Football rumours from the media
A heavyweight battle is on for the signature of French centre-back Dayot Upamecano.
Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester City are in the hunt to sign French centre-back Dayot Upamecano, the Daily Star reports. The Red Bull Leipzig player has shone in the Bundesliga this season, starting the last 19 games. Arsenal and Spurs are set to bid £50million for the 21-year-old, but Manchester City are also reported to be interested.
What the papers say
Arsenal are keen to sign France midfielder Thomas Lemar in January, according to Spanish website AS. The 24-year-old has mostly been used as a substitute at Atletico Madrid. They suggest Arsenal will have to weigh in with an “important” offer to acquire Lemar, who is contracted with them until 2023.
Newcastle are moving to tie down Jonjo Shelvey to the club beyond his current contract, the Newcastle Chronicle reports. Shelvey has been a shining light in the Magpies’ recent drive out of the lower reaches of the Premier League, and boss Steve Bruce is keen to ensure that continues. Shelvey’s current contract runs out in 2021.
New Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is hoping to keep former captain Granit Xhaka despite his reported eagerness to leave, according to football.london. The 27-year-old Switzerland international midfielder has been linked with a January move to Germany’s Hertha Berlin. Xhaka was relieved of the Gunners’ captaincy last month after clashing with his own fans.
Watford have approached AC Milan about buying left-back Ricardo Rodriguez, The Daily Mail reports. Boss Nigel Pearson is hoping to strengthen the Hornets’ defence as they battle to avoid relegation. Milan are in the mood to sell due to financial troubles and the need to pay the wages of the incoming Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Social media round-up
— The Sun Football ⚽ (@TheSunFootball) December 29, 2019
Man Utd outcast Marcos Rojo wanted by Fiorentina in £7.7m transfer with lack of game time under Solskjaer https://t.co/KRWYVHGhUu
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) December 29, 2019
Players to watch
Tariq Lamptey: Chelsea are poised to tie the 19-year-old right-back down with a new contract, Goal reports.
Jude Bellingham: The 16-year-old Birmingham City midfielder has come to the attention of Manchester United, The Sun says.
Rachid Ghezzal: The Leicester winger’s loan move to Fiorentina could soon be ended by a switch to fellow Italian side Atalanta, according to La Gazzetta Dello Sport.