Euro Papers: Luka Modric 'sad' with Real Madrid situation
By James Piercy, Football Whispers
Last Updated: 12/10/18 1:10pm
The international break should offer clubs respite amid a hectic start to the season, but some managers use the time to jet around the globe to scout potential targets as transfer strategies for January are drawn up.
Our friends at Football Whispers have scoured the European media market to bring you the best stories from across the continent.
Jose Mourinho was at Serbia's match with Montenegro to scout Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Fiorentina centre-back Nikola Milenkovic. The Manchester United manager sat next to former Real Madrid director Pedrag Mijatovic, with the La Liga side abandoning a deal to sign Milinkovic-Savic in the summer due to Lazio's €150m (£130m) asking price. But Mourinho wants to add greater presence to United's midfield and is determined to sign a new defender with Milenkovic, 21, in impressive form. (AS)
Samuel Umtiti's injury could force Barcelona into making a move for Ajax defender Matthijs De Ligt in January. Barca have identified De Ligt, 19, as a priority signing next summer but Umtiti's knee injury, which may require surgery and a lengthy absence, could bring their bid forward. De Ligt is also a Manchester City transfer target but Barca have already begun talks with Ajax and the Dutch international. (Mundo Deportivo)
Borussia Dortmund want to buy Barcelona striker Paco Alcacer permanently for €23m (£20m). Alcacer is on a season-long loan at the Westfalenstadion and has been an instant hit with seven goals in four matches. Dortmund will tie the 25-year-old down to a four-year contract worth €8m a year, making him the third-highest paid player at the club. (AS)
Barcelona want to add a striker to help ease Luis Suarez's workload with Genoa sensation Krzysztof Piatek on their shortlist. Piatek is the leading goalscorer across Europe's top five leagues with nine goals in seven Serie A matches and forms a list of targets drawn up by the club hierarchy as coach Ernesto Valverde is concerned by the amount of games Suarez, 31, is playing. (Marca)
Juventus want to sign one of Adrien Rabiot or Paul Pogba next summer and are working on the respective transfers. However, they will not bring in both France internationals. Rabiot, 23, appears the Bianconeri's first choice as he is out of contract at the end of the season, although the midfielder is also a Manchester City and Barcelona transfer target. Juve will turn to Pogba if they cannot land Rabiot, but the Bianconeri are mindful how expensive a transfer to bring the 25-year-old back to Turin will be. (Gazzetta dello Sport)
Luka Modric is "sad" with life at Real Madrid and still holds out hope that Inter Milan will try to sign him. The Croatian midfielder is frustrated with life at the Bernabeu under new coach Julen Lopetegui and is also unhappy president Florentino Perez has not offered him a new contract. Inter were keen on signing Modric in the summer but were put off by Madrid's valuation of the 33-year-old. (Gazzetta dello Sport)
Juventus have no plans to offer Daniele Rugani a new contract, which could tempt Chelsea into renewing their interest in the centre-back. Sporting director Fabio Paratici has claimed extending Rugani's deal beyond 2021 is not a top priority, even though Chelsea were prepared to pay €40m (£35m) for the 25-year-old in the summer and pay him €4m (£3.5m) a year - more than he is on at Juve. (Calciomercato)
Frankfurt winger Ante Rebic wanted to follow former manager Niko Kovac to Bayern Munich after impressing at the World Cup. Croatian international Rebic, 25, signed a new contract with Eintracht in the summer but Kovac wanted to take him to Bayern only for the transfer to be vetoed by the board. However, Rebic forms part of a new shortlist of summer transfers for 2019 drawn up by the German champions. (Bild)
Borussia Dortmund centre-back Manuel Akanji has revealed he was a childhood Manchester United fan and has admitted he would one day like to play for the club. Swiss international Akanji, 23, has been a huge hit at Dortmund since arriving from Basel in January and is a key part of Lucien Favre's defence. Yet he has said: "Since childhood, my favourite club has been Manchester United. I would like to play there one day." (Neuen Zurcher Zeitung)
Thierry Henry remains in negotiations with Monaco over succeeding Leonardo Jardim and has already started forming his backroom staff with Benfica Under-23 coach Joao Tralhao wanted as his assistant. Monaco sacked Jardim on Thursday and Henry is poised to take over at the Stade Louis II having turned down Championship club Aston Villa. Like Henry, Tralhao is an offensive-minded coach who also favours a 4-3-3. (L'Equipe)