Gossip: City line up Fred bid; Arsenal's Malcom boost


CITY LINE UP FRED OFFER
Manchester City may be unwilling to pay what would be required to land Alexis Sanchez after all, but the Premier League leaders are said to have made it clear that they are ready to pay £45million for Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred.

That is the word according to the Manchester Evening News. The only problem: Shakhtar want more for the Brazil international.

Pep Guardiola’s priority for this month apparently remains the recruitment of a centre-half, but the City boss is well aware that he needs some back for Fernandinho in central midfield.

Fred, 24, is also supposedly a target for Manchester United, which is usually the case these days. Jose Mourinho knows he needs a replacement for Michael Carrick, but if Fred is his man, he’ll need to move quick and pay up to beat City.

TOTTENHAM BACK OFF FROM MALCOM
Speaking of Brazilians and £45million price tags, it seems Tottenham aren’t ready to cough up for Bordeaux winger Malcom, allowing Arsenal almost a free run at the 20-year-old.

Arsene Wenger is said to have identified Malcom as the man he wants to replace Sanchez, with the Gunners boss saying on Friday that the Chilean would only be allowed to leave if a replacement is signed.

The Gunners boss wasn’t the only one interested in Malcom, who has been learning English, but the queue of clubs appears to be dwindling. United and Spurs were both reported to be interested but the Daily Mail claims Mauricio Pochettino is ready to follow Mourinho’s lead in walking away before the bidding heats up.

UNITED WON’T PURSUE VARDY
United did indeed make an enquiry over the prospect of a deal for Jamie Vardy, but it won’t happen, apparently.

The Leicester Mercury have rattled off a whole heap of reasons why Mourinho will explore other options. In summary, they revolve around the fact that Claude Puel doesn’t want to lose him; the club are prepared to back their manager’s stance; Vardy is settled; and United don’t want to pay big money for the 31-year-old anyway.

That’s that, then.

AND THE REST
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte wants to sign Alexis Sanchez…Chelsea are interested in appointing either Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri or Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri to replace Conte…Tottenham are ready to start contract talks with Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-min…Man Utd plan to start contract negotiations with David de Gea which would see the keeper become the club’s joint-highest earner…Arsene Wenger says talks over a new deal with Mesut Ozil are “very much alive”…Espanyol have already prepared for the departure of their Quique Sanchez Flores to Stoke…Robin van Persie is set to leave Fenerbahce to join former side Feyenoord…Real Madrid were ready to pay Lionel Messi’s 250m euro (£221.7m) buyout clause in 2013…Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa, Leeds United and Cardiff all want Middlesbrough midfielder Adam Clayton…Sunderland want to sign Burnley’s 34-year-old Republic of Ireland striker Jon Walters on loan until the end of the season.


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