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Football rumours from the media

What the papers say

Liverpool are the favourites to sign RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner, the Sunday Express reports. The paper says that by the start of next season the 24-year-old striker could find himself at the Merseyside club, where he would find himself “ready to compete” against Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.

Manchester United’s hopes of signing Federico Valverde have taken a hit as Real Madrid would demand his release clause of £450million, according to the Sunday Mirror. United reportedly wanted to bolster their midfield with the 21-year-old Uruguay international, who has earned comparisons with Steven Gerrard during an impressive campaign with Los Blancos.

Federico Valverde, right, will reportedly cost £450million

Federico Valverde, right, will reportedly cost £450million (Nick Potts/PA)

United also face competition from Chelsea for 16-year-old Birmingham midfielder Jude Bellingham, according to the Daily Mail. Bellingham has been linked with a summer move to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side as well as Bundesliga heavyweights Borussia Dortmund, but the Mail claims Frank Lampard’s Chelsea are in talks with the youngster’s representatives.

Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone “may no longer” be football’s best paid manager by April 1, according to The Sunday Times. The paper reports the Argentine, 49, “can anticipate at least a 30 per cent cut to his €3.7m (£3.2m) monthly wage” as clubs cut costs amid the pandemic.

Liverpool v Atletico Madrid – UEFA Champions League – Round of 16 – Second Leg – Anfield

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone is likely to face a pay cut this week (Peter Byrne/PA)

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Players to watch

Gabriel Magalhae: Everton have offered £30m to sign the 22-year-old Brazilian forward from Lille, according to Football Insider.

Arsenal v Chelsea – Emirates FA Cup – Final – Wembley Stadium

Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa, seen during his Chelsea days, could be leaving for Roma (Adam Davy/PA)

Diego Costa: The former Chelsea striker, 31, has nearly signed with Roma twice previously and Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo reports the club are interested in securing him from Atletico Madrid.

Habib Diallo: Leeds are interested in the 24-year-old Metz forward but face competition from Chelsea and Crystal Palace, reports France’s LeFoot.