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Euro Paper Talk: Liverpool, Man Utd face stiff competition for £88m midfield ace; Arsenal knocked back in swoop for Madrid star

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Liverpool and Manchester United reportedly face competition for the signing of a German midfield ace, while one report reveals how Arsenal failed in a summer swoop for a Real Madrid man – all in Friday’s European papers.

Arsenal wanted to sign Madrid midfielder Isco in the summer transfer window and failed with a €45m bid for the 27-year-old (Don Balon) Gunners striker Alexandre Lacazette was close to leaving the Emirates Stadium in the summer, with Arsenal keen to offload him for £61m (Sport Business Gazeta) Arsenal loanee Dani Ceballos has clarified quotes that suggested he wanted to stay in North London at the end of the season instead of heading back to Real Madrid (Radio MARCA) Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic is on a four-man shortlist of players that Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte is keen on adding to his side (Tuttosport) Manchester City are keeping tabs on Nice full-back Youcef Atal following a poor start to the campaign from summer signing Joao Cancelo (Calciomercato) Dalian Yifang midfielder Marek Hamsik has said that he would not rule out a return to Napoli if Carlo Ancelotti’s side came calling (Sportmediaset) Inter Milan centre-back Milan Skriniar has spoken of his desire to lift silverware with the club as captain of the side (Sportmediaset) Barcelona want to offer Lionel Messi a new contract that would keep him at the club until the end of his career (Cadena Ser) Real Madrid will make the signing of Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen a priority in the January transfer window (AS) Real midfielder James Rodriguez spoke with Atletico Madrid defender and Colombia teammate Santiago Arias about making a permanent switch across the Spanish capital (Onda Madrid) Los Blancos centre-back Sergio Ramos, 33, has expressed his interest in playing for Spain at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics (El Mundo) However, the Spanish FA wants to send the side that won the European Under-21 Championship to the 2020 Games (Marca) Napoli duo Dries Mertens and Jose Callejon are close to leaving the club next summer when their contracts expire (Tuttosport) Sampdoria are close to appointing former Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri as their new head coach (Tuttosport) Former Marseille boss Rudi Garcia and Santos’ Jorge Sampaoli are being considered as candidates for the Lyon job (L’Equipe)

Real Madrid and Barcelona are interested in making a move for Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz, according to reports.

The 20-year-old, who has scored three goals and assisted one other in 10 appearances for the Bundesliga side so far this season, has been linked with a move to both Liverpool and Manchester United in the past.

The source says that with Luka Modric recently turning 34, Los Blancos boss Zinedine Zidane is eyeing up Havertz as the Croatian’s long-term replacement.

Mundo Deportivo adds that Barcelona have been tracking Havertz for a while and were told in the summer that he was worth £70m, but the source now says that Leverkusen will unlikely sell for any less than £88m.

Havertz, who scored his first goal for Germany in Wednesday’s 2-2 draw with Argentina, has one year left on his current deal with Leverkusen.
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