Football rumours: Sanctions could stop Manchester City’s Jude Bellingham pursuit

What the papers say

Manchester City have run into a seemingly immovable obstacle in their pursuit of Borussia Dortmund’s teenage England midfielder Jude Bellingham. The club want to beat Liverpool and Real Madrid to the 19-year-old’s signature in the summer window but could be deterred by the threat of sanctions after the Blues were charged by the Premier League, reports the Telegraph.

The reopening of the transfer window will apparently see Newcastle make another attempt to sign James Maddison. But the Northern Echo says the Magpies will have to compete with City for the Leicester midfielder, who debuted for the Three Lions in November 2019. The Foxes last summer rejected Newcastle’s attempt to pick up the 26-year-old, whose contract at King Power Stadium has entered its final 18 months.

England’s Folarin Balogun before the UEFA European U21 Championship
Folarin Balogun has played at junior level for England, after starting out at Arsenal’s Hale End academy (Martin Rickett/PA)

Arsenal may look to offload Folarin Balogun despite the England youth international outshining Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe in France. The forward, 21, is on loan to Reims and has become the the leading scorer in Ligue 1 with 14 goals. The Gunners have rejected the French club’s request to take Balogun permanently, with the Sun saying Arsenal are unsure if they should hand him a lengthy new deal or sell him for maximum profit at season’s end.

Liverpool and Manchester United are working on separate deals to lure Randal Kolo Muani to England in the summer, according to Metro which refers to L’Equipe’s reporting. The 24-year-old France forward impressed for his country in Qatar and has scored four goal in four games since returning to help Eintracht Frankfurt to fifth spot in the Bundesliga.

The Star says Leeds will not look to replace the sacked Jesse Marsch in the dugout with ex-boss Marcelo Bielsa or Mauricio Pochettino, with the latter understood to be holding out for the Real Madrid job.

Social media round-up

Players to watch

Diogo Dalot on the pitch
Diogo Dalot came to Old Trafford from Porto in 2018 (David Davies/PA)

Diogo Dalot: Barcelona will struggle to sign the 23-year-old due to negotiations between Manchester United and their Portugal right-back reaching an advanced stage, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Adrien Rabiot: The Mirror, which cites Gazzetta dello Sport, reports the France midfielder, 27, who came close to joining United last year will be sold in coming months by Juventus.