Barcelona tracking Lyon starlet, Manchester United scout Lazio star

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Talent: Aouar.

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 Tuesday.

Will any of the following deals happen?

Let us know your thoughts via Twitter and Facebook.

BARCELONA TRACKING YOUNG FRENCH STARLET

Barcelona are monitoring the progress of Lyon star Houssem Aouar very closely, according to Marca.

The Camp Nou club have apparently already contacted the French side to declare their interest in the 19-year-old – stating that they are are watching his development closely.

The midfielder’s rise to stardom this year has been rapid, with Aouar going from strength to strength since his Europa League debut against AZ in the Europa League in February.

Barca will be wary that upheaving a young talent so early on in his career could affect the player’s progress, but Blaugrana have simply set down a marker by kicking off initial talks.

RATING: 7/10

VERDICT

Aouar is without doubt one of the rising stars in French football, and if he continues his scintillating form this term which has yielded eight goals in Ligue 1, then Barca are right to track the attacker.

The Lyon-born star developed through the club’s academy and a move away from his boyhood team would not be easy, but expect the Catalan giants to rev up their attempts to sign him in the summer.

NANJING, CHINA - JULY 24: Geoffrey Kondogbia of FC Internationale competes for the ball with Houssem Aouar of Olympique Lyonnais during the 2017 International Champions Cup China match between Olympique Lyonnais and FC Internationale at Olympic Sports Centre Stadium on July 24, 2017 in Nanjing, China. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Aouar has starred throughout 2017.

MANCHESTER UNITED SCOUTING LAZIO STAR

Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is on the radar of Manchester UnitedCalciomercato reports.

The Premier League club reportedly had scouts watching the 22-year-old star in Lazio’s comeback victory over Sampdoria on Saturday, scoring one goal and creating the other.

Lazio are likely to want an €80million transfer fee for their Serbian midfielder.

RATING: 6/10

VERDICT

Milinkovic-Savic fits the bill of a Jose Mourinho midfielder. Powerful and technically gifted, he could forge an excellent partnership with Paul Pogba, and the presence of veteran compatriot Nemanja Matic would help the youngster settle into the club.

United are likely going to be in the market for a midfielder, even though they’re well-stocked in that department at the moment. Marouane Fellaini hasn’t signed a new contract yet, Ander Herrera hasn’t hit the heights of last season – although he’s begun to show that form recently – and Scott McTominay still needs time to develop. The club’s lack of midfield depth was exposed recently with injuries to both Pogba and Fellaini leading to a poor run of form as Mourinho couldn’t rotate Matic and Herrera, so the need for someone of Milinkovic Savic’s calibre is obvious.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic could be the perfect fit at Manchester United.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic could be the perfect fit at Manchester United.

MAN CITY OFFERED MESSI MAMMOTH DEAL

Marca claims Manchester City offered Lionel Messi a €100million signing bonus and a salary of €50million per year to join his old manager Pep Guardiola at the Premier League club.

Guardiola has subsequently denied that the club tried to sign Messi, but Barcelona were reportedly stunned enough by City’s offer that they matched it in order to ensure their talisman stayed.

RATING: 7/10

VERDICT

Guardiola can deny as much as he wants, but before Messi signed his new Barcelona contract, there was plenty of speculation regarding the possibility of joining City. Whether or not he was ever close to leaving Barca, it’s definitely unlikely that City wouldn’t even have tried, especially given the relationship between Guardiola and Messi.

The fact that Barcelona felt compelled to match City’s offer shows they thought the threat from the English club was genuine enough to need warding off. While it will probably never happen now, it seems Messi to City was closer than anyone ever realised.

How close were Messi and Guardiola to a reunion?

How close were Messi and Guardiola to a reunion?

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Manchester City's Raheem Sterling delays contract talks, Eden Hazard holding out for Real Madrid

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Madrid target? Raheem Sterling.

WHAT THE PAPERS SAY

Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling will delay contract talks until after the World Cup, the Daily Mirror says. The stall over a new deal at City could alert Real Madrid, who showed an interest in the winger two years ago, the paper reports. The England star has two and a half years remaining on his current £180,000-a-week deal.

Chelsea face a battle to keep hold of star forward Eden Hazard, The Times reports. The Belgian is said to be holding off from signing a new £300,000-a-week deal, a club record, in the hope of piquing the interest of Real Madrid. The 26-year-old does not want to harm his chances of a move to Madrid by agreeing a contract of more than two years at Stamford Bridge, it is reported. Contract talks are expected to resume at the end of the season.

In demand: Eden Hazard.

In demand: Eden Hazard.

Theo Walcott‘s 10-year spell at Arsenal could be coming to an end, according to The Sun. The Gunners are apparently happy to let the 28-year-old leave the club if a suitable offer is made for the winger in the January transfer window. West Ham and Southampton are thought to be interested in the player, the paper says.

Tottenham defender Danny Rose could be swapping London for the North West, the Daily Mail reports. Manchester United appear to be targeting the 27-year-old for a move in January or next summer, the paper says, with boss Jose Mourinho said to be confident a deal – worth £50million – can take place.

