Real Madrid star Isco emerges as latest Man City target

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The January transfer window may be shut but there’s still plenty of news from the rumour mill with several moves being put off until the summer.

Here, we round-up the transfer tales that have got everyone talking on Friday.

ISCO

Man City are showing an interest in unsettled Real Madrid midfielder Isco, according to the Manchester Evening News.

The 25-year-old has been frustrated at playing a lack of minutes this season – and Pep Guardiola could turn on the Spaniard instead of Riyad Mahrez this summer.

The star attacker was in impressive form last season, netting 10 goals in 30 La Liga matches, and keeping Gareth Bale on the bench.

But a drop in form has meant Zinedine Zidane is open to selling Isco – especially with an eye to signing Eden Hazard this summer.

RATING: 7/10

VERDICT

Isco has enjoyed a stellar career at Madrid, winning three Champions League titles, three Club World Cups, La Liga and the Copa del Rey – but has been increasingly unhappy with a lack of game time.

The fact that he has failed to nail down a starting place – with Bale, Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo Luka Modric and Toni Kroos filling the attacking spots – has added to his dip in form.

His ability to fit into the front three would be a significant addition to Guardiola’s already star-studded squad.

THOMAS LEMAR

Liverpool have ended their interest in Monaco star Thomas Lemar, according to the Liverpool Echo.

The Reds made a major push to sign the 22-year-old in the summer, but fell short in their bid.

Despite reports that Lemar has turned down another new contract at Monaco, Liverpool are believed to be moving on to sign other targets.

RATING: 6/10

SPORT360 VERDICT

Monaco have already rejected overtures from Liverpool’s Premier League rivals Arsenal and would likely remain steadfast if Jurgen Klopp’s side were to increase their bid as well.

The German boss is desperate to sign an out-and-out winger, and the left-sided France international would represent an upgrade on his current options but would cost around €60million.

But the transfer has dragged on for months now, and it looks like the Anfield hierarchy has lost patience.

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Neymar will be the best and Real Madrid need the best, says Ronaldo

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Brazil legend and former Real Madrid star Ronaldo says the club should pull out all the stops to sign compatriot Neymar this summer.

Neymar joined PSG from Barcelona in a world record €222million transfer at the start of this season, and his PSG contract runs until 2022, but there has been constant speculation linking him with a move to Real Madrid in the summer.

Ronaldo spent four seasons at Real Madrid, and says his former club’s tendency to sign the best players in the world means they should be looking at his fellow Brazilian.

“Neymar is a superb player, maybe he will be the best in the world in a few years, and Real Madrid need the best,” Ronaldo said.

That being said, Ronaldo is unsure how much he should read into the speculation, noting that he has no idea how close Madrid are in any attempt to sign Neymar.

“I haven’t heard any official representative of Real Madrid say anything about Neymar,” Ronaldo said.

Ronaldo has urged Real Madrid to sign fellow Brazilian Neymar.

Ronaldo has urged Real Madrid to sign fellow Brazilian Neymar.

Madrid will face Neymar and PSG in the Champions League Round of 16, with the first leg of the tie in Madrid next week. The Spaniards have had a poor start to the season, but Ronaldo feels the European tie should serve as a way for Madrid to end the season well.

“They should think about what they have and this year it’s difficult for Madrid, they have to keep going and end well.

“The Champions League is a competition that they do well in and we will see how it ends, because everything changes very quickly in football.”

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New Man United deal lined up for Luke Shaw, former Barcelona boss to replace Antonio Conte at Chelsea

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Luke Shaw

What the papers say

Manchester City are ready to turn their back on Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez for good, according to the Mirror. The club bid £60million for the star last month but the deal collapsed and Mahrez has since been absent from the Foxes’ training and matches. Blues boss Pep Guardiola is said to have major concerns at the way Mahrez has dealt with the fall-out and will now look elsewhere, the paper reports.

Manchester United are reportedly preparing a £45million bid for Monaco star Fabinho. The Sun says reports in Italy suggest Jose Mourinho will step-up their pursuit of the 24-year-old wing-back at the end of the season.

Luke Shaw is in line for a new long-term deal with Manchester United, the Mirror reports. The paper says the England full-back appears to have won over Jose Mourinho after a turbulent few years. The 22-year-old has impressed in recent weeks and the club are looking to tie him down on improved terms, it adds.

Liverpool are looking to make another move for Thomas Lemar after he turned down a new contract at Monaco, according to the Independent. The paper says Jurgen Klopp had wanted to bring in the winger this January, but the French side did not want to let him go in the middle of a season. But his unwillingness to sign a new deal at Monaco could open the door for Liverpool to return with a bid in the summer, the paper adds.

Former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique, who has been touted as a potential replacement for Chelsea’s Antonio Conte, is preparing himself for a move to England, according to the Telegraph. The paper says allies have confirmed that he wants to return to management in the Premier League.

Players to watch

Ainsley Maitland-Neal: Arsenal are in talks with the 20-year-old over a new deal, according to ESPN. The site says the club want to secure his future and reward him for his impressive performances this season with a new long-term contract.

Isco: Three Premier League clubs are said to have made an offer to sign the Real Madrid star. Spanish outlet Diario Gol says the midfielder has attracted the interest of Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea.

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