Karim Benzema leads the LaLiga scoring charts this term with 17 goals.

But Real Madrid are set to revamp their attacking options if transfer speculation is true.

Benzema turned 34 in December and is contracted until 2023.

TOP STORY – BENZEMA CONCERN ON MADRID FUTURE

Madrid top scorer Benzema has requested a meeting with president Florentino Perez over concerns on his future with Erling Haaland's potential addition, reports Onze.

Los Blancos are set to be bolstered by forwardKylian Mbappe's arrival in the off-season to form an attacking trio alongside Benzema and Vinicius Junior.

But Haaland's potential move from Borussia Dortmund has left Benzema fearing he may lose his spot.

ROUND-UP 

- Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger is being lined up by Bayern Munich as their ideal replacement for Niklas Sule, claims Fichajes. Sule has confirmed his exit to Borussia Dortmund for next season.

- Juventus have a new plan ahead of fresh contract talks with Paulo Dybala, according to Calciomercato. Dybala is unsigned beyond this season.

- Manchester United and Brazilian giants Flamengo have agreed to a £12m fee for the permanent sale of Andreas Pereira, reports Universo.

- Atletico Madrid, who are looking to replace the departed Kieran Trippier, are set to make a €30m offer for Aston Villa full-back Matty Cash, claims Mundo Deportivo.

- Calciomercato reports that Milan still have an eye on Club Brugge's Dutch talent Noa Lang.

Borussia Dortmund have announced the signing of defender Niklas Sule, who will join the club from Bayern Munich at the end of the season.

The 26-year-old has agreed to a four-year deal at Signal Iduna Park, having decided against extending his Bayern contract, which expires at the end of 2021-22.

"We're delighted that we have managed to sign Niklas Sule, a Germany international, on a free transfer and have tied the player down for four years," said Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc.

Sebastian Kehl, who will succeed Zorc later this year, added: "Niklas has shown during the course of personal talks that he is really keen on Borussia Dortmund.

"He possesses a lot of experience, composure in his build-up play and the necessary physicality to take the next step with us from this summer onwards."

Sule joined Bayern from Hoffenheim in 2017 and has made 159 appearances for the club, winning four Bundesliga titles and two DFB-Pokal crowns, as well as the 2019-20 Champions League.

However, when it emerged he would not be signing a new contract, former Bayern star and chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge claimed the centre-back "never really asserted himself in his position" while at the club.

Ex-Bayern captain Stefan Effenberg accused Sule of chasing money over sporting success as interest from Chelsea and newly rich Newcastle United was reported.

Sule's agent, however, told Sport1 that the player simply wanted a new challenge.

 

Rising Spain star Gavi has earned plenty of admirers since bursting onto the scene last year.

Gavi has made 26 LaLiga appearances for Barcelona despite only turning 17 in August.

The teenager has also been capped by Spain, with four appearances to his name.

TOP STORY – REDS PLOT GAVI SWOOP

Liverpool are set to make an audacious swoop for Barcelona teenager Gavi amid the Blaugrana's financial issues, reports the Daily Express.

Barca have been trying to convince the 17-year-old to re-sign with the club but have not met his salary demands yet.

The Reds are hoping to capitalise on that situation, with a view to an offer in the near future.

 

ROUND-UP

Borussia Dortmund are in contract talks with outgoing Bayern Munich defender Niklas Sule, claims Transfermarkt's Manuel Veth. Sule has confirmed he will leave Bayern when his contract expires at the end of this campaign and is reportedly asking for €12-15million per season.

- Former Germany national team head coach Joachim Low is being lined up as Carlo Ancelotti's successor at Real Madrid, claims El Nacional.

Barcelona could swoop for Chelsea target Jules Kounde with the Catalans lining up an off-season move for the Sevilla defender, according to the Daily Star.

- Express reports Barcelona are also looking to seal deals for Chelsea defenders Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen in the coming days.

