Manchester United submit offer for Liverpool target Lucas Paqueta

Lucas Paqueta is firmly on Manchester United’s radar (Picture: Getty)Manchester United have reportedly lodged a bid to sign Flamengo star Lucas Paqueta.

Paqueta, 21, has scored 14 goals in 80 appearances since breaking into Flamengo’s first-team back in 2016 and his performances have caught the attention of Europe’s elite clubs.

Barcelona are understood to be keeping close tabs on Paqueta and Liverpool, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are also monitoring the highly-rated Brazil international.

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However, according to Catalan publication Sport, United have jumped to the front of the queue after submitting a €40m (£36m) offer for the sough-after midfielder.

Paqueta has a €50m release clause in his contract at Flamengo, though, and the Brazilian outfit are reluctant to drop their asking price for the youngster.

The youngster has two caps for Brazil (Picture: Getty)The Red Devils landed Fred, Diogo Dalot and Lee Grant in the summer transfer window and Paqueta is being eyed as a potential January signing.

Regarded as one of the most promising youngsters in South America, Paqueta has already picked up two caps for Brazil.

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Jose Mourinho has received assurances from United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward that there will be money to spend this winter.

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Jurgen Klopp hits back at Dominic Solanke jibes after Jose Mourinho defends his use of Marcus Rashford

Jurgen Klopp insists he still has faith in Dominic Solanke (Picture: Getty)Jurgen Klopp has backed Dominic Solanke to fulfil his potential at Liverpool amid criticism of the way he has handled the England Under-21 international since signing him from Chelsea.

Solanke has started just five Premier League games since he quit Stamford Bridge just over a year ago and is yet to feature at all this season.

Jose Mourinho name-checked Solanke as he launched a passionate defence of his handling of Marcus Rashford, given no player has played more competitive matches for a Premier League club than the Manchester United forward (126) since his debut in February 2016.

England Under-21 boss Aidy Bothroyd this week expressed his concerns at Solanke’s lack of opportunities at Anfield but Klopp has highlighted the late development of Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane as reason to be patient with his underused striker.

Dominic Solanke is yet to feature for Liverpool this season (Picture: Getty)‘It’s not a perfect situation, that is clear,” Klopp said. He is a young striker and young strikers generally need longer in a big club. If you’re a young striker at another club and you don’t perform and you don’t score then it can be career-threatening because no-one in this world is patient enough.

‘But it is all fine for Dom. He didn’t play as often as he wished, I can imagine that, but he is still developing and still improving. He had good games last season, not enough minutes that is true, but he is still young and will have enough minutes in his career.

Jose Mourinho launched a passionate defence of his treatment of Marcus Rashford (Picture: Getty)‘When we cannot use him as a striker, we still work with him to try and fulfil his potential. I think we are really on a good way with that. We don’t have a problem with young English players not being involved often enough.

‘There is no pressure. I don’t like to talk about what other people said, but Dom Solanke is a fantastic young player. Our situation here is that we have four players in Bobby, Daniel, Divock (Origi) and Dom. We have this squad and we need it.

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‘If Dom works hard – and that is all what he needs to do to secure the rest of his career – then everything will be fine because of his talent and his skills. I don’t know exactly where Harry Kane was at the same stage of his career but it was all over the country playing and not playing.

‘I remember a picture of Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy sitting on the bench for Leicester. They obviously didn’t start that day but they made their way. It is really difficult for strikers to get the one spot or one of the two. We are still 100% sure everything will be fine for Dom.’

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Watford ace Abdoulaye Doucoure speaks out on Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal transfer links

Abdoulaye Doucoure was linked with a move away from Watford in the summer (Picture: Getty)Abdoulaye Doucoure says he is entirely focused on performing for Watford after being strongly linked with a move away from Vicarage Road in the summer.

Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal were all said to be interested in signing Doucoure, the French midfielder who is valued at around £40million.

But 25-year-old Doucoure, who was Watford’s Player of the Year last season, stayed put and committed his long-term future to the club by signing a new deal until 2023.

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‘There was a lot of speculation in the summer but I was focused on Watford and my football. I don’t think all the speculation was true,’ he said.

‘I’m very happy to have my new deal with the club and to be part of this project.

