With no actual player rumours to take up the column inches, the papers have fallen back on the power struggle at Old Trafford between Jose Mourinho and Ed Woodward.
And the Mirror goes big on the fact that manager Jose “would have quit any club other than Manchester United by now” following his apparent lack of support from vice-chairman Ed.
The report adds that Mourinho, 55, is “deeply frustrated” and “told friends” that it is only the magic of the Theatre of Dreams that is keeping him there.
These “friends” manifest themselves as a “source” in the story, a source that had been “privately confided” in with the lament: “Any other job at any other club and I would have quit”.
Mourinho and Woodward’s relationship has reportedly cooled after a summer transfer window where Mourinho was only allowed Brazil star Fred (£52m), teenage defender Diogo Dalot from Porto (£19m) and back-up keeper Lee Grant from Stoke (£1.5m).
He wanted Harry Maguire, Toby Alderweireld and Ivan Perisic as well.
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Add to this the “simmering discontent” from certain players such as Paul Pogba and other seniors then it all adds up to a typical third season for the serial-winning Portuguese who is desperate to become an Old Trafford legend.
For this very reason he will stay in an attempt to see off Woodward (Manchester Evening News).
But beware… three-time Champions League-winning manager Zinedine Zidane also has his eye Mourinho’s office, desk and chair.
The France and Real Madrid legend has “told friends” that he expects to be offered the United job once Jose leaves – reports the Mail.
It must be a stipulation of top-level bosses that their friends have bigger mouths than the Stretford End.
Zidane “believes he is the leading candidate to take over and has told associates that he would be very interested” – and another key point in the 46-year-old’s favour is that he could smooth out the Pogba and Anthony Martial crimps according to the report.
But it’s not all bad news for Mourinho. United look set to see off Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City to the signing of Polish teenager Lukasz Bejger, 16, from Lech Poznan (Manchester Evening News).
Putting that into context, however, Real Madrid are plotting a late transfer window swoop for 19-year-old World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe – according to Marca – via Metro.
They report that in the event that PSG are found to have violated Financial Fair Play rules, Los Blancos president Florentino Perez is primed to move for Mbappe, even though they could have just 24 hours to complete the deal.
The French side have until Monday to exercise the £160m purchase option in Mbappe’s contract after signing him on loan from Monaco and UEFA must resolve PSG’s FFP situation by August 30.
If they are in breach of the rules they may be unable to sign Mbappe – or forced to sell him as soon as they can.
PSG seem unfazed by this prospect – they are already out looking to splash out some more cash – thus proclaim Sport – via Daily Express.
Barcelona are “bracing themselves” for an £81m opening offer from the French champions for Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic, 30, who could offload midfielder Adrien Rabiot to Milan (CalcioMercato) in an attempt to impress the FFP brigade.