Manchester United face a battle over another unhappy player at the club, with Romelu Lukaku the latest to express disquiet.
Lukaku has fallen out of favour this season, being dropped to the bench of late. He appeared to begin the season carrying – at best – significantly more muscle than he had previously. His increased weight seems to have significantly reduced his speed and mobility.
The Belgian international is considering his options if he does not make his way back into the first 11, but the story in the Sun does not suggest he is planning on improving his speed, goalscoring form or weight to help himself. Instead the report mentions that Lukaku’s agent Mino Raiola might attempt to get him out of the club in the January transfer window, as he attempted with Paul Pogba last season.
However, given Lukaku has a long contract with United it is not thought that he will be able to force his way out easily, at least until the summer.
The Sun also suggest that United and Chelsea have missed out on Juventus defender Alex Sandro. The Brazilian has a new deal in Turin to take him to 2023.
And the Express paper suggests one potential replacement for Lukaku, as Bristol City striker Antoine Semenyo is being scouted by United, according to City manager Brian Tinnion. The 18-year-old striker has been in impressive form for Newport County, where he is currently on loan.
READ MORE: Guardiola: De Bruyne nearing Man City return
Guardiola denies Hazard interest
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is sceptical of his chances of landing Chelsea forward Eden Hazard, according to the Evening Standard.
Asked about a potential attempt to sign the 27-year-old Belgian international, Guardiola said: “That is not going to happen.
“I am agreeing with him. He said I’m so good and I am agreeing with him.”
Hazard is expected to sign a new deal with Chelsea in the coming months, or to move to Real Madrid in the summer as his current club would want to retain some resale value.
Atletico weigh up Gomez transfer
Atletico Madrid are weighing up their options after Diego Costa’s injury ruled him out for several months. Atletico are hunting for the title in LaLiga, but now have only Nikola Kalinic as a replacement.
Kalinic has been underwhelming since his move from AC Milan, meaning Diego Simeone may attempt to bring in some cover for Costa. One name mentioned by Marca is Maxi Gomez, the 22-year-old Uruguayan striker who currently plays for Celta Vigo.
However, there are obstacles. One is Atletico’s wage bill, which is as high as permitted, meaning other players from the squad would have to be let go, and another is the player’s release clause of 50 million euros – Atletico are reportedly only willing to pay half that.