What the papers say
Italian giants Juventus are keeping an eye on Manchester United trio David de Gea, Eric Bailly and Nemanja Matic in the lead-up to January, according to Gazzetta Dello Sport. Having signed Aaron Ramsey from Arsenal for free after his contract expired, Juve are drawing up a shortlist of players who will also be free agents if they fail to sign new contracts.
Manchester City’s David Silva and Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen are on the list, but Gazzetta also includes goalkeeper De Gea, defender Bailly and midfielder Matic. De Gea has had months of talks about a new contract at Old Trafford but is yet to sign. Bailly is recovering from the serious knee injury he suffered in pre-season and 31-year-old Matic has dropped down United’s pecking order this year.
West Ham are preparing to swoop for Mario Mandzukic in January, after a mooted move to Manchester United failed to materialise. While United decided that the 33-year-old was not an appropriate replacement for striker Romelu Lukaku, the Daily Mirror says the Hammers are hoping to sign him. The sale of Javier Hernandez to Sevilla, decision to let go Andy Carroll, Marko Arnautovic and Lucas Perez, plus a serious injury to Michail Antonio, have left West Ham short of goalscoring power. Croatian Mandzukic has not played for Juve this season and is keen on a move.
Spanish clubs Athletic Club and Real Sociedad are set to bid for Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta with an eye to luring him back home, according to The Sun. Azpilicueta has been a mainstay at Chelsea for seven years, but has come under recent pressure to hold his spot, particularly from teenage full-back Reece James. The Sun says Athletic and Sociedad are hoping to persuade the seasoned defender to “cut his losses” and move back to the Basque region where he was born, possibly as early as the January transfer window.
Social media round-up
Zidane returned as the saviour— MARCA in English (@MARCAinENGLISH) September 5, 2019
Player to watch
Leroy Sané: The 23-year-old winger, currently sidelined with a serious knee injury, is set to attract renewed Bayern Munich interest in January. But Pep Guardiola will be putting a high price on his head and will be hoping to secure the German's future at Manchester City, The Sun reports.
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