Paper Talk: Man Utd put prized, £50m Gerrard asset at Villa on transfer radar; Bayern plot £42m Leeds bid
Manchester United put a prized Aston Villa star on their transfer radar, while Bayern Munich get set to raid Leeds – both in all the latest Paper Talk.
MAN UTD EYE EMILIANO MARTINEZ
Manchester United have made Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez a transfer target as a potential David de Gea replacement, according to a report.
The Red Devils have long enjoyed Spain international De Gea’s form since his move to Old Trafford in 2018. But since the 2018 World Cup, his form has been in question more than ever.
Errors crept into his game, especially in the 2019/20 season. As such, academy product Dean Henderson had a spell last term as the club’s number one.
De Gea has since won his place back, though, by returning to his best form. But at 31, United are beginning to look at other options.
While Henderson is De Gea’s obvious successor, reports have claimed that he wants a new challenge due to a consistent lack of game time of late.
As a result, the Daily Star claims that Villa’s Argentina international Martinez is firmly on United’s transfer shortlist.
The 29-year-old has been a standout player at Villa Park since his move there from Arsenal in September 2020. He has made 54 appearances so far, keeping 20 clean sheets.
United have reportedly watched Martinez ‘several times’ and consider him a ‘highly suitable’ player to replace De Gea.
But the Red Devils would only make a move for him if De Gea left before his contract runs out in the summer of 2023. United would reportedly be willing to pay £50million for him, too.
Martinez is one of the first names on the team sheet at Villa and has continued to impress in the early stages of Steven Gerrard’s reign as manager.
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AND THE REST FROM PAPER TALK
Bayern Munich are preparing a €50million (£42million) bid for Leeds winger Raphinha. (Mundo Deportivo)
Liverpool are also monitoring the Brazilian, as well as West Ham winger Jarrod Bowen. (Liverpool Echo)
The Reds will be able to play Mohamed Salah in next Sunday’s crunch Premier League clash against Chelsea following a deal with the Egyptian FA over his Africa Cup of Nations’ participation. (Daily Mirror)
Meanwhile, former Red Stephen Warnock has “no doubt” that Liverpool will tie Salah to a new contract. (Daily Mirror)
Tottenham are targeting a trio of free transfer signings, with Chelsea centre-back Antonio Rudiger on their agenda. (ESPN)
GERRARD TO MISS VILLA MATCHES
Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard will miss the club’s next two matches following a positive Covid-19 test. (The Guardian)
Manchester United believe they have the edge over Liverpool and Chelsea in the race for Bayer Leverkusen star Florian Wirtz. (Daily Star)
But Blues boss Thomas Tuchel has other plans to bolster his midfield ranks by keeping Crystal Palace loanee Conor Gallagher next season. (Daily Express)
Still, Chelsea have four key defenders out of contract in the summer and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has warned his former side of an escalating squad issue. (Daily Mirror)
Burnley can better that, with 10 players out of contract at the end of the season. However, manager Sean Dyche has urged his squad to focus on avoiding relegation. (Daily Mail)
PAPER TALK – CONTE, TOTTENHAM TURNAROUND HAILED
Newcastle boss Eddie Howe has called for “realism” over his side’s January transfer plans, despite the looming prospect of a relegation battle. (Daily Express)
Indeed, the Magpies have pulled the plug on a move for Man Utd forward Anthony Martial and will now look elsewhere. (Football Insider)
Nemanja Matic has admitted that interim United manager Ralf Rangnick faces an unenviable task securing a top-four Premier League finish. (Daily Mirror)
Everton boss Rafael Benitez has insisted he feels confident that youngster Lewis Dobbin will sign a new deal, following an extension for fellow youngster Jarrad Branthwaite. (Liverpool Echo)
Brentford boss Thomas Frank feels confident that defender Rico Henry will get an England call-up if he continues his current rise. (Daily Mail)
Davinson Sanchez has lauded Tottenham manager Antonio Conte for his attention to detail and perfectionism, which the defender believes is helping turn the tide at Spurs. (Daily Mail)
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