With one-time West Ham flop Simone Zaza banging in goals for fun, Valencia’s resurgence is one of the more interesting football talking points in Spain this season. Managed by Marcelino García Toral, Los Che are unbeaten, sit second in La Liga and last night won their fifth consecutive match with a 4-0 thrashing of Sevilla. Small wonder, then, that their footballers are attracting attention from elsewhere. Central midfielder Carlos Soler is one such player and reports over the weekend suggest that Manchester United have opened talks with Valencia over a £30m deal for the Spain Under-21 international.
Despite only making his Valencia debut last December, Soler has quickly established himself as a first team regular having come through the club’s youth system and is already being touted as a future Spain superstar. Though he has a £75m buy-out clause in his contract, he will almost certainly go for less, with Valencia being strapped for cash and likely to let him go for less than half that amount.
Liverpool striker Danny Ings is approaching full fitness after spending the best part of two years on the sidelines and may go on loan in January in the hope of securing the kind of regular first team action that might earn him a place in England’s World Cup squad. Watford, Crystal Palace, Southampton and Newcastle are all rumoured to be interested in the front man, who will find it difficult to break into Liverpool’s first team unless he reinvents himself as a goalkeeper or accomplished central defender.
Barcelona and Arsenal are ready to duke it out in the scrap to sign Milan striker André Silva. The 21-year-old only signed for the Serie A side from Porto last summer and has scored seven goals this season – four for Milan in the Europa League and three for the Portugal national team.
Southampton are ready to renew their interest in Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly in January, but will face stiff competition in the battle to secure the Senegal central defender’s scrawl. Chelsea, Everton and Barcelona are also interested in signing the in-demand Koulibaly, who seems unlikely to leave Napoli as long as their title chase remains on track.
Arturo Vidal is surplus to requirements at Bayern Munich and is wanted by Inter, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool. An undeniably talented player who “likes to drink and doesn’t control himself”, according to former Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli, Vidal should prove a challenging project for whichever manager ends up coaching him.
Liverpool and Juventus are both interested in signing 18-year-old midfielder Manor Solomon from Israeli side Maccabi Petah Tikva. Italian media reports suggest the player could change hands for around €5m.
And finally, Tottenham Hotspur fans will be unimpressed to learn that Real Madrid have identified Mauricio Pochettino as a possible successor for Zinedine Zidane. The popular Argentinian has yet to win anything with Spurs, but has turned them into one of the most eye-catching young teams in Europe in his three years at the helm. Contracted to Spurs until 2021, he has thus far given every indication that he is in north London for the long haul.