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    Man Utd want to poach City wonderkid James McAtee – dubbed the ‘Salford Silva’ – but face transfer battle with Barcelona

    MANCHESTER UNITED are reportedly interested in luring highly-rated teenager James McAtee away from rivals Manchester City.The 19-year-old attacking midfielder has enjoyed a sensational start to the season for City’s youth side.
    The teenager netted three times for Man City against Club Brugge on WednesdayCredit: PA
    McAtee has attracted a great deal of interest from some of Europe’s biggest clubsCredit: Getty
    The Englishman has netted 15 goals in 14 games, a run which includes three hat-tricks.
    The latest of those came on Wednesday night when he netted three times for Man City in their 5-3 UEFA Youth League defeat to Club Brugge.
    His supreme talent has seen him dubbed the ‘Salford Silva’ for his likeness to Man City legend David Silva.
    But it remains to be seen whether or not McAtee will be able to ply his trade in Pep Guardiola’s side.
    The Spanish coach has declared his admiration for the youngster, however The Mail are now reporting that both Man Utd and Barcelona are keen to snap him up.
    The Red Devils have a history with McAtee as he was a part of their set-up as a young boy.

    But he left Old Trafford and was taken in by the Sky Blues where he has blossomed into a superb talent.
    Yet his contract with Man City continues to tick down and he now has just 18 months left on his current deal.
    Along with United and Barca, Ajax, Atletico Madrid and Liverpool are all also interested in the Salford-born attacker.
    McAtee may choose to look at Jadon Sancho for inspiration to leave the Etihad.
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    The England winger departed Man City and joined Borussia Dortmund where he developed into a European star.
    Then in the summer he made the £73million transfer back to England as he joined Man Utd.
    McAtee faces stiff competition at defending champions City from the likes of Phil Foden, Bernardo Silva, Riyad Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus and Jack Grealish. More

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    Barcelona ‘ready to accept Newcastle’s Philippe Coutinho transfer offer with mega-rich Toon interested in loan’

    BARCELONA are ready to accept an offer from Newcastle United for Philippe Coutinho, according to reports.The move is said to be a loan deal with a compulsory permanent switch included.
    Coutinho could be heading back to the PremCredit: Rex
    The 29-year-old Brazilian is expected to be one of the first players through the door in January, following the Toon Army’s £300m takeover.
    Coutinho has been on the bench in the two games since the departure of Ronald Koeman.
    The playmaker has struggled to fit in the Barca side since his £121million switch from Liverpool in 2018.
    Irregular appearances and a loan move to Bayern Munich have led to constant rumours about a return to British shores and Newcastle’s takeover is set to spark an offer.
    Spanish newspaper Sport states that Barcelona are ready to transfer him ‘once and for all.
    The view from the Nou Camp is for Coutinho to go out on loan as soon as the January transfer window opens.

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    With a total of 54 goals and 45 assists in 201 games for Liverpool, he is well respected, not only in Merseyside, but throughout the English game.
    Coutinho is a two time La Liga champion, Bundesliga champion and Champions League winner.
    The ‘Little Magician’ could vastly improve a Newcastle side who are yet to win a league game and sit in the relegation zone.
    A manager remains the club’s top priority, with Eddie Howe rumoured to be the favourite for the job after Unai Emery stated that he will stay at Villareal. More

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    ‘Laporta’s words hurt me’ – Lionel Messi slams Barcelona president and insists he was never asked to play for free

    LIONEL MESSI has slammed Barcelona president Joan Laporta for suggesting he could have played for free as he insisted he was never asked to.The 34-year-old departed the Nou Camp in August on a free transfer to Paris Saint-Germain after 21 years spent in Catalonia.
    Argentine forward Lionel Messi swapped Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain in the summerCredit: Getty
    Barcelona president Joan Laporta stated earlier this month he was surprised Messi didn’t offer to play for freeCredit: AFP
    Messi had wanted to remain with the Blaugrana and had agreed to lower his salary by 50 per cent, only for LaLiga to impose a salary cap on the crisis club.
    Speaking earlier this month, Laporta revealed he thought that Messi would have offered to play for nothing instead of linking up with Les Parisiens.
    That is despite Spanish law making it legally impossible for a player to represent a team for free, with the rule in place to avoid financial manipulation.
    Laporta, 59, told RAC1: “With Messi I do not get angry because I appreciate him.
    “I know he had a huge desire to stay, but also a lot of pressure because of the offer he had.
    “Everything indicates that he already had the offer from PSG. Everyone knew that he had a very powerful offer. We knew from Messi that they had a very good offer.”