Manchester United and Chelsea will both chase West Ham United's Declan Rice in the next transfer window, reports Sky Sports.

Marco Reus has labelled Borussia Dortmund's heavy 5-2 defeat at home to Bayer Leverkusen "a catastrophic day" for the club.

The sides traded early own goals, but Dortmund were 3-1 down by the 28th minute and then conceded twice more in the second half before Steffen Tigges' late consolation.

After six wins in a row in this fixture, BVB were beaten at home by Leverkusen for the first time since 2014 and conceded five at home to their North Rhine-Westphalia rivals for the first time ever; Leverkusen had never previously netted more than three in Dortmund.

Dortmund actually matched Leverkusen in terms of expected goals, with both teams creating chances worth 1.86 xG, but Reus was not looking for excuses.

Although his side remain second in the Bundesliga, they are now nine points behind leaders Bayern Munich.

"It's a catastrophic day for us," Reus told Sky Sports. "We didn't get into the game well and were a step too late in every situation. We then [allowed] counter-attacks,  even though we agreed before the game that that's their strength. We will be punished for that. It was just not enough today.

"We simply didn't implement the guidelines we prepared [before] the game for two weeks and worked on a lot. We always say the same thing and then have to bring it onto the pitch. We didn't manage that today. A very bitter day, we didn't deserve [to win] today. It was really, really bad overall."

Robert Lewandowski insists Erling Haaland's impressive form at Borussia Dortmund does not necessarily mean the striker will be a world-class talent in years to come.

Haaland is one of the most sought-after talents in world football after scoring 80 goals in 79 appearances for Dortmund since joining the club in January 2020.

That is a goals tally only Lewandowski can match over that period among players from Europe's top five leagues, the Bayern Munich star having notched 107 goals in 90 games.

Haaland's 80 strikes have come from an expected goals (xG) return of 64, meaning he has scored 16 goals more than expected given the likelihood of the shot going in.

No player from the Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, Serie A or Ligue 1 boasts such a large xG differential, with Lewandowski (12.3) behind Luis Muriel (12.4) in third.

While there is no disputing Haaland's quality in front of goal, however, Lewandowski has questioned whether the Norway international will remain as prolific in seasons to come.

"Haaland is a great player who is fun to watch," Lewandowski told Polish magazine PilkaNozna. 

"But just because someone has great potential, it doesn't mean they will be a real star for many years."

 

Breaking down Haaland's goals with Dortmund further, he has scored 96 per cent of them from inside the box, compared to 84 per cent for Lewandowski over that period.

However, Haaland has scored far more goals with his left foot (80 per cent), whereas Lewandowski is predominantly right footed, netting 67 per cent of his from within 18 yards.

The duo are far from identical in terms of playing style, too, as pointed out by Lewandowski.

"I don't like comparing a 33-year-old player with a 21-year-old player because everyone has their own development," he said.

"But he's strong, fast, physical. His game is based on that. I have different qualities. And we don't know how he will develop..."

This season alone, Lewandowski has scored 10 goals more than Europe's next most prolific marksman in Karim Benzema (24 goals), with Haaland third on 23 goals.

The Poland international turns 34 in August, but in a warning to his rivals for the 2022 Ballon d'Or award, he does not believe he is yet at his peak.

"My performance tests are now giving better results than last year," he said. "As for the numbers, it seems my best time is yet to come. I feel better now than I did two years ago."

Manchester United's search for a new full-time manager continues.

Ralf Rangnick has been in interim charge at Old Trafford since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's dismissal in November.

English powerhouse United have failed to win any silverware since 2017

 

TOP STORY - MAN UTD CONFIDENT ON LANDING POCHETTINO

Manchester United have renewed confidence that they will land Paris Saint-Germain head coach Pochettino as their new boss, claims The Mirror.

The Argentine is understood to be United's number one candidate for the permanent role.

Footmercato claims Pochettino is tired of the constant criticism he has received at PSG and will not stay beyond this season.

