Football rumours from the media Dec 20, 2018

What the papers say

After the appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as caretaker manager, attentions are now turning to a permanent replacement for Jose Mourinho at Manchester United. According to the Telegraph, Mauricio Pochettino is among the front-runners, with the Red Devils prepared to shell out a world-record compensation fee to lure the Spurs boss away from their Premier League rivals.

Sticking with Manchester United, and alongside the search for a long-term manager, the club are also said to want to tie down a number of big-name players. The Mirror reports that the United hierarchy will focus on Juan Mata, Ander Herrera and Ashley Young, who are all out of contract next summer.

Manchester United v BSC Young Boys – UEFA Champions League – Group H – Old Trafford
Manchester United are reportedly hopeful of keeping Juan Mata at Old Trafford (Martin Rickett/PA)

Ajax’s Frenkie De Jong could be in high demand, with Bayern Munich the latest club said to be mulling a £70million offer for the 21-year-old. The Mail says attention from the German giants comes after Manchester City had shown interest in the central midfielder, but it is thought Pep Guardiola wanted the player for next summer rather than in the January transfer window.

After missing out on a spot in Unai Emery’s squad for Arsenal’s Carabao Cup clash against Tottenham on Wednesday night, speculation is building over Mesut Ozil’s future. According to the Mail, Serie A club Inter Milan have their sights on the £350,000-a-week star – but it remains to be seen where the 30-year-old fits in Emery’s long-term plans.

Social media round-up

Players to watch

Andreas Christensen: Chelsea appear keen to hold on to the centre-back amid reports of interest from Barcelona. The Mail says the Blues will bat away any moves from the LaLiga side, who are thought to be targeting the 22-year-old for a loan move to replace injured Samuel Umtiti and Thomas Vermaelen.

Houssem Aouar: The 20-year-old is on the radar of Manchester City after impressing at Lyon, The Sun reports. Guardiola is said to have been particularly impressed by the midfielder having seen him in action against City in two Champions League games this season.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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