    Before adding: “I did hope that at the last minute Messi would say that he would play for free. I would have liked that and he would have convinced me.
    “I understand that the league would have accepted it. But we cannot ask that of a player of his level.”
    And Messi has now broken his silence over Laporta’s comments as he declared he has been left ‘hurt’, with the forward stating he did everything possible to stay.
    He told Sport: “The truth is that, as I explained on my way out, I did everything possible to stay, never at any time was I asked to play for free.
    “I was asked to cut my salary by 50 per cent and I did it without any problem. We were in a position to help the club more.
    “The desire of me and my family was to stay in Barcelona. 
    “Nobody asked me to play for free but at the same time, it seems to me that the words said by the president are out of place.
    “They hurt me because I think he doesn’t need to say that, it’s like getting the ball off you and not assuming its consequences, or taking charge of things. 

    “This makes people think or generates a type of doubt that I think I do not deserve.”
    Messi has also declared he does intend to return to Barca in the future, though only when his playing days are over.
    The six-time Ballon d’Or winner is planning to become the club’s ‘technical secretary’ – a role designed to bridge the gap between the boardroom and dressing room, as well as helping to sign players and hire coaches.
    Football fans convinced Lionel Messi played with an injury as PSG star spotted massaging hamstring More

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    Barcelona ready to compete with Real Madrid for Kylian Mbappe as cash-strapped Catalans target free transfer

    BARCELONA are ready to take on Real Madrid in the battle for PSG superstar Kylian Mbappe. Despite being in dire straits financially, the Catalans believe they can make ‘one great signing’ before next season.
    Lionel Messi’s arrival at PSG has not convinced Mbappe to stay at the Parc Des PrincesCredit: Getty
    And according to Spanish outlet AS, the club have emerged as a possible shock destination for the 22-year-old.
    Mbappe is out of contract at PSG next summer and is available on a free transfer, but any club wanting to sign him will have to pay a hefty signing on fee.
    But Barcelona are rumoured to be willing to pay up to £76million to secure a move despite their financial woes.
    And the Catalans believe Los Blancos will only offer £42million.
    As a result a much higher sum could sway Mbappe’s decision, after he was widely expected to seal a move to the Bernabeu.
    Madrid however are in a better position than their bitter rivals financially – meaning they are able to offer a higher weekly wage than the Catalans.

    And AS report that the side from the capital still have the ‘advantage’ when it comes to negotiations for the World Cup winner.
    Mbappe is allowed to start talks with clubs regarding a pre-contract agreement from January 1.
    He has publicly admitted that he wants to move to Real Madrid, but Barca still remain determined to ‘hinder the operation’ which was seemingly all but done.
    Los Blancos reportedly made two bids for the superstar in the summer, both of which were rebuffed by Les Parisiens.
    And according to president Florentino Perez they could even sign him in January, rather than wait until the summer and have to compete with rival clubs.
    Rumours linking Mbappe to Barcelona come after former president Josep Bartomeu revealed the club could have signed the Frenchman in 2017.
    But then manager Ernesto Valverde and his coaching staff instead recommended that the club sign Ousmanne Dembele.
    Bartomeu told on Esport3: “[Mbappe’s] signing was on the table, but the coaches preferred Dembele because they wanted a player to open the field.”
    Dembele was signed from Borussia Dortmund for a reported £138m, and has just 30 goals in 118 appearances in four years at Camp Nou.
    Kylian Mbappe jumps after being scared by referee testing whistle in tunnel before PSG vs Leipzig More

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    Man Utd joined by Liverpool in Ousmane Dembele transfer race with Jurgen Klopp hoping to snatch Barcelona star on free

