Gossip: Pep wants Bellerin, Van Dijk and more…

The Times bring us the news that Pep Guardiola is considering spending longer at the Etihad than his three-year contract would suggest, but of more interest to this gossip column is the list of players the Spaniard apparently wants to join him on his blue odyssey.

According to them: ‘Willy Caballero, Pablo Zabaleta, Bacary Sagna, Gaël Clichy, Jesús Navas and Yaya Touré are yet to be offered new deals and are likely to leave the club in the summer. City will also try to sell Samir Nasri, Joe Hart, Eliaquim Mangala and Wilfried Bony, who are all out on loan.

‘Guardiola wants to sign two full backs, a centre-half, a midfielder and a forward. Bayern Munich defender Juan Bernat, Valencia full-back José Gaya, Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk and Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerín are among Guardiola’s targets.

‘City also remain interested in Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the Borussia Dortmund striker.’

That little lot might win them the title.


His name is Brandt, Julian Brandt. And he is apparently a favourite of Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. It is claimed by James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo that the Reds are interested in signing the 20-year-old Germany international, along with Manchester City, AC Milan and Juventus.

Asked if Liverpool would make a move for the Bayer Leverkusen winger in the summer, Pearce replied: “Yes I do. Klopp is a big fan and would have bought him in this window if Leverkusen had been willing to sell. Liverpool will be hoping that unlike (Christian) Pulisic, Brandt doesn’t pen a new deal.”


Crystal Palace boss Sam Allardyce is keen to sign Rubin Kazan’s 26-year-old midfielder Yann M’Vila, whom he used to manage at Sunderland and who has an £11m release clause…Palace are considering offering a trial to former Blackburn Rovers and QPR defender Christopher Samba…Hull are interested in signing Genk’s 19-year-old Jamaican winger Leon Bailey, who is valued at £10m, but he looks more likely to join Bayer Leverkusen…Stoke’s 31-year-old midfielder Charlie Adam is being targeted by Turkish club Fenerbahce…Newcastle are leading Aston Villa in the race to sign Modou Barrow from Swansea…Newcastle are also trying to re-sign winger Andros Townsend, 25, who left the club last July for Crystal Palace for £13m…

…Fulham’s players have told their manager Slavisa Jokanovic not to sign 30-year-old Aston Villa striker Ross McCormack…Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has identified Espanyol’s 35-year-old keeper Diego Lopez, on loan from AC Milan, as a potential replacement for Thibaut Courtois…Aston Villa will sign Iceland midfielder Birkir Bjarnason in a £1.7m deal from Swiss champions Basel.