Sport Soccer

Saturday 16 December 2017

Football rumours from the media

Chelsea could face headaches over Antonio Conte, left, and Thibaut Courtois, right
Chelsea could face headaches over Antonio Conte, left, and Thibaut Courtois, right

WHAT THE PAPERS SAY

ANTONIO CONTE made an immediate impact as he led Chelsea to the Premier League title, but newspapers in both Britain and his native Italy have reported tension between coach and club.

Scotland's Daily Record claims Conte could quit the club if other demands, including a direct line to owner Roman Abramovich and greater financial backing, are not met while Italy's Gazzetta Dello Sport reports tension on both sides.

Chelsea could also face losing goalkeeper THIBAUT COURTOIS, with the Times reporting that contract talks with the Belgium international have stalled.

Across London, Chelsea's FA Cup final conquerors Arsenal are looking to build towards a sustained title challenge next season and could be looking to add a former Blues player, with the Sun reporting they have offered £17.6million to bring JUAN CUADRADO from Juventus.

The Gunners are also linked in Turkey with a £10.5m move for Fenerbahce defender SIMON KJAER.

Liverpool seem set to sell before they buy, with defenders MAMADOU SAKHO and ALBERTO MORENO and winger LAZAR MARKOVIC all made available according to the Times. Markovic has been linked with Watford, whose manager Marco Silva had him on loan last season at Hull.

The Sun reports Manchester City forward PATRICK ROBERTS could be a loan target for French club Nice, while former City full-back BACARY SAGNA could also be heading to Ligue 1 if the Mirror's reports of an offer from Marseille come to fruition.

ONLINE/SOCIAL ROUND-UP

@AA_Richards (Alex Richards, Daily Mirror): Chelsea say Antonio Conte going nowhere despite reports bit.ly/2sEAE0S

@TheSunFootball Southampton have found their £20m replacement for Virgil van Dijk thesun.uk/60198mgAd

PLAYERS TO WATCH

GIANLUIGI DONNARUMMA: The AC Milan goalkeeper will not sign a new contract, according to his agent Mino Raiola, and Europe's top clubs are sure to take an interest with Real Madrid viewed as the early favourites to sign the teenage prodigy.

KEITA BALDE: The Lazio striker is a target for Tottenham according to the Daily Mirror, while ESPN links him with Merseyside rivals Liverpool and Everton.

AYMEN ABDENNOUR: The Toffees are also linked in France with a move for the Valencia defender, though Newcastle could be in pole position.

Press Association

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