    LIVERPOOL are considering a transfer move for Barcelona star Ousmane Dembele, according to reports.Dembele, 24, has interested the Reds for some time and could be signed to provide competition for the likes of Sadio Mane and Diogo Jota.
    Ousmane Dembele is wanted by several clubs across Europe
    The Frenchman signed for Barca in 2017 for a fee of £138million but his contract expires at the end of the season.
    That means he is affordable, and though Barcelona want to keep him they are requesting he accepts a reduction in his £200k a week wages.
    Dembele has the ball in his court as a result, with Liverpool one of several teams eyeing a free transfer, report TEAMtalk.
    Manchester United have been long-term admirers of the winger.
    Chelsea and Manchester City are reportedly chasing Dembele too, as are Newcastle now they have more spending power.
    Elsewhere in Europe Juventus and Bayern Munich could also try and tempt him away from the Nou Camp.

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    Liverpool are determined to land a new wide forward however, having previously targeted West Ham star Jarrod Bowen.
    Watford’s Ismaila Sarr is another player who has interested them in the past and would represent a much cheaper option than Dembele.
    Klopp is said to be a fan of the former Borussia Dortmund ace and there could be a transfer battle on the cards next summer. More

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    Donny van de Beek and Tanguy Ndombele among ‘four transfer options’ Barcelona are exploring in bid to improve midfield

    BARCELONA have reportedly set their sights on four midfielders they are interested in signing in the January transfer window.The Catalan giants saw a host of players depart in the summer including Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann and Miralem Pjanic.
    Van de Beek has struggled to settle since arriving in ManchesterCredit: Getty
    Ndombele wanted to leave Tottenham in the summerCredit: Getty
    And, according to Sport, under pressure boss Ronald Koeman has identified Manchester United man Donny van de Beek as someone he would like to add to his squad.
    The 24-year-old Dutchman struggled to make any sort of impact during his first campaign at Old Trafford last season.
    And things haven’t improved much at the start of the new season as he has started just one of Man Utd’s seven Premier League games.
    A move to Barca could give Van de Beek a second chance to rediscover the form he showed at Ajax.
    Another man who Koeman’s side are looking at closely is Tottenham’s Tanguy Ndombele.
    The Frenchman arrived in North London for a club record fee of £55million in 2019 but has found it difficult to sustain a lengthy period of consistency.

    Brozovic is another man the Catalan giants could pursueCredit: Getty
    Ndombele enjoyed some good form last season but then handed in a transfer request in the summer.
    He was offered to Barcelona as Spurs looked to offload him, but the Spanish side could not afford the 24-year-old due to their financial problems.
    Two other midfielders the club are looking at currently reside in Serie A and are set to become free agents in the summer.
    Inter Milan’s Marcelo Brozovic and AC Milan’s Franck Kessie both have contracts that expire at the end of the season.

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    And Barcelona could look to take full advantage of that situation by snapping them up in January.
    Koeman’s side have suffered a very tough start to the season, winning just three of their first seven LaLiga games.
    They have also been beaten 3-0 in both their Champions League matches by Bayern Munich and Benfica.
    Kessie is another man who could be approached by BarcelonaCredit: Getty More

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    Seven transfers we could see in January as Arsenal move for Calvert-Lewin and Watkins and van de Beek in Man Utd exit

