Belfast Telegraph

Liverpool now want TWO Real Madrid players and a World Cup winner: all the transfer rumours

Liverpool will look to secure Champions League football with a win over Hoffenheim and rumours are hotting up that they could then look to strengthen their panel.

First of all, the club have been linked with a move for Real Madrid midfielder MATEO KOVACIC as Diario Gol reported the Croatian would welcome a move to Anfield. However, fellow Spanish outlet Don Balon say Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane is prepared to give the 23 year-old more game-time in order to keep him at Los Blancos.

But Zidane may still have talks with the Reds as Liverpool are now being linked with a move for Real winger LUCAS VAZQUEZ. He made just 12 La Liga starts last season and made only a 10 minute cameo in this season's opening 3-0 win over Deportivo La Coruna.  Don Balon say his need for first team football has alerted both those in Anfield's corridors of power and Premier League rivals Arsenal, should they lose Alexis Sanchez.

Finally, although the Liverpool Echo report that Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is unlikely to sign an alternative if he fails to land VIRGIL VAN DIJK, links have emerged between the club and Schalke defender BENEDIKT HOWEDES.

German outlet DW Sports reports that Klopp would shell out up to £18 million to land the 29 year-old international. He already has a well established partnership with Liverpool's first choice centre-half Joel Matip as the pair played together at Schalke for seven years before Matip departed for Anfield last summer.

However, it seems the Reds haven't yet forced Barcelona into submission over PHILIPPE COUTINHO. Just 24 hours after appearing to give up on signing the Brazilian, Barca are back in for Liverpool's playmaker, according to Sky Sports. Barca, who had an offer of £118million rejected, are coming back with a £138million bid in their final move for Coutinho.

Chelsea are eyeing a double swoop for Leicester duo JAMIE VARDY and DANNY DRINKWATER, reports the Daily Mirror. Drinkwater is close to a £30million switch to Stamford Bridge, with a move for Vardy coming out of the blue.

The hierarchy at Stamford Bridge will also have eyes on ALEX OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN'S situation at Arsenal, with the Telegraph claiming he has turned down a new contract.

Finally at Chelsea, the Telegraph is also reporting that Marseille will step in for DIEGO COSTA if his protracted move to Atletico Madrid falls through.

ONLINE/SOCIAL ROUND-UP

@TheSunFootball: Antonio Candreva closing in on Chelsea move

@MirrorFootball: Arsene Wenger standing firm on Alexis Sanchez - and Arsenal won't consider selling for under £70m

PLAYERS TO WATCH

DEMARAI GRAY: The 21-year-old will become the subject of a £25million bid from Bournemouth, according to the Sun.

JONNY EVANS: ESPN says the Northern Ireland defender is still on Manchester City's wishlist.

KYLIAN MBAPPE: The most talked about striker of the summer could earn 15million euros a year if he joins Paris St Germain, Spanish newspaper Marca claims.

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