Liverpool confident of keeping Mohamed Salah despite Real Madrid interest

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Salah has been the star of the season in the Premier League.

WHAT THE PAPERS SAY

Liverpool will be hoping they can hold on to star player MOHAMED SALAH amid reports Real Madrid are interested in signing the 25-year-old. According to the Mirror, Egypt manager Hector Cuper said the Spanish giants want to bring the winger to Madrid following his impressive 18 goals in 24 appearances for the Reds. Salah joined Liverpool from Roma for £34million in the summer.

Ausburg right-back DANIEL OPARE could be making his way to the Premier League when he becomes available for transfer in January, according to the Daily Mail. Everton, West Ham, Stoke and Swansea are all reportedly interested in the 27-year-old, who is likely to command a £3million price-tag.

Sam Allardyce has said he knows ROSS BARKLEY’s future at Everton is not a certainty – but admitted he would be “delighted” to keep the 23-year-old at the club, the Mirror reports. The injured midfielder has not yet made an appearance for the Toffees this season, and after a failed move to Chelsea in the summer, it appears the transfer saga could continue next year. On the possibility that Barkley will stay at his boyhood club, Allardyce said: “I do not know,” the paper reports.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 30: Ross Barkley of Everton looks dejected after Chelsea score their first goal during the Premier League match between Everton and Chelsea at Goodison Park on April 30, 2017 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Barkley has been sidelined since last season.

West Brom may face a fight to keep teenage star TYLER ROBERTS at The Hawthorns, the Daily Mirror says. The 18-year-old, currently on loan at Walsall, has put in impressive performances of late, sparking interest from Marseille, with the opportunity of a first-team start potentially enough lure him to Ligue 1, according to the paper.

A fall-out at Sevilla could see STEVEN N’ZONZI back playing in England, The Sun reports. The 28-year-old has not appeared for the Spanish club since being substituted against Liverpool last month. He was reported to have left the stadium at half-time following the decision. But now, after showing interest in the midfielder during the summer, Arsenal could be willing to trigger his £35million release clause, the paper says.

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PLAYERS TO WATCH

Sam Allardyce could make Watford striker Troy Deeney one of his first targets in January after taking the helm at Everton, according to ESPN. It says the Toffees are looking to boost the number of strikers in the team to overcome this season’s goal drought.

Newcastle‘s Aleksandar Mitrovic could be moving back to Anderlecht come the January transfer window, reports suggest. The Chronicle reports on rumours in Belgium that the 23-year-old is looking to his old club after gaining little play time with the Magpies, who are also said to be willing to consider loaning out the striker as part of an option-to-buy deal.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 25:  Aleksandar Mitrovic of Newcastle United reacts during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Watford at St. James Park on November 25, 2017 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Toon star Mitrovic.

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Man United, Barcelona and Arsenal target Goretzka to decide future in January

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Leon Goretzka‘s contract at Schalke runs out in the summer and that has put several clubs on high alert.

Among the 22-year-old’s suitors include Manchester United, Barcelona and Arsenal who are said to be leading the chase for his signature.

The German international has revealed he will inform the clubs of his decision at the end of January.

Bayern Munich and Juventus are also reportedly interested in the midfielder.

“I have to find out for myself what the next step should be,” he told reporters following Schalke’s 2-2 draw with Cologne.

“I have to consider a million things. I am a person who is very meticulous in such decisions. I play through all the scenarios. So I need time.

“There doesn’t exist a deadline, but I think we are in the final phase.

“The final decision will be made in January.”

Goretzka who joined Schalke in 2013 from Bochum could be available at a cut-price fee in January or on a free should he decide to hold off until the summer.

He starred as Germany won the Confederations Cup in Russia earlier this year while his six goals from 14 appearances for Schalke this season has seen him become one of the most sought after young talents in Europe.

Goretzka will field offers from potential new clubs before taking a final decision.

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Arthur won't join Barcelona behind Gremio's back, Javier Mascherano to say farewell to Camp Nou

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Fine prospect: Arthur.

The transfer window is closed until January but that doesn’t keep the rumour mill churning as clubs look to get a leg up on potential transfers.

Here are three big stories dominating the headlines on Sunday.

Will any of the following deals happen?

Let us know your thoughts via Twitter and Facebook.

ARTHUR PLAYS DOWN PHOTO WITH BARCA HIERARCHY

Gremio star Arthur has denied he is on the brink of agreeing a deal with Barcelona, despite images emerging of the 21-year-old being pictured in a Blaugrana shirt with the club’s directors.

After helping the Brazilian side to their first Copa Libertadores trophy since 1995 last week, Arthur met with Barcelona sporting director Robert Fernandez and other representatives in Porto Alegre on Friday.

The Spanish giants’ hierarchy had earlier watched the dynamic attacking midfielder in action and reportedly, according to Diario Sport, held talks to bring him to the Camp Nou in the near future.

Arthur, who will miss the upcoming FIFA Club World Cup in the UAE through injury, has though come out and denied a switch to La Liga is imminent.

“You can be sure that my heart and my positive energy will be with the family that our team has become,” Arthur, who has a release clause of €50 million and has been touted as a big summer signing for Barcelona, said.

“I respect this institution, who have been helping me every day since I was 14.

“I will never leave the club through the back door, this is my home.”

RATING: 8/10

VERDICT

While Gremio are set to report Barcelona for alleged tapping up of their star player, it is no secret that Barca want to sign Arthur. The talent, who is comfortable in either the No.8 or No.10 midfield roles, is in high demand and is expected to star at next year’s World Cup in Russia. That all means it will be tough for the King of Cups side to keep hold of their star.

Arthur (L) of Brazils Gremio, vies for the ball with Jose Gomez (R) of Argentina's Lanus, during their 2017 Copa Libertadores final first leg match held at Gremio Arena, in Porto Alegre, Brazil, on November 22, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / NELSON ALMEIDA (Photo credit should read NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

Hot prospect: Arthur.

THE END IS NIGH FOR MASCHERANO

Barcelona star Javier Mascherano has all but confirmed he will leave the club at the end of the season.

The experienced defensive all-rounder is now not first choice in Ernesto Valverde’s line-up and will reportedly leave in the summer following seven trophy-laden years in Spain.

Despite still having a contract until 2019, according to Catalunya Radio, he is plotting a fresh challenge after next year’s World Cup in Russia.

RATING: 8/10

VERDICT

The 33-year-old recently admitted in an interview with ESPN that he felt his time at Barca was coming towards an end.

Given the club are linked with the likes of Arthur and Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly, it seems as if it will be the best move for all parties.

Barcelona's Argentinian defender Javier Mascherano (L) vies with Real Sociedad's midfielder Xabier Prieto during the Spanish league football match Real Sociedad vs FC Barcelona at the Anoeta stadium in San Sebastian, on November 27, 2016. / AFP / ANDER GILLENEA (Photo credit should read ANDER GILLENEA/AFP/Getty Images)

Stalwart: The Argentine has been at Barca since 2010.

REAL MADRID SQUAD ISN’T WEAKER THIS SEASON – ISCO

Los Blancos playmaker Isco believes the Whites’ squad is just as strong as last season’s double-winning set of stars – and feels the club don’t necessarily need to dip into the market in January.

It has been a tough season so far for the reigning La Liga and Champions League holders, who have failed to discover their spark of 2016-17.

Despite this, former Malaga man Isco is confident Real have the players to turn the season around and fight on all fronts.

Speaking after the goalless draw at Athletic Bilbao on Saturday night, the 25-year-old said: “Our squad is just as competitive as last year, and we haven’t had all of the squad available yet because of injuries and that’s important.

“Last year we scored in the last few minutes and we are missing a bit of luck.

“Now we have to very important games and the Club World Cup, it’s an opportunity to gain confidence and recoup points.”

RATING: 7/10

VERDICT

While there are plenty of rumours club president Florentino Perez will give Zinedine Zidane a January transfer window warchest to spend, there is no certainty the Frenchman will spend it.

And, according to Isco, that would be a wise move. Injuries to the likes of Gareth Bale have of course unsettled everyone at the club but the Whites midfielder is really putting faith in his current charges judging by his remarks.

BILBAO, SPAIN - DECEMBER 02: Isco Alarcon of Real Madrid CF looks on during the La Liga match between Athletic Club and Real Madrid at Estadio de San Mames on December 2, 2017 in Bilbao, Spain. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

Isco’s performances have been criticised of late.

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