EXCL: Thomas Tuchel and Unai Emery futures amid Bayern and Barcelona search, Arsenal ‘well informed’ on Everton star, previewing Carabao Cup final, plus latest on Rafa Leao

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Today’s exclusive column, featuring Bayern Munich, AC Milan, Arsenal and more.

Latest on Unai Emery and Thomas Tuchel’s futures amid Bayern Munich and Barcelona links

Some reports have suggested that Unai Emery could be considered as the next Bayern Munich boss. This would mean leaving Aston Villa managerless after two seasons in charge of the Premier League club.

Honestly, I’ve zero on this at the moment, Bayern as well as Barça will be linked with many managers. I already saw many names around, but no decision has been made at all. Unai Emery is a fantastic manager, I think he has improved a lot in recent years but he’s now 100% focused on the Aston Villa project and he’s not speaking to other clubs right now.

Villa are currently in a fight for Champions League football (sitting fourth in the league table) and have a Europa Conference League campaign to also think about.

Reports from Germany have suggested that Thomas Tuchel is keeping an eye on the Manchester United job and is appreciative of Barcelona. I don’t think Thomas Tuchel is “eyeing” these jobs… he’d be attracted by the Premier League again, but the same for the Barcelona job.

These are two of the biggest clubs in the world, it’s normal to be attracted, but Manchester United are not in conversation with managers right now and Barcelona are still taking their time to decide the best candidate to replace Xavi. So, Tuchel is obviously waiting.

Rafa Leao focussed on AC Milan – no talks have opened ahead of the summer

Rafael Leao in action vs Rennes – (Photo