    THERE is less than three months until the transfer window swings wide open again and clubs try and find some New Year deals.The likes of Luis Suarez, Bruno Fernandes and Pierre-Emerick Aubemayang arrived in the Premier League during previous winter windows
    Everton may have to listen to offers for Dominic Calvert-Lewin this JanuaryCredit: Reuters
    And there is already plenty of speculation surrounding who will be going where in the first few weeks of 2022.
    So SunSport rounds up some of the biggest transfers that could get over the line in January…
    Ollie Watkins or Dominic Calvert-Lewin to Arsenal
    The Gunners need a new striker with Alexandre Lacazette’s contract expiring at the end of the season.
    And as revealed by SunSport, they are eyeing two of the Premier League and England’s hottest young strikers to lead the line long-term.
    Ollie Watkins is being eyed by Arsenal as their new No9Credit: Getty
    Donny van de Beek to Everton
    He wanted out of Old Trafford in the summer but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer blocked a last-minute loan to the Toffees.
    But now clearer than ever he is not in the plans, Van de Beek could be allowed to make the switch in January – or may return to boyhood club Ajax.
    Donny van de Beek is desperate to end his Manchester United nightmareCredit: Reuters
    Raheem Sterling to Barcelona
    The England winger continues to struggle for game time under Pep Guardiola this term and Barcelona could be set to pounce.
    Apparently, the Catalan giants have the funds, despite their financial mess, to stump up £60million for Sterling.
    Raheem Sterling’s season is yet to really get going, especially with Jack Grealish’s arrivalCredit: Getty
    Christopher Nkunku to Chelsea
    The RB Leipzig midfielder, who scored a hat-trick against Manchester City in September, worked under Thomas Tuchel at PSG and could be reunited with the German.
    The 23-year-old’s agent, Pini Zahavi, has confirmed he is in talks with Chelsea, Man City and Real Madrid over a 2022 switch – but the Blues may swoop and get a deal done early.
    Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni is also a target but Chelsea face competition from Juventus for his signature.
    Christopher Nkunku has been in fine form for RB Leipzig this termCredit: Reuters
    Paul Pogba to PSG
    The ongoing saga surrounding Pogba continues with his current Manchester United contract expiring next summer.
    The Red Devils want him to make a decision on his future by Christmas but failure to do so could see the club sell him on the cheap in January rather than lose him for free with PSG ahead of Real Madrid and Juventus in the race.
    Could Manchester United fans see the back of Paul Pogba come January?Credit: EPA
    Pau Torres to Man City
    That’s right – Manchester City are being linked with yet another centre-back with the Etihad club ‘well positioned’ to land the Villarreal ace.
    United and Tottenham have wanted him in the past but Pep Guardiola likes his compatriot and wants him as further competition for Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte, John Stones and Nathan Ake.
    Pau Torres has a host of top clubs chasing his signature with Manchester City thought to be winning the raceCredit: Reuters
    Allan Saint-Maximin to Liverpool
    Newcastle’s exciting winger certainly catches the eye with his dazzling runs and trickery – and it has not gone unnoticed at Anfield or Stamford Bridge.
    Liverpool looks the likeliest destination but it would surely take a mammoth bid to convince Mike Ashley to sell one of his best players amid a relegation dogfight.
    Allan Saint-Maximin has been a rare sharing light in a grim season for NewcastleCredit: Getty
    Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin shows what he is made of on the training pitch More

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    Barcelona offer 18-year-old wonderkid Ansu Fati new contract with club desperate to keep hold of star youngster

    BARCELONA are battling to keep hold of the heir to Lionel Messi’s No10 shirt amid reports they have offered him a contract extension.Ansu Fati inherited the iconic jersey when Messi headed to Paris this summer and has told his agent Jorge Mendes that he wants to stay at Barca.
    Ansu Fati scored on his return from injury at the weekendCredit: Getty
    The 18-year-old’s deal at the Nou Camp runs until the end of the season and reports in Spain say Barca have already offered an extension.
    Football director Mateu Alemany is set to meet Mendes to finalise the deal once the agent returns from holiday in Qatar.
    But there are fears the proposal could unravel due to the shocking state of the Catalan giants’ finances.
    They are saddled with a crippling debt of around £1 billion and have reportedly been set a salary cap of just £85m – £553m less than rivals Real Madrid.
    That could leave Barca unable to afford any long-term deal for the highly-rated Fati.
    Mendes is understood to be talking to club officials about a short-term extension with potential for a review later when money flows once again.

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    The Blaugrana lost talisman Messi in the summer transfer window after they were unable to offer him a new deal within salary cap limits.
    The former skipper was believed to have been close to agreeing an extension before financial restrictions saw him move to cash-rich Paris Saint-Germain.
    Fati has claimed he feels ‘no pressure’ stepping into the void left by Messi.
    The Spain forward scored just nine minutes into his return after ten months out injured as the fitful Catalans beat Levante 3-0 on Sunday.
    Barcelona talent Ansu Fati celebrates with medical team after ten months out through injury More