Having been a key pillar of Florentino Pérez’s galácticos at Real Madrid, David Beckham is determined to build a team of superstars of his own. With Beckham’s Inter Miami outfit skimming the cream of the crop in search of marquee signings, the Florida franchise, who will join the MLS in March, have set their sights on Luka Modric. Real are thought to be open to the idea of allowing the Croatia midfielder to depart – but not before next summer.
Beckham has been busy trying to convince Luis Suárez, Lionel Messi and Edinson Cavani to join the club – but Modric suddenly seems the most likely. If Modric does not work out then perhaps Beckham could move for the midfielder’s Croatia colleague Ivan Rakitic, the Barcelona midfielder who is a target for Atlético Madrid.
One player surely out of reach is Erling Braut Håland, the teenage phenomenon being tracked by Europe’s elite. But it says here that Manchester United have moved to the front of the queue for the prolific striker, who has scored goals for fun this season – 26 in his past 18 games, including seven in the Champions League. United have instructed their chief scouts to monitor Håland, who worked with Ole Gunnar Solskjær at Molde. If United are made to wait for Håland, they could do a short-term deal for Juventus’s Mario Mandzukic.
Liverpool, meanwhile, are among a clutch of clubs tracking Genk’s Sander Berge, while Juve could make former midfielder Emre Can available for a cut-price fee in January, which could pique Manchester United’s interest.
Fed up with warming the Chelsea bench, Olivier Giroud could move on in January with Borussia Dortmund and Internazionale keen on the out-of-favour France striker. Giroud has made six appearances for his club this season but remains central to Didier Deschamps’ plans, with the forward finding the net in his past three France games, including the winner against Moldova on Thursday.
Newcastle are said to be keeping tabs on Granit Xhaka with a view to signing the midfielder on loan in January, while Héctor Bellerín’s agent has been talking up his client, with Alberto Botines teasing Sky Sport Italia. “We’ll see how the season goes,” he said. “There has already been interest from an Italian club but I can’t reveal it. At the moment he’s focused on the team’s commitments.”
Elsewhere, Frank Lampard will make another play to be reunited with Shay Given at Chelsea after working with the goalkeeping coach at Derby last season. Lampard wants the former Republic of Ireland goalkeeper to help Kepa Arrizabalaga live up to his £71.6m fee. And Peterborough have slapped a £13m price-tag on goal machine Ivan Toney, who has scored 35 goals in 75 appearances since joining from Newcastle for £350,000 last year. Bournemouth and Burnley have been credited with an interest in the 23-year-old forward.