Football rumours from the media
Marco Reus and Thibaut Courtois lead the sport back pages ahead of the weekend.
Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus is on the radar of Tottenham amid reports the 28-year-old is stalling over a new deal at the German club, the Mirror says. Liverpool are already said to be interested in the forward, who has just a year remaining on his current contract, but it is thought Dortmund are keen to keep hold of the star who showed his talents by scoring in the side’s recent 1-1 draw against Augsburg.
What the papers say
Negotiations between Thibaut Courtois and Chelsea have been put on hold until the summer, The Sun reports. It was thought talks would take place last month in a bid to extend the goalkeeper’s time at Stamford Bridge, but the paper says discussions will not go ahead until the end of the season, casting doubts over the 25-year-old’s future with the club. It comes as his agent denied reports of any talks taking place with PSG.
As questions continue to surface over the future of Arsene Wenger at Arsenal following a run of disappointing results, the Daily Star reports that Hoffenheim manager Julian Nagelsmann could enter the race to replace the manager if his two-decade reign comes to an end in the summer. The Hoffenheim boss, at just 30 years old, has impressed in his two years with the German side, and now looks to be part of a growing list of potential successors, also including ex-Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti, should Wenger depart north London.
Away from manager speculation, Arsenal are said to be looking to sign three players in the summer transfer window, the Daily Mirror says. The club want a new goalkeeper, centre-half and defensive midfielder, the paper says, and could revisit the idea of signing West Brom’s Jonny Evans, whose contract includes a £3million buy-out clause should the Baggies be relegated at the end of the season.
Eden Hazard‘s contract talks with Chelsea could be finalised very soon, according to the Mirror. Fans have been left to sweat as contract talks looked to have broken down, but it appears as though he could be ready to sign a new deal worth in excess of £300,000 a week, the paper says. However, any new deal may need to include a release clause, it is reported, which could add to supporters’ worry amid interest from Spanish giants Real Madrid.
Social media round-up
Players to watch
Mario Balotelli: The former Manchester City and Liverpool player could be set to surprise the Premier League with a return to the English top flight, the Mirror reports. The 27-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season after two years in France with Nice, with his agent saying negotiations are taking place with “many clubs” in England and Italy, according to the paper.
Manuel Lanzini: West Ham are hoping to keep hold of their star midfielder with an improved long-term contract, the London Evening Standard says. The 25-year-old has two years remaining on his £350,000-a-week deal but it is hoped the offer of a new deal will ward off interest from Liverpool, while team-mate Declan Rice, 19, is also earmarked for a pay boost as West Ham seek to shore up their squad, according to the paper.