12 Feb Football rumours from the media
What the papers say
Tottenham striker Fernando Llorente appears to pining for his old club Juventus after admitting he would “love to return” to the Italian side, the Daily Mirror reports. The 32-year-old joined Spurs from Swansea last summer but has not made a huge impression in north London, scoring twice in 25 appearances. Having been left out of Spurs’ win on Saturday, it remains to be seen whether Llorente will play against his former team-mates when Tottenham face Juventus in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, doubts have emerged about Toby Alderweireld‘s future at Tottenham, with the 28-year-old set to be left at home as the team travel to Turin for the game against Juventus. The Telegraph reports that the defender will remain in England to improve his fitness after a spending a long time on the sidelines due to a three-month hamstring injury. It is yet to be seen whether Mauricio Pochettino’s decision to leave him out for the starting XI will affect contract negotiations, the paper says.
Speculation over Antonio Conte‘s future at the helm of Chelsea continues with reports suggesting former Watford boss Marco Silva could take over in a caretaker role. The Times says tensions between the manager and executives have escalated so much that Silva could be drafted in to lead the team until the summer, with ex-Barcelona coach Luis Enrique tipped as a possible long-term successor for the start of the 2018-19 season.
Jose Mourinho appears to be looking to next season already and wants to bolster the Manchester United squad with an approach for Real Madrid’s Isco, the Daily Star claims. Mourinho is hoping to match rivals City in the next Premier League title campaign, but the Blues also seems interested in bringing the 25-year-old to England should Zinedine Zidane approve his departure from the Spanish giants, the paper says.
Rafael Benitez tried to get Joe Hart to move to Newcastle on loan during the transfer window, it has emerged. The Daily Mirror reports that Benitez approached West Ham, where Hart is on loan from Manchester city, in the hopes of a trade for one of his reserve keepers, but the Hammers were reluctant to lose the goalkeeper, the paper says. But with Hart not finding himself as David Moyes’ number one choice, the 30-year-old’s England hopes appear to be fading with just four months until Russia 2018.
Social media round-up
Players to watch
Neymar: The 26-year-old has been championed by Real Madrid defender Marcelo, who has told Spanish newspaper Marca he thinks the Brazilian would be a “great fit” at the La Liga side. He further went on to hedge his bets that the Paris St Germain star will one day play at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
Thibaut Courtois: Real Madrid appear to be changing their focus in the hunt for a goalkeeper, with Chelsea’s Courtois now said to be the Spanish club’s top target come the summer transfer window, Talksport claims. It was previously thought Manchester United’s David de Gea was the first choice for the La Liga side but the club has grown frustrated by setbacks in landing the 27-year-old, the website says.