‘We’ve won four games [in a row this season] and I’m very happy here. I want to put my level as high as possible this year.

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‘I was always focused on Watford.’

Watford have won four straight games this season but manager Javi Gracia says the Premier League will soon put the club ‘in our place’.

Only two other teams – Liverpool and Chelsea – are also yet to drop a point this term.

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‘When you start something you always think you will be good but you do not know if you will be able to achieve four wins in a row,’ Gracia said.

‘But we are in a good moment – we are enjoying it. We know in the future the competition will put us in our place.’

Manchester United lost back-to-back matches earlier in the season but bounced back with a 2-0 victory over Burnley before the international break.

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Marcus Rashford told to consider Manchester United exit as Jose Mourinho ‘does not trust him’

Marcus Rashford has been urged to consider his future at Manchester United (Picture: Getty)Marcus Rashford should be thinking about leaving Manchester United because his manager Jose Mourinho does not trust him.

That is the opinion of Liverpool legend Phil Thompson, who says Rashford must be playing regularly to fulfill his potential and may be forced to leave his boyhood club.

Rashford burst onto the scene at Old Trafford in 2016, scoring back-to-back braces in his first two appearances for the Red Devils.

The England international has impressed sporadically since but has endured a frustrating start to the new season, failing to score and being sent off.

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Thompson says Rashford is ‘talented’ but doubts whether he will be able to develop at Manchester United because Mourinho ‘does not trust him’.

‘He’s a very talented boy… But is he going to fit in at Manchester United? I don’t think so,’ Thompson told Sky Sports.

‘I don’t think there’s a trust from the manager to the player that he can do it on a regular basis.

‘I think that’s why he’s only coming into the team now and again because I don’t think he trusts him.

Jose Mourinho does not trust the 20-year-old, according to Phil Thompson (Picture: Getty)‘He is only 20 and probably needs more time. I think this season is big for him. Come the end of this season he needs to make a decision.

‘He’s got to start laying regularly. He needs to analyse his game-time. I don’t think there’s total trust between the player and the manager.

‘Next summer big questions need to be asked.’

Thompson’s comments come after another Liverpool legend, Jamie Carragher, advised Rashford to leave the Theatre of Dreams.

‘The problem he’s got, and it’s the same for every young striker at big clubs, nothing’s harder than that position,’ Carragher said on Sky Sports.

Rashford has endured a frustrating start to the new season (Picture: Getty)‘And you look at Lukaku, I don’t see him ever displacing Lukaku while he’s there. But remember Lukaku at Chelsea, he had to come away to Everton.

‘Then ended up as the top scorer one season at Everton in the Premier League, then gets his move to Manchester United.

‘And possibly Everton is the sort of club, just below the top six, similar to what Lukaku did, when you know you’re going to play every week. You’re going to be that centre-forward.

‘You know if you have a couple of games where you don’t score you’re still going to play the next week. I think that’s the problem he has at Man United.

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‘I think last season, Brighton away, Mourinho had a pop at him and Lukaku went straight back into the team. That’s the problem you’re always going to have.’

Asked if Rashford needs to leave Manchester United, Carragher replied: ‘I think so, yes.

‘In order to play centre-forward for Manchester United you’ve got to be world class. Rashford’s not world class yet. He might be at 23 or 24.

‘So Rashford might have to move away to come back to a top team.’

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Former Manchester United scout wanted Jose Mourinho to sign Emre Can and Leon Goretzka

Emre Can was targeted by former Manchester United scout Javier Ribalta (Getty Images)Former Manchester United scout Javier Ribalta has revealed he wanted Jose Mourinho to sign Emre Can on a free transfer from Liverpool.

Ribalta was appointed as United’s head of scouting last summer but he spent just one year at Old Trafford and joined Zenit in July.

Can, meanwhile, moved to Juventus on a free transfer this summer after his contract with Liverpool expired.

And Ribalta was keen for Mourinho to sign the midfielder alongside fellow Germany international Leon Goretzka.

Ribalta also wanted Leon Goretzka at Old Trafford. (Getty Images)Goretzka was also available on a free transfer this summer after he decided to leave Schalke and opted to sign for Bayern Munich.