 

ROUND-UP

- Manchester City are on verge of tabling an offer to Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland to make him one of the highest paid players in the Premier League, according to Todofichajes.

- The Sun reports that Arsenal are planning for a £180 million off-season spend, with Real Sociedad's Alexander Isak, Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Wolves' Ruben Neves among their targets. However, this is dependent on Arsenal finishing top four.

- Chelsea will open pre-contract agreement talks with Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele after he failed to make a deadline day move, claims Sky Sports. 

- Chelsea are also eyeing a move for Real Madrid defender Eder Militao as they plan for the departures of Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger, according to AS.

- Juventus and Milan are leading the race to land Roma's Nicolo Zaniolo reports Sky Italia. Roma are looking to cash in Zaniolo in the off-season, with Tottenham also interested.

 

Erling Haaland would suit playing for Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, according to Ruud Gullit. 

Borussia Dortmund striker Haaland is expected to be one of the most in-demand players when the transfer market re-opens in the close season. 

The 21-year-old reportedly has a clause in his contract that means he will be available for €75million (£68m), a fee that looks like a bargain given his goalscoring exploits. 

Manchester City are believed to be the frontrunners for his signature, while Manchester United, Liverpool and Real Madrid have also been heavily linked. 

Gullit does not believe United will be able to beat the competition to Haaland's signature, with the former Netherlands international claiming Liverpool will be the best place for the Dortmund star to take the next step in his career. 

"I see him in England, but I don't think he'll go to Manchester United," Gullit told Bild. 

"City would be good for him because of Pep Guardiola. But Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool would also be great. What Jurgen has done with the club is unbelievable. You just have to love him, and he's always hungry. That suits Haaland. 

"In Spain, only Real Madrid is an option. These are the three clubs that will be in the running for Erling." 

Since his debut for Dortmund on January 18, 2020, Haaland has been involved in 97 goals (80 scored, 17 assisted) in 79 appearances in all competitions for the club. That is over double the number of goal involvements Sadio Mane has had for Liverpool in the same time frame (43) and 14 more than Mohamed Salah, who has played in 18 more games.

Another player linked with a move to the Premier League is Bayern Munich defender Niklas Sule. 

Sule will be out of contract at the end of the season and will be available on a free if he does not agree to a renewal with Bayern beforehand. 

Should the Bundesliga champions need to dip into the market to reinforce their squad, Gullit believes Juventus' Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt would be a good solution. 

"Matthijs has experienced and learned a lot at Juventus. He could make a very good contribution to Bayern," he said. 

When the next transfer window opens, Erling Haaland's future will be a hot topic.

The 21-year-old striker has two years remaining on his Borussia Dortmund contract.

But there is a £65million (€75m) release clause that enables him to talk to clubs who can meet that valuation from this off-season.

 

TOP STORY - CITY READY TO RAMP UP HAALAND ADVANCES

El Chiringuito claim that Real Madrid's interest in signing Haaland has waned as they focus on landing Kylian Mbappe from Paris Saint-Germain.

Madrid have been heavily linked with Haaland once his release clause becomes active, along with Barcelona, PSG, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City.

City "will do what they can" to persuade Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland to join them in the off-season despite believing they are not front-runners, reports The Athletic.

ROUND-UP

- ESPN claims that Manchester United have asked Paul Pogba to delay a decision on his future until they have appointed a permanent manager. Pogba's contract is up in June and he has been linked with PSG and Juventus.

- Chelsea have shortlisted West Ham United's Declan Rice, Sevilla's Jules Kounde and Monaco's Aurelien Tchouameni as off-season targets, claims The Athletic.

- Newcastle United plan to re-ignite their interest in Lille's 22-year-old defender Sven Botman, who is worth £35m (€42m) according to The Mirror.

- Arsenal turned down approaches from Newcastle and Crystal Palace for Eddie Nketiah in the closing days of the January transfer window reports Fabrizio Romano. Nketiah has six months remaining on his Gunners deal and could sign a pre-contract elsewhere.

