Torres set for Benitez reunion?
Fernando Torres could be poised to return to the Premier League on loan and link up again with Rafa Benitez, who signed him for Liverpool a little over a decade ago.
Newcastle manager Benitez, who brought Torres to Anfield from Atletico Madrid in summer 2007 and also coached him during his brief stint as Chelsea manager, is aware of the Spain international’s desire to return to England, the Mirror reports.
But so, it says, are Southampton, who are also in the frame to strike a short-term deal for the one-time Chelsea striker.
Torres, 33, has started only twice for Atletico in 2017-18 but wants to spend next season, the last on his contract, with his boyhood club.
He is eager to play regular first-team football from January until the end of the campaign and the Mirror says that won’t be happening at Atleti, where Diego Costa will soon be eligible for selection.
It adds that “the player’s representatives have let his desire to leave on loan in January be known to both Benitez and Saints boss Mauricio Pellegrino.”
The Chronicle says a Newcastle switch is likely to depend on the club’s takeover going through, adding that “although acquiring a proven Premier League forward is a priority for Benitez, a move for Torres could prove expensive” if he opts to pursue it.
Can to reject Juve interest and join City on a free
Juventus may have been hopeful that they could persuade Liverpool midfielder Emre Can to join them, but now Manchester City seem the likely winners of the race for his signature.
Can, 23, is reluctant to commit his future to Liverpool unless the club include a release clause in any new deal — a request that has not so far been met.
And now the Mail says the Germany international, out of contract on Merseyside in the summer, “is set to snub Juventus in favour of joining City” on a free transfer.
Serie A champions Juve are now reported to have turned their attentions elsewhere, but the Mirror says Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund hope they might be able to persuade Can to return to Germany.
It adds that BVB “believe that they stand a genuine chance and are very keen, with Can able to sign a pre-contract with foreign clubs after Jan. 1.”
– Barcelona don’t want to risk losing defender Samuel Umtiti and are working on a new deal to keep him at the Camp Nou, according to French outlet SFR Sport.
It says France international Umtiti, reported to be of interest to both Manchester United and Manchester City, is in line for a “new and improved” contract including a £53 million release clause designed to discourage further interest.
– Former Blackburn and Stoke midfielder Steven N’Zonzi “has put top English clubs on alert” after saying he loves the Premier League, the Mirrorreports.
Sevilla midfielder N’Zonzi, under contract at the Liga club until 2020, has been linked with United, City and Arsenal since joining Sevilla from Stoke in 2015, and the Mirror says he “would be tempted by a return” to the English top flight after making his senior France debut last week.