Arsenal and Newcastle 'eye Liverpool target' as Man Utd 'wants ...

18 days ago

It was another busy weekend of Premier League action as Liverpool regained top spot with victory over Brighton. The Reds had trailed early on but fought back thanks to goals from Luis Díaz and Mohamed Salah.

Newcastle - Figure 1
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Liverpool's victory put the pressure on title rivals Manchester City and Arsenal, who faced off at the Etihad. Heading into the heavyweight clash, Mikel Arteta's side occupied the top spot in the table on goal difference, while City trailed Liverpool and the Gunners by one point. But a 0-0 draw means Klopp's side now holds a clear gap in the title race.

The Reds will next be back in action on Thursday evening at Anfield, as Sheffield United look to mount a push for Premier League survival. The Blades currently sit rock-bottom of the Premier League table and are seven points adrift from safety.

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Arsenal and City are in action before that though against Luton and Aston Villa and will look to lay down markers ahead of another massive week, which ends with Liverpool back at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Here, Liverpool.com takes a scan around the Premier League and across the continent to see what's going on at Liverpool's rivals including a possible appointment at Manchester United, and interest in a potential Reds' summer target.

Arsenal and Newcastle scout Porto ace

Arsenal and Newcastle United have both reportedly made checks on Porto's Alan Varela this season. The Argentine has had an excellent first campaign in Europe since arriving from Boca Juniors for just $8.6m (£6.8m/€8m) last summer.

He has already been likened to ex-Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano and Foot Mercato reported last month that the Reds were considering a move. Varela has already impressed against Arsenal in the Champions League this season.

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According to HITC, he has been watched by Gunners scouts on other separate occasions while Newcastle is also keen on the 22-year-old. Porto is expected to demand around $75m (£60m/€70m) for Varela and want to make a huge profit on the player.

It is also claimed the Premier League pair have also been making checks on his teammate Evanilson. The striker currently has 11 goals and a further three assists to his name across his 20 starts in the Primeira Liga.

Liverpool.com says: Varela was outstanding against Arsenal recently and those performances are likely to have caught the eye of a host of clubs across Europe. Porto will want to keep him but if he does go, it will be a significant transfer fee. It remains to be seen if Liverpool would be willing to pay such an amount, given the midfield overhaul last summer.

Man Utd makes 'formal approach' for transfer guru

Manchester United has made a 'formal approach' for Southampton director of football Jason Wilcox, according to The Mirror. However, the Red Devils face a significant obstacle in the pursuit of securing the transfer expert.

It was reported by The Standard that Liverpool was also keen on Wilcox, who developed a fine reputation at Manchester City before making the move to Southampton last summer. The Liverpool ECHO has since claimed that a move to Anfield is unlikely.

Southampton is said to be unhappy about the 'timing and manner' of the approach from United. The report claims United offered a compensation package, which was one year of his salary, but Southampton denies the existence of a buy-out clause.

Southampton does not want the approach to disrupt its push for promotion back to the Premier League. The Saints sit fourth in the Championship and look set to enter the play-offs.

Liverpool.com says: United is set to undergo major changes in the way the club is run this summer. New minority owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe has already appointed former Manchester City man Omar Berrada as the new CEO at the club and is working on a deal to secure Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth. Bringing in Wilcox would be another big coup but there is plenty of work to be done.

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