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Paper Talk: Rangnick wants £50m-rated Villa man to take Pogba spot; Everton line up shock Benitez replacement

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john mcginn aston villa

Ralf Rangnick wants to bring in Aston Villa star John McGinn to replace Paul Pogba at Old Trafford, while Sunday’s transfer gossip claims that Everton are lining up Roma boss Jose Mourinho to replace the struggling Rafa Benitez.

VILLA STAR PERFECT FOR RANGNICK STYLE 

John McGinn is still on Manchester United’s radar, with new interim boss Ralf Rangnick keen on landing the outstanding Aston Villa midfielder.

United are expected to be in the market for midfield reinforcements, as doubts continue to surround the long-term futures of the likes of Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard and Donny van de Beek.

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Amadou Haidara is expected to become Rangnick’s first signing next month, but only if United pay his £32million release clause now.

England duo Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice have both been on the club’s radar over the last 18 months. However, McGinn has once again caught the eye with his superb displays for club and country.

The Sun previously reported United’s interest back in the summer of 2019, but Villa refused to play ball at that time.

The report adds that Villa wanted £50million back then so would want even more now.

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McGinn perfect for Rangnick style

McGinn currently has three-and-a-half years left to run on the deal he signed at Villa Park last December, leaving Steven Gerrard’s men in a strong position to demand whatever fee they like.

The 27-year-old has scored three goals and provided one assist in 13 Premier League games so far this term.

His ability on the ball and unbelievable work rate is said to be something that United scouts are understood to have noted. McGinn’s endless energy also makes him a perfect option for Rangnick’s high pressing style.

Any move now depends on what sort of fee Villa will demand, although they could completely bat away any bids – given the player’s contract status.

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The Ralf Rangnick effect? How Man Utd’s top-four chances are changing under the German tactician


EVERTON READY TO TURN TO MOURINHO

Jose Mourinho has emerged as a potential target for Everton if they decide to pull the plug on Rafa Benitez’s reign. (Sunday Mirror)

Everton’s board is divided over the future of Benitez. But the Spaniard is safe while he still has the full backing of club owner Farhad Moshiri. (Sunday Mirror)

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Borussia Dortmund chief Michael Zorc has admitted striker Erling Braut Haaland, who is rumoured to have a £75m buyout clause in his contract, can leave the club “under certain conditions”. (Sunday Mirror)

Tottenham have joined Manchester United and Newcastle in wanting to bring in winger Ousmane Dembele, whose contract with Barcelona runs out in the summer. (Mundo Deportivo)

Newcastle United have prioritised the signing of England attacking midfielder Jesse Lingard in January. They are likely to make him the club’s highest earner. (Sunday Times)

SHOCK PICKFORD EXIT A POSSIBILITY

Jordan Pickford reacts during Everton vs Watford, October 2021

Rafa Benitez is open to selling keeper Jordan Pickford to raise funds at Everton. However, the asking price makes that hard. (Sun on Sunday)

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Amadou Haidara will become Ralf Rangnick’s first signing next month – if Manchester United pay his £32m release clause now. (Sun on Sunday)

Wolves left-back Rayan Ait-Nouri is a shock £30m target for French giants Paris Saint-Germain. (Sun on Sunday)

Eddie Howe wants Atletico Madrid’s Kieran Trippier plus Burnley’s Ben Mee and James Tarkowski at Newcastle. (Sun on Sunday)

Manchester United have no interest in signing Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona. However, they are interested in Barca’s Netherlands midfielder Frenkie de Jong. (El Nacional)

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AND MORE TRANSFER GOSSIP

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang applauding the fans 2021

Mikel Arteta has insisted there is no rift between him and Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. (Mail on Sunday)

Former Chelsea technical director Michael Emenalo has turned down an offer to become Newcastle United’s director of football after the club could not match his ambitious plans. (Sunday Telegraph)

Leeds have agreed a deal with Espanyol to sign striker Mateo Joseph Fernandez from the Spanish club. The 18-year-old was born in Spain, but qualifies for England through his parents. (Mail on Sunday)

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Samuel Umtiti is one of the options being considered by AC Milan as they look to reinforce their defence following an injury to Denmark centre-back Simon Kjaer. (Sport)

Yaya Toure is a phone call away from gaining a coaching role with Arsenal. (Mail on Sunday)

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Jurgen Klopp green lights Newcastle deal for Liverpool man as Howe fails in bid for Brighton star

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Newcastle are reportedly in the clear to push through a deal for Liverpool’s Nat Phillips after their efforts to prise a defender away from Brighton were swiftly rejected.

The Magpies are gearing themselves up for a frantic end to the transfer window. With Chris Wood and Kieran Trippier brought in, Eddie Howe wants more quality on board to aide their survival fight.

Ideally, the Newcastle boss would like to strengthen three positions: midfield, centre-half and left-back.

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His efforts to land a prized Germany man to fill his left-back void, however, have on Wednesday taken a signficant backwards step. That comes after a deal for Bayer Leverkusen left-back Mitchel Bakker also fell short.

The hunt to bolster the midfield, however, does look more promising. Indeed, Newcastle are seemingly in the mix to sign an exciting Brazil international.

Perhaps most pressing of all, however, is the need to add a new central defender.

So far, this has proven a month of frustration for Howe, with efforts to sign Diego Carlos, Sven Botman and James Tarkowski all failing to get over the line.