‘For my time in Manchester, I was only there for a year but I’d have liked to sign Emre Can and Leon Goretzka on free transfers,’ Ribalta told Tuttosport.

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Liverpool’s Joe Gomez names the Manchester United legend he idolises

Joe Gomez has been a fixture of the Liverpool team this season (Getty Images)Liverpool centre-back Joe Gomez has admitted that the player he most looks up to is former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand.

Gomez has made an excellent start to the season, forming a solid partnership alongside Virgil Van Dijk in defence and helping his team concede just one goal from four Premier League games.

The ex-Charlton Athletic youngster missed out on the Champions League final and a place in England’s World Cup final to undergo ankle surgery but has since become a mainstay of Jurgen Klopp’s team.

Rio Ferdinand won 14 trophies with Manchester United (Getty Images)Now 21, Gomez has impressed with his quality on the ball as well as his defensive capabilities and he also hailed one of his current England teammates as another player he looks up to.

‘I probably idolise Rio Ferdinand and so on but when it comes down to it, I’m still a defender and I’ve got to enjoy the art of defending,’ he said.

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‘I want to do all I can to inherit both aspects and I’m still learning and I want to study those players and even current ones as well.

‘I look at even within our team, Virgil (van Dijk) is a great example to learn from. Here, John Stones is someone who I admire for his confidence and his ability on the ball. There’s a lot of top defenders around the world who I admire.’

After Van Dijk joined Liverpool from Southampton in January, he and Dejan Lovren emerged as Klopp’s first-choice pairing in the heart of defence.

Joe Gomez and Virgil Van Dijk have formed an excellent partnership in Liverpool’s defence (Getty Images)However, Lovren’s late return to pre-season after helping Croatia reach the World Cup final and his return has been further delayed by a pelvic injury.

Gomez has directly benefited from Lovren’s absence and seized his chance to impress, playing every minute in Liverpool’s winning start to the campaign.

Liverpool’s start to the campaign has seen them live up to their pre-season billing as Manchester City’s nearest challengers and Gomez will be hoping to emulate six-time Premier League winner Ferdinand by lifting the title at the end of the season.

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Sadio Mane reveals why he rejected Manchester United before joining Liverpool

Sadio Mane had the chance to join Manchester United. (AMA/Getty Images)Liverpool forward Sadio Mane admits he rejected Manchester United because it was ‘not the right club’.

Louis van Gaal wanted to sign the Senegal international during the summer of 2015 and even held talks with the 26-year-old who was playing for Southampton at the time.

But Mane opted to remain with the Saints for one more season before he decided to join Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.

‘Honestly, I could not believe it,’ Mane told the Premier League Today show.

‘Some teams wanted me – Manchester [United] – the wrong team wanted me.

Louis van Gaal wanted Mane at Manchester United. (Getty Images)‘Of course, I spoke with Van Gaal, and they even made an offer.

‘But for me it was not the right club, it was not the right moment.

‘To feel this – the right moment, the right coach, the right club.’

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Mane also believes that Liverpool are capable of reaching the Champions League final for a second successive year.

‘It was a very big sign for us. It was a bonus for us to learn and get those kinds of experiences,’ he told Liverpool’s official website.

Mane scored in Liverpool’s Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid. (Reuters)‘We have played [big games] already and we know how.

‘Now we have to do the same work on the pitch and the experience we had in the past will help.

‘It’s very early to speak about it but it’s why we’re always here working: to do anything possible.

‘We have the quality and everything to go throughout [the tournament], so why not? Why not?’

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Jose Mourinho wanted to buy Liverpool summer signing Xherdan Shaqiri before Jurgen Klopp completed move

Mourinho missed out (Picture: Getty)Jose Mourinho was pipped to the chase by Liverpool in the race to sign Xherdan Shaqiri, with Jurgen Klopp getting the deal done before Manchester United opened talks with the Switzerland international.

The Portuguese manager was keen to bring the former Bayern Munich and Inter Milan winger to Old Trafford, who became available for just £12.5million after Stoke’s relegation to the Championship from the Premier League.

However, he couldn’t even get into a negotiating position with the ex-Chelsea manager as Klopp struck quickly and persuaded the Swiss to move to Anfield, according to Blick.