Erling Haaland remains tight-lipped on his plans for his future.

The 21-year-old Norway forward has drawn widespread interest after two outstanding years at Borussia Dortmund.

Haaland appears destined to exit BVB later this year but has a decision to make.

TOP STORY – BARCELONA LOOMS AS HAALAND'S PREFERRED MOVE

Haaland is holding off on a decision on his club future to see if Barcelona can raise the required €360million to put together a package for the striker, reports the Daily Star.

The report claims Borussia Dortmund representatives believe Barcelona is Haaland's preferred destination.

The 21-year-old also has interest from Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea .

 

ROUND-UP

- CBS Sports claims Saudi Arabia's  Al Nassr  have lodged a final bid for Arsenal outcast  Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang , with the deal matching his Gunners salary and including a break clause after 12 months that would allow him to return to Europe. Gerard Romero claims  Barcelona have reached an agreement with Arsenal to sign Aubameyang, although the Blaugrana must offload Ousmane Dembele  first.

- Atletico Madrid are unwilling to allow Alvaro Morata to join rivals Barcelona ,   claims Sport. Morata is on loan at Juventus from Atletico amid talk of a switch to the Blaugrana, with Arsenal , Newcastle United and Tottenham also linked to the Spain striker.

Dejan Kulusevski  is set to be loaned from Juventus to  Tottenham ,   with the two clubs in advanced talks on a deal, according to Fabrizio Romano. The deal would include an option to buy.

- The Daily Star reports likely new Everton manager Frank Lampard will block  Dominic Calvert-Lewin 's proposed move to  Arsenal .

- Goal claims top-four hopefuls  West Ham  have made dual bids for Leeds United pair  Kalvin Phillips  and  Raphinha . The Sun claims the Hammers' bid for Phillips is worth £50m.

Paulo Dybala is out of contract at Juventus at the end of this season.

The two parties are expected to resume talks next month.

In the meantime, some top clubs are monitoring Dybala's availability.

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL IN FOR DYBALA MOVE

Liverpool have reached to Juventus with a move for Argentina international Dybala, claims Tuttomercatoweb.

The Reds are looking to capitalise on Dybala's contract situation although Manchester City and Inter are also interested in the 28-year-old.

Dybala has been with the Bianconeri since 2015 but is yet to agree terms on a new contract.

 

ROUND-UP

- Marca reports that Barcelona have contacted Borussia Dortmund about signing Thomas Meunier on loan until the end of the season with BVB open to the idea.

- Wolves will not accept bids below £40 million for Ruben Neves amid interest from Manchester United and Arsenal, claims The Sun.

- Porto have turned down Tottenham's offer of £37m with add-ons for Colombian winger Luis Diaz reports the Evening Standard.

- Jose Mourinho's Roma remain hopeful of landing Arsenal's Granit Xhaka before the transfer window closes according to the Mail.

- Goal reports that Arsenal have agreed a deal to sign US international goalkeeper Matt Turner in the off-season from New England Revolution.

- Aston Villa's Ashley Young has declined an approach from Newcastle United claims The Mirror.

Erling Haaland has revealed he studies Jamie Vardy's game closely as he believes the Leicester City striker is "maybe the best in the world" at running in behind defenders.

Borussia Dortmund star Haaland has become one of the most sought-after players in world football after scoring 80 goals in 79 games during his two years at the Bundesliga club.

That is a tally bettered only by Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski (107) – who has played 11 more games – among players from teams in Europe's top five leagues.

Haaland has been linked with the likes of Manchester City, Real Madrid and Bayern, with reports suggesting he has a €75million release clause that will activate in July.

Despite his impressive exploits, Haaland acknowledges there are still areas of his game he can improve, with an unlikely player proving to be a source of inspiration.

