Belfast Telegraph

Sarri's fate to be decided while Liverpool and Manchester United battle for two big signings: Premier League transfer rumours

Maurizio Sarri is facing increased pressure since Chelsea’s 6-0 loss to Manchester City.

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri’s future is said to be hanging in the balance (Andrew Matthews/PA)
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri’s future is said to be hanging in the balance (Andrew Matthews/PA)

There could be a change of manager at Chelsea while two clubs in the north west battle for signings, according to the latest Premier League rumours.

Maurizio Sarri‘s fate as head coach at Chelsea is set to be decided in the next fortnight, according to the Daily Telegraph. The Italian is facing increased scrutiny since Chelsea’s 6-0 loss at the hands of Manchester City, the paper reports, with the club said to be facing a season-defining run of fixtures in the coming weeks. Chelsea face Manchester United in the FA Cup on Monday evening, a game sandwiched between Chelsea's two-legged Europa League tie against Malmo. After that, they play City in the League Cup final on February 24. Italian website Sport Mediaset reckons current assistant Gianfranco Zola could take charge until the end of the season if Sarri's tenure is brought to an end.

Meanwhile, Manchester United and Liverpool are said to be ready to go head to head for a couple of big summer transfer targets.

The first is Paris St Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot, who is available on a free transfer at the end of the season. The Mirror says reports in Spain suggest United have emerged as the latest Premier League team to show an interest in the 23-year-old Frenchman. However, the Metro says that Rabiot could be tempted to join Liverpool rather than Spurs, who were reportedly close to agreeing a deal in January. Arsenal and Barcelona have also been linked.

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Paris St Germain’s Adrien Rabiot is the subject of transfer rumours (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The second player attracting the two north west clubs is Ajax star Matthijs De Ligt. The 19-year-old defender has been watched by both clubs in the last 12 months although the defender's agent Mino Raiola could put off his Premier League suitors, according to the Mirror. Raiola's relationship with Juventus puts the Italian champions in pole position, according to Calciomercato. Chelsea have also been linked with the Netherlands international.

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Ajax’s Matthijs de Ligt has reportedly attracted attention from several clubs (Nick Potts/PA)

Arsenal tried to offload Mesut Ozil during the January transfer window, but none of Europe’s top clubs wanted him, The Sun reports. The paper says reports in Italy suggest the German was offered to Juventus, but the Italian champions, as well as Inter Milan, were put off by his £350,000-a-week wage demands.

Players to watch

Mohamed Salah: The Liverpool star is said to have been linked with a move to Juventus. The Guardian says rumours suggest the Italian champions have earmarked the Egyptian as a potential replacement for Paolo Dybala.

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Efe Ambrose: Frank Lampard is closing in on the signing of the ex-Celtic star, according to The Sun. The 30-year-old is expected to sign a short-term contract to help the Rams with their promotion push, the paper reports.

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