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Real Madrid think Jude Bellingham is key to landing Erling Haaland from Manchester City - Paper Talk

Plus: Manchester United placed on red alert amid reports that Bayern Munich defender Matthijs de Ligt could leave this summer; Roy Keane claims Man Utd no longer strike fear into opponents; Joelinton may have played his last game for Newcastle United; Chelsea face another backroom shuffle

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Martin Hardy of The Times and Jonathan Liew of The Guardian discuss Mohamed Salah's injury at AFCON and what it could mean for Liverpool's Premier League title hopes

The top stories and transfer rumours from Friday's newspapers...


There is growing noise in Spain that Real Madrid want to use Erling Haaland's friendship with Jude Bellingham to tempt the Manchester City striker to eventually move to the Bernabeu.

Raphael Varane could face a probe over holiday snaps that appeared to show the Manchester United defender at a ski resort - United are understood to forbid players from skiing during the season due to the risk of injury.

Chris Smalling has hit back at now former Roma boss Jose Mourinho over claims the defender could have played through his knee injury, saying his absence was one he could not control and that he remains totally committed to the club.

David Beckham is locked in a secret multi-million legal battle over fake products including clothes and fragrances bearing his name.


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Sources behind the Qatar-based bid for Manchester United have rubbished claims they did not meet the Glazer family's asking price for the club and failed to produce proof of funds and may seek a corrective statement from the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Newcastle United's Joelinton receives treatment for an injury

Joelinton may have played his last game for Newcastle United amid reports he will need season-ending surgery on a thigh injury and remains in a stand-off with the club over a new contract beyond the summer of 2025.

Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana is set to start for Cameroon in their Africa Cup of Nations clash with Senegal on Friday after missing their opening game with travel issues.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin was sent off for a tackle on Nathaniel Clyne

Everton's much-delayed takeover by 777 Partners is having a major impact on the future of key players, including Dominic Calvert-Lewin, whose contracts expire in the next 18 months.

Manchester United have teamed up with Manchester Metropolitan University's Institute of Sport to use their expertise in Artificial Intelligence and attempt to use it for competitive advantage.

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Liverpool and Egypt's Mohamed Salah went off injured during Egypt's AFCON clash with Ghana in Ivory Coast


Liverpool great John Aldridge has disclosed his worries about football's dementia crisis, admitting to experiencing "some problems" and having undergone tests.

Chelsea are facing another backroom shuffle after long-serving medical director Dimitrios Kalogiannidis informed the club he would be leaving after 13 years for family reasons.

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Jordan Henderson has completed his move to Ajax having agreed to terminate his contract with Al-Ettifaq

Joe Schmidt is set to be confirmed as Eddie Jones' replacement as Australia head coach leading to the prospect of a clash with his former Ireland assistant Andy Farrell when the British & Irish Lions visit.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland has joined the growing band of voices calling for an Anglo-Welsh rugby union league.

England spinner Rehan Ahmed has revealed he turned down the chance to play in the IPL to work on developing a new delivery like Shane Warne's famous flipper.


Manchester United have been placed on red alert amid reports that Bayern Munich defender Matthijs de Ligt could leave this summer because of a tense relationship with boss Thomas Tuchel and a lack of playing time.

Matthijs De Ligt


Reading's dire financial state has left staff to rejig training plans and avoid turning the undersoil heating on to try and curb costs, while a further 19 members of staff have been made redundant and suppliers are still owed around £4m.


Roy Keane claims Manchester United no longer strike fear into opponents, that clubs now actually enjoy visiting Old Trafford, and has also accused his former club of going soft.

Jan Molby says Liverpool should prioritise a move for Crystal Palace winger Michael Olise as they look to add further goal power to their attacking options as well as avoid him joining rivals Manchester United.


Langley FC from the Combined Counties League, the 10th tier of English football, have made a cheeky seven-day notice of approach to sign Chelsea striker Armando Broja.

Chelsea's Armando Broja celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the Sky Bet Championship match at the King Power Stadium, Leicester. Picture date: Monday January 1, 2024.

Ligue 1 side Brest have made a formal request to French football authorities demanding that VAR is removed from football after previous condemnation from their manager Eric Roy over decisions which have gone against his side.


New Hibs signing Myziane Maolida was branded a player "as lazy as I have seen" by one of his former Hertha Berlin managers Pal Dardai in a savage attack last year.

Lawrence Shankland reacts after missing a first-half penalty

Hearts CEO Andrew McKinlay says the club has gone above and beyond their current wage structure to try and keep striker Lawrence Shankland at Tynecastle but warned fans breaking the bank now could come back to bite them in the future.

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