"I've been watching a lot of players. Let's take for example the run in behind the centre-back when the number 10 has the ball," he told Sky Sports. 

"You have maybe the best in the world at that, Jamie Vardy. I've been looking a lot at him on exactly this. I have always been watching a lot of football and I still do. 

"When we play Saturday, I go home on Sunday and watch football all day."

Vardy has scored 122 goals in 227 Premier League appearances since the start of the 2015-16 campaign, which famously ended with Leicester winning the title.

The 35-year-old ranks 10th in terms of the most prolific strikers in Europe's top five leagues over that time, a metric that Lewandowski also leads with 209 goals in 208 games.

 

Vardy has also spoken of his admiration for ex-Arsenal and Manchester United striker Robin van Persie.

"Van Persie I watched a lot because he was also left-footed," Haaland said. 

"I watched him scoring a lot of goals and as a left-footer as well it was natural for me to watch him a lot. I've been watching a lot of players, especially strikers."

Of the 80 goals scored by Haaland for Dortmund, 64 have come via his left foot, nine with his right and the other seven from headers.

The former Salzburg striker has been likened to a number of iconic figures, Zlatan Ibrahimovic among them, but he is not interested in comparisons.

"Ibrahimovic is a cool guy, and I think he is also himself 100 per cent on the pitch. He does everything he can to win," Haaland said.

"I don't want to compare myself to anyone. I think I am a bit special, with my physical abilities. 

"My mother was really quick, my grandmother was really quick, my father was really quick, but not so quick."

Dusan Vlahovic has drawn interest from Juventus, Arsenal and Tottenham among others.

The 21-year-old has 18 months remaining on his contract and Fiorentina are keen to maximise their profit on him.

Vlahovic has netted 38 goals in the past 18 months in Serie A.

TOP STORY – FRESH TALKS ON VLAHOVIC DEAL

Juventus are set for fresh talks on Thursday on a deal to sign Fiorentina's Vlahovic, reports Fabrizio Romano.

The Serbia striker has attracted plenty of interest but an agreement between the Bianconeri and Fiorentina is in place.

The stumbling block is Vlahovic's final contract and agent's fees, with a deal potentially set to trigger Alvaro Morata's exit to Barcelona, although Romano claims there are no new talks on that.

 

ROUND-UP

- Goal claims that Barcelona are working on a plan to raise €100million (£83m) in funds to lure Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland to the Catalan club. The Blaugrana are determined to win the race to sign Haaland despite interest from wealthy giants Real MadridManchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.

- Bayern Munich's 32-year-old forward Thomas Muller has drawn interest from Newcastle United and Everton as he approaches the final year of his contract, claims Sport Bild.

- L'Equipe claims that Bruno Guimaraes had told Lyon he wants to join Newcastle after the Magpies tabled a bid.

- The Sun reports that Manchester United have put their search for a new manager on hold as they consider whether to make Ralf Rangnick's stay permanent.

- Staying at United, numerous reports in England suggest Jesse Lingard is angry with the club as their demands have put off Newcastle's attempt to sign the player on loan.

- Ousmane Dembele wants to stay at Barcelona after all, according to Sport. The France international's representatives met with Barca boss Xavi this week.

- Tottenham's Tanguy Ndombele is set to join Valencia on loan, reports Telefoot.

Erling Haaland is widely recognised as one of the best strikers in the world, but he still believes he can "improve on everything" about his game.

The Borussia Dortmund man has been strongly linked with a move to the likes of Manchester City, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, with reports suggesting he has a release clause of €75million that becomes active at the end of the season.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Haaland may have further tempted those teams and any others who have the money to do a deal by suggesting he is far from the finished article.

"I think I can improve on everything," he said. "If you say I am good at finishing, I can improve my finishing a lot. I can become faster, so I can improve that. I can become stronger, so I can improve that.

"But if I should improve one thing, it would be to not get injured, because if I am not injured, I will play a lot more games and I will deliver even better. If you were to ask what my goals are for 2022, it is to not be injured, and the goals for the rest of my career are to not be injured. That's the main thing."

