.

The player left for Barcelona after informing City officials of his desire to make it at the five-time Champions League winners.

With Gabriel Jesus now wanting to play out wide, a successor to Sergio Aguero needs to be found. Alvarez seems to have the capability to fill his boots, although it will not be an easy task.


When will Salah, Mahrez, Mane and the rest of AFCON Premier League players return?

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Spanish club plan Man City raid

Meanwhile, Spanish club Real Betis are reportedly ready to test the waters by making an approach for Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Zinchenko’s reputation as a utility man means he does not start in the Premier League as much as some of his team-mates. Indeed, he has only made seven appearances in the competition this season, registering one assist in that time.

The player’s contract runs until June 2024, putting City in a strong position in terms of a transfer.

Nevertheless, The Sun report Real Betis are aiming to test their resolve by preparing to move in. They have already made an ‘enquiry’ about Zinchenko’s availability, too.

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However, it looks set to be good news for Guardiola and City as the player has no intention of leaving Manchester.

He wants to continue being a part of the trophy-laden squad and to help them win more silverware this season.

Zinchenko is also gunning for a new deal at the Etihad, which could see him spend the majority of his prime with the club.

READ MORE: Ajax starlet with ‘unprecedented’ talent backed to join Man City amid Tottenham rumours

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Burnley out for Chris Wood revenge after bidding for reported Newcastle target as replacement

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Wendel and Sardar Azmoun celebrating for Zenit Saint Petersburg

Various sources are indicating that Burnley have made a bid for Lyon striker Sardar Azmoun, who could become their replacement for Chris Wood.

Burnley recently lost Wood to Premier League relegation rivals Newcastle. The Magpies activated a release clause in the New Zealand international’s contract. As such, the Clarets were powerless to keep one of their most successful players of recent years.

Now, if they are to stand any chance of avoiding the drop, they need to use the last 10 days of the transfer window to find a new source of goals.

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And according to multiple reports, one man they have identified as a potential replacement is Sardar Azmoun.

The Iran international is out of contract with Zenit Saint Petersburg at the end of the season. He appears to be ready for a move to one of Europe’s bigger leagues.

Azmoun has admirers in France, where Lyon are aiming to snap him up. But the Ligue 1 outfit have been aware of competition for some time.

Ironically, one of the supposed threats to their pursuit of the player – according to reports towards the start of the month – has been Newcastle.

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It is not clear if their interest in Azmoun remains, but if it does, Burnley could be about to try and get their own back.

Football Insider are among the sources reporting that the Lancashire side have made an offer to Zenit for the 27-year-old.

The offer is reportedly worth around €10m (or £8.3m), which would be a decent fee for Zenit to receive just before his contract ends. The Russian side are yet to respond, though.

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Azmoun’s scoring record suggests he would be worth the investment. He has found the net on 62 occasions from 104 Zenit appearances. At international level, he has 39 goals from 60 Iran caps.


When will Salah, Mahrez, Mane and the rest of AFCON Premier League players return?


Burnley still favourites to sign another striker

Meanwhile, TEAMtalk understands that Andy Carroll has rejected an initial offer from Burnley, but talks are continuing over a return to the Premier League.

The 33-year-old is now out-of-contract after his short-term deal with Reading came to an end at the weekend. Carroll returned to action in November, joining Reading following his exit from Newcastle United in the summer.

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Carroll performed well for the Royals with two goals and an assist from six starts. We understand that Reading boss Veljko Paunovic is desperate to keep him and they have offered a new deal.

However, Burnley have opened talks to land Carroll, who they believe could help fill the void vacated by Wood.

We now understand that Burnley’s opening offer was shunned by Carroll, who is now training by himself. However, there is an anticipation of another offer and the Clarets remain favourites to land him.

READ MORE: Arsenal have competition for Tottenham conqueror as Burnley plan £10m move

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