Football rumours from the media

What the papers say

Liverpool had been considering sending Xherdan Shaqiri out on loan but his versatility may mean he stays at Anfield, according to the Liverpool Echo. The forward has stepped up in the absence of Diogo Jota, who went down with a knee injury in November. The Switzerland international, 29, impressed boss Jurgen Klopp in the Reds’ 0-0 draw with Newcastle.

Arsenal have reportedly almost secured Rob Holding on a new contract. Newcastle were close to bringing the 25-year-old in on loan in the summer until he was needed to cover injuries at the Emirates. He has two seasons left with Arsenal and the Telegraph reports the Gunners are looking to keep him for longer after the centre-back started the first six games of the current campaign.

Lionel Messi file photo
Lionel Messi file photo

Manchester City and PSG will do battle to sign Lionel Messi from Barcelona this year. The Argentina forward handed in a transfer request to leave Camp Nou last summer but ended up agreeing to remain there for another season. PSG will use the 33-year-old’s friendship with Neymar to attempt to convince him to settle in Paris but the Sun says the Mancunians remain favourites to be his next home.

The Birmingham Mail reports Aston Villa’s Bjorn Engels could soon return to Belgium. The paper cites Belgian outlets Voetbalkrant and Voetbal24 as saying the defender will leave Villa Park this month. The 26-year-old started the season with a shin injury and has spent seven Premier League matches on the bench.

Social media round-up

Man Utd 'will have to pay £100m' for Jack Grealish now after rejecting chance to buy him for less

— The Sun Football ⚽ (@TheSunFootball) January 1, 2021

Players to watch

DeAndre Yedlin: Despite talk of a move to Super Lig side Trabzonspor, the Newcastle Chronicle reports the 27-year-old USA defender still has a role to play at St James’ Park.

Tottenham Hotspur v Ludogorets Razgrad – UEFA Europa League – Group J – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Tottenham Hotspur v Ludogorets Razgrad – UEFA Europa League – Group J – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Dele Alli: The Sun says PSG are keen to swoop on the 24-year-old England midfielder, who appears to have fallen out of favour at Tottenham and could be reunited with his former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino, who is expected to be confirmed as the club’s new manager, in the French capital.