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Football rumours from the media

Nicolas Pepe’s headbutt against Leeds could be the Arsenal player’s undoing.

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Nicolas Pepe and Yusuf Yazici (Michael Regan NMC Pool/Tim Goode/PA)

Nicolas Pepe and Yusuf Yazici (Michael Regan NMC Pool/Tim Goode/PA)

Nicolas Pepe and Yusuf Yazici (Michael Regan NMC Pool/Tim Goode/PA)

Speculation about the future of <strong>Nicolas Pepe</strong> will grow after The Times reported the winger will meet with Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta on Wednesday. The out-of-favour player’s woes worsened when he was sent from the pitch for headbutting Leeds’ Ezgjan Alioski during Sunday’s goalless draw in the Premier League. His club boss publicly called the behaviour “unacceptable”, prompting an apology from the 25-year-old. But the subsequent meeting with the Gunners boss will only add to fears about the long-term prospects of the Ivory Coast international, who was signed from Lille in 2019 for a club-record £72million fee, on a five-year contract.

What the papers say

Yusuf Yazici has certainly impressed at Lille, for whom he has scored 10 goals and provided six assists across 38 appearances. The Turkish midfielder’s agent has said he is keen on a big move out of Ligue 1 and the Daily Star reports Arsenal are one of the clubs keen to secure his signature.

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Marcel Sabitzer has turned heads for RB Leipzig and Austria (John Walton/PA)

Marcel Sabitzer has turned heads for RB Leipzig and Austria (John Walton/PA)

Marcel Sabitzer has turned heads for RB Leipzig and Austria (John Walton/PA)

The Manchester Evening News quotes former Premier League striker Jan Aage Fjortoft as saying Manchester United are interested in Austria midfielder Marcel Sabitzer. The 26-year-old has impressed for RB Leipzig and for his country, having scored his eighth international goal in September away to Norway in the Nations League.

United’s pursuit of another target has been dealt a significant blow, according to The Sun. The Red Devils have chased France centre-back Raphael Varane since 2011, but the 27-year-old’s manager at Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane, has now said the player is untransferable. The former France midfielder did acknowledge, however, that “we can’t stop people from talking”.

Social media round-up

Players to watch

Thiago Silva: Italy’s Tuttomercato reports that the 36-year-old defender is in talks about the possibility of extending his contract at Stamford Bridge until 2022.

Isco: The Real Madrid playmaker, 28, wants to leave Spain, according to national outlet La Cadena Ser, and has previously been connected with a switch to the Premier League.

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