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As such, reports on Wednesday morning claimed Newcastle had submitted an offer to sign Brighton’s Dan Burn. The 6ft 7in centre-half has done well for Graham Potter’s side in recent times. As such, the Magpies reportedly submitted an £8m offer to the Seagulls for the 29-year-old on Wednesday morning.

However, the Daily Mail reports that the bid has been swiftly rejected by Brighton.

As such, the Mail claims it is uncertain whether Howe will look to increase his offer in a bid to twist Brighton’s arm.

Furthermore, Newcastle could have more joy if they were to pursue a move for Phillips.

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The centre-half, 24, has slid down the pecking order this season. Phillips answered the call last season when Liverpool’s campaign threatened to unravel amid a spate of injuries in defence.

Magpies chasing initial loan deal

Rhys Williams and loanee Ozan Kabak played their part, but Phillips became the main man at the back, helping to steer Liverpool towards Champions League qualification.

But the signing of Ibrahima Konate and the return of their injured stars has seen Phillips marginalised this year. He is yet to play a single minute in the Premier League this campaign. As such, talk of a January exit began to swirl.

West Ham are among those keen, but are yet to make their move.

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Now, as per the Liverpool Echo, Newcastle are ‘considering’ a loan move for Phillips before the winter window shuts.

This deal would include an ‘obligation to buy’ in the summer if the Magpies stay up. Liverpool’s asking price for Phillips is still £15m.

Klopp won’t stand in Nat Phillips way

Jurgen Klopp, while he would prefer a cash sale now, is unlikely to stand in Phillips’ way.

The Reds have recalled Williams from Swansea as cover, allowing Phillips to head out the exit door.

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On the Englishman, Klopp said in December: “We cannot keep Nat Phillips forever, that’s clear. We needed him, just to be safe, for that half-year.

“We will see what happens in the window. He was fine doing it because he’s a great guy.

“People love him because of his heading but with his feet he is unbelievable. He’s a late starter, but his development is unbelievable. I would sign him for any club except Liverpool, because we have him.”

READ MORELiverpool make bold approach to take classy Juventus star on a free in summer 2022

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EXCLUSIVE: Newcastle turn to Everton man as centre-back options dwindle

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TEAMtalk understands that Everton defender Yerry Mina has emerged as a January transfer target for Newcastle United.

Eddie Howe’s primary defensive targets have so far been Burnley’s James Tarkowski and Lille star Sven Botman, but neither of those deals were possible.

Sevilla’s Diego Carlos has since emerged as the number one target. However, that deal has not yet been agreed and Newcastle are looking at other options instead.

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Now we can reveal that one of those the Magpies are keen on is Colombian ace Mina, although the recent sacking of Rafa Benitez could see the situation complicated.

Newcastle do still have room in their squad for two domestic loans – and Mina could fill one of those berths.

But it remains to be seen whether Everton would be happy to potentially strengthen a rival who are only seven points behind them in the table and still sit in the bottom three.


Howe the worst: Eddie’s record compared to Newcastle’s 12 other managers in the 21st Century

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Newcastle, West Ham join Szalai chase

Meanwhile, West Ham and Newcastle United have joined the list of clubs keen to sign Fenerbahce defender Attila Szalai in the January transfer window.

The centre-back, who turns 24 on Thursday, has garnered plenty of attention this season with his displays in Turkey. The Hungry international has made 17 starts among 19 top-flight appearances for the Yellow Canaries. And many top clubs have taken note.

Barcelona were linked in November last year but Chelsea seemed at the front of the queue for his signature. A report in early December claimed the Blues had all but sealed a deal for the stopper.

That was because Hungary manager Marco Rossi seemed to confirm that he was off to Stamford Bridge.

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Asked about his squad, the 57-year-old Italian said:  “It’s hard to name just one player, but right now I see very well Attila Szalai, who plays for Fenerbahce, but I think he is joining Chelsea.”

However, just a day later, Fenerbahce issued a rebuttal.

“The allegations regarding the transfer of our player Attila Szalai, which have been made public in the last few days, based on foreign press and social media, do not reflect the truth,” a statement read.

“Our club has not made any transfer negotiations regarding our successful football player Attila Szalai. Our player continues his work completely concentrating on the goals of our team. We present it to the public.”

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Attila Szalai Fenerbahce 2021 TEAMtalk1

That news opened the door for other clubs to get involved and the Hammers have now been linked, per Sky Sports. David Moyes is in the market for a central defender following Angelo Ogbonna’s season-ending injury.

And Szalai ticks all the boxes, as he is also a left-footed defender and is a decade younger than the Italian. But the north-east outfit are also keen.

Szalai to solve Newcastle problems

Newcastle are involved in a relegation fight after winning just one Premier League fixture this term. They have been unable to see out games from winning positions.

And that was the case again at the weekend. They let slip a 1-0 lead, with Joao Pedro bagging late on to earn Watford a point.

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Eddie Howe needs to improve his rearguard if he is to prevent the Magpies revolution hitting the buffers in May. Szalai, capped 23 times by Hungary, would not break the bank.

He is valued in the region of £17m – a price that has also attracted Serie A giants AC Milan.

READ MORE: Record Newcastle deal on as bid for Real Madrid star is ‘accepted’ as Man Utd man rejects loan

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