Shaqiri linked up with Klopp (Picture: Getty)Shaqiri was impressed with Klopp’s human nature and immediately decided to join Liverpool, despite being aware of United’s interest.

Southampton and West Ham were among the other clubs looking to sign him, but he opted to sign for the Reds.

The Switzerland international started Liverpool’s first match of the Premier League season on the bench, making his first appearance for the club with less than 10 minutes of normal time to play.

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Liverpool summer signing Fabinho reveals truth about reported failed Manchester United transfer

Fabinho joined Liverpool in the summer having previously been linked with Manchester United (Picture: Getty)Fabinho has denied he had a move to Manchester United blocked by Monaco before joining Liverpool earlier in the summer.

The Brazilian midfielder was one of the stars of the Monaco team that stormed to the Ligue 1 title in 2017 and his performances caught the attention of a number of clubs.

Manchester United were said to be interested in bringing Fabinho to Old Trafford, with reports claiming Monaco blocked the 24-year-old’s switch to the Premier League outfit.

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But Fabinho has denied the suggestion, saying Jose Mourinho’s side never approached Monaco with an official offer.

‘Manchester never showed any formal interest, they never made me an offer at all,’ he told Sky Sports.

‘Maybe there was some interest or a conversation but it’s not a case of Monaco not letting me go to Manchester United or denying me the move, nothing ever really materialised.’

The Brazilian impressed for French club Monaco (Picture: Rex Features)

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Fabinho cost Liverpool over £40million but Jurgen Klopp has warned fans that the Brazil international is still taking time to adapt to his new surroundings.

Discussing the club’s summer additions, which also include Alisson, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri, Klopp said last week: ‘I am really happy with the new players.

‘Fabinho, much better in offensive pressing, but still struggling a bit as not fresh enough. It’s been a hard pre-season for him.

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‘Shaqiri comes on as a nine and looked really good. He can play as a 10 and on the wing. It was fantastic what he did.

‘Naby played 50 minutes at the highest level and then left some gaps open, transition in defence could be better, so many things to work on.’

Liverpool start their Premier League campaign against West Ham on Sunday and Fabinho is a doubt for the fixture after picking up an illness this week.

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Liverpool advised to sign Harry Maguire ahead of Manchester United

Maguire’s future has dominated the summer since his World Cup exploits. (Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)Liverpool should try to beat Manchester United to the signing of Leicester City defender Harry Maguire in the final days of the summer transfer window, according to Phil Thompson.

Sky Sports understand last season’s Premier League and FA Cup runners-up will launch another bid to sign the England centre-back but require a world record offer to acquire Maguire.

Virgil van Dijk became the most expensive defender in the world when he moved from Southampton to Liverpool for £75m last January.

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And Leicester are holding out a similar offer as United look to salvage a summer during which manager Jose Mourinho has complained over their lack of signings.

Maguire played every minute of his maiden league campaign with Leicester and was rewarded with a central role in Gareth Southgate’s World Cup plans, playing every game as the Three Lions reached the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Alisson, midfielders Naby Keita and Fabinho and winger Xherdan Shaqiri have arrived at Anfield this summer but Thompson wants to see Liverpool move for Maguire to further improve their back-four.

‘I like what Jurgen Klopp has done by trying to strengthen the players behind the front three and get more goals from that area,’ the ex-Reds man told Sky Sports.

Klopp has indicated he is content with his business this summer. (Photo by Andrew Surma/NurPhoto via Getty Images)‘That part of the team is where you win titles and Fabinho, Shaqiri and Keita can provide that additional firepower.

‘[Adam] Lallana is also back. With one more centre-back, Liverpool can be a real force; I’d be looking at snatching Harry Maguire from under Manchester United’s noses.’

United have endured an indifferent summer with a host of players either injured or unavailable due their participation in the latter stages of the World Cup.

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Mourinho has been forced to operate with a thread-bare squad for much of pre-season and that predicament has not been helped by the arrival of just three new signings.

Diogo Dalot, Fred and Lee Grant are the new faces at United but despite links with the likes of Ivan Perisic and Yerry Mina, no further deals have been possible with just days remaining in the summer transfer window.

If United fail to acquire Maguire before the end of the window then they could come up against him when Leicester City travel to Old Trafford in the opening Premier League fixture of the new season on Friday.