Haaland has scored 80 goals in 79 games in all competitions since moving to Signal Iduna Park from Salzburg just over two years ago.

Of players in Europe's top five leagues, only Bayern's Robert Lewandowski (107) has scored more in that time, having played in 11 more games than Haaland.

The 21-year-old was named as part of the FIFPro World 11 at The Best FIFA Football Awards, where Lewandowski took home the top men's prize ahead of Lionel Messi and Mohamed Salah. Haaland was asked who his top three would have been.

"I think you would have to say Lewandowski number one," he said, "Then you have, for me, [Karim] Benzema has also been amazing, but Messi has also been outstanding – so Benzema and Messi in shared second and third place."

The Norway forward was also asked about his recent comments that Dortmund were forcing him to make a decision on his future as soon as possible.

Haaland said in a post-match interview following last week's 5-1 win against Freiburg that the club "press me to make a decision now about my future", though Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke denied this.

"I don't really want to say too much about it, but I felt it was time for me to say something," Haaland told Sky. "A lot of others were speaking – so that was it. Now, I don't want to say too much. I said what I said, and now we move on."

Erling Haaland faces further tests on muscular problems sustained in Borussia Dortmund's 3-2 win over Hoffenheim on Saturday. 

After opening the scoring in the sixth minute at the PreZero Arena, Haaland was forced off in the second half after suffering a knock. 

The Norway international will commence treatment for muscular issues this week and now faces a race to be fit for the visit of Bayer Leverkusen on February 6.

A Dortmund statement read: "Haaland was examined in detail on Sunday and Monday. According to the medical report, the Norwegian is suffering from muscular problems, which will require treatment and further examinations in the coming days. 

"We hope that Erling will be back to full fitness as soon as possible and can get back to doing what he loves the most – scoring goals for BVB." 

Haaland has scored 23 goals for Dortmund in all competitions this season. Only Karim Benzema (24) and Robert Lewandowski (34) have registered more among players from the top five European leagues. 

However, among players to have scored more than 10 times, Haaland has the best minutes per goal ratio of 70.4. Lewandowski is a close second with a goal every 71 minutes. 

The race for Erling Haaland's signature will be a huge story in 2022.

The 21-year-old sensation has interest from some of Europe's biggest clubs.

Haaland has netted 63 goals in the past 18 months for Borussia Dortmund.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UTD GIVE UP ON HAALAND

Manchester United have pulled out of the race to sign Dortmund's Haaland, according to ESPN.

The Red Devils will focus on alternative attacking options with uncertainty around Edinson Cavani and Cristiano Ronaldo's futures at the club while Haaland is favouring a move to Real Madrid.

United have had a long-standing interest in the Norwegian, who has a €75 million (£62m) release clause on his Dortmund contract.

 

ROUND-UP

- Manchester City are closing in on a deal for River Plate's 21-year-old Argentina international Julian Alvarez, claims The Telegraph. As part of the imminent deal, Alvarez – who has interest from Milan, Inter and Juventus – will remain with River until June. The fee is expected to be no less than £20m.

- Liverpool have joined the race to sign Borussia Monchengladbach's Denis Zakaria, according to ESPN. The Reds will rival Dortmund and Bayern Munich who are both keen on the Swiss midfielder.

- Ajax's Mexico international Edson Alvarez is attracting interest from Premier League trio Chelsea, Leicester City and Crystal Palace, reports Football Insider.

- Leeds United have opened contract talks with Brazilian superstar Raphinha,  according to the Daily Star, amid interest from Chelsea and Liverpool .

- French club Nice are set to offer Tottenham's Bryan Gil a loan deal, according to L'Equipe. The Spaniard has struggled for impact since his move to England.

- Diario AS claims that Valencia are working on a January deal for Athletic Bilbao defender Unai Nunez .

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