West Ham may have to fight off Real Madrid in order to bring Russian striker Fyodor Smolov to the Premier League, the Daily Mail reports. The Spanish giants are said to be looking to bolster their attacking positions and Smolov has impressed. West Ham, meanwhile, also want to strengthen their squad come the January transfer window and reportedly hope to persuade the 27-year-old to move to London Stadium.

SOCIAL MEDIA ROUND-UP

@talkSPORT – Roma lining up January move for Arsenal and Tottenham target

@TheSunfootball – Arsenal and Spurs target ‘determined to quit regardless of contract’

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Newcastle might have to be prepared to pay a hefty sum if they want to bring Cenk Tosun to England, the Chroncile and Turkish media report. The 26-year-old’s impressive run of form means Besiktas bosses appear to have upped their demands. Newcastle have reportedly considered the forward as part of a swap deal with Aleksandar Mitrovic, but are thought to have been unwilling to pay a previously touted £20million.

Dani Ceballos could be prepared to leave Real Madrid in search of more game time, the Daily Mirror says. The Spain Under-21 international moved to the Bernabeu only last summer but has struggled to frequently make the starting XI, reports suggest. Arsenal and Tottenham are tipped to be interested in the player, along with AC Milan and Roma.

Put me in, coach: Dani Ceballos

Put me in, coach: Dani Ceballos

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Real Madrid consider Kroos-Dybala swap, Arsenal & Spurs target Ceballos

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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 Monday.

Will any of the following deals happen?

Let us know your thoughts via Twitter and Facebook.

REAL MADRID CONSIDER KROOS-DYBALA SWAP

Rai Sport is reporting that Real Madrid have earmarked Paulo Dybala as one of their primary transfer targets for next summer, and are willing to offer Juventus Toni Kroos in exchange for the Argentine. The Italian side are said to be prepared to increase Dybala’s salary in order to keep him at the club, but are not ready to keep him at all costs.

RATING: 6/10

VERDICT

It’s no surprise that Real Madrid would step up their interest in Dybala – the Juventus playmaker has plenty of high-profile suitors, having been linked with Manchester United and Barcelona as well as Los Meringues. And as the Paul Pogba saga of last year showed, despite Juventus’ stature and success, ultimately even their best players have a price. Whatever increased salary they can offer Dybala, it’s almost certain that other clubs could match or beat it.

This proposed deal may be the best Juventus can get; even if other clubs are willing to pay a transfer fee close to £150million or even £200million, there aren’t many players who Juventus could buy with that money who’d be as good as Toni Kroos. And for Madrid, while Kroos has been a stellar player, they have plenty of promising midfielders in the ranks to offset the loss. It’ll be hard for their rivals to top this offer.

Real Madrid may put together the best package for Paulo Dybala.

Real Madrid may put together the best package for Paulo Dybala.

PREMIER LEAGUE RIVALS PLAN CEBALLOS SWOOP

Diario Gol claims Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos is a target for both Arsenal and Tottenham, with AC Milan, Roma, and Ceballos’ former club Real Betis also said to be interested. Ceballos has struggled for game time at Madrid and could move in January.

RATING: 3/10

VERDICT

Dani Ceballos is 21, has just arrived at the reigning European and Spanish champions, not to mention one of the biggest clubs in the world, and has a midfield of Casemiro, Luka Modric, and Toni Kroos to try to unseat. If anyone in his camp, including the player himself, thought he’d instantly be a regular, they were deluding themselves.

But, by that same token, it makes little sense that he’d lose hope and want to leave so quickly. Learning from the midfielders ahead of him in the Madrid pecking order, as well as remaining under the tutelage of Zinedine Zidane, while getting whatever playing time he can get, is an excellent strategy for Ceballos’ development, and one he’s likely to keep trying for at least another year or so.

Far too early for Dani Ceballos to be considering leaving Real Madrid?

Far too early for Dani Ceballos to be considering leaving Real Madrid?

ALLARDYCE PLANNING N’ZONZI REUNION

According to the Daily Mail, Sam Allardyce wants to bring Steven N’Zonzi to Everton. The Sevilla midfielder worked under Allardyce at Blackburn, and he could be allowed to leave his current club having apparently fallen out with manager Eduardo Berizzo.

RATING: 7/10

VERDICT

This transfer would make a lot of sense, especially if the reports of the fall-out between Berizzo and N’Zonzi are true. Allardyce scouted N’Zonzi and brought him to the Premier League, so the Everton manager is clearly aware of the France international’s talent. The Toffees struggling to find a reliable midfielder within their own squad at the moment, and N’Zonzi seems a natural fit.

He’s not quite the typical robust, physical Sam Allardyce midfielder, given his technical ability, but N’Zonzi’s previous experience in England shows he can handle the Premier League. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see this move go through in January.

Steven N'Zonzi could be a natural fit under old manager Sam Allardyce.

Steven N’Zonzi could be a natural fit under old manager Sam Allardyce.

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