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Football rumours from the media

What the papers say

A “delighted” Gareth Bale is not planning to leave Real Madrid, according to his agent after a meeting with the Welshman in London this week. The encounter sparked talk that the 30-year-old winger was departing for either China or Manchester United, but Jonathan Barnett told The Independent that his client is “delighted to play in Madrid”. Barnett added: “China? Don’t believe everything you hear.”

Mario Mandzukic‘s path to United appears more set by the day. The Daily Mirror cites Calciomercato as saying that the Mancunians have been informed of the 33-year-old striker’s asking price by Juventus, who are willing to sell the veteran for £4.6 million. The Red Devils could, however, face competition from Sevilla.

Jadon Sancho chases the ball

England’s Jadon Sancho continues to be linked to a return to Manchester (Adam Davy/PA)

Manchester City have joined United in the hunt for Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund. The 19-year-old was a City junior before departing to the Bundesliga, and the Manchester Evening News reports Sportsbild has claimed the England winger could be snapped up for £100m.

Staying with the Bundesliga and the Liverpool Echo says Schalke wish to keep Everton loanee Jonjoe Kenny after this season. The paper reports Schalke sporting director Jochen Schneider told Sport Bild of the full-back that he hoped “we will have the chance to keep him longer”. Kenny, 22, in recent weeks indicated he was happy to be in Germany and refused to rule out staying beyond his current spell.

If Mattia Caldara continues to struggle for fitness then AC Milan are prepared to sign Dejan Lovren from Liverpool, according to the Daily Mail. Milan and Roma tried to secure centre-back Lovren’s services during the summer but were unsuccessful. The Croatian, 30, has failed to attract consistent minutes on the pitch under the Reds’ manager Jurgen Klopp.

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Players to watch

Aurelio Buta: The Royal Antwerp full-back, 22, is being targeted by Wolves and Watford during the January transfer window, according to the Daily Mail.

Ferran Torres: The 19-year-old Valencia winger is being courted by Liverpool, Barcelona and Borussa Dortmund, Metro reports while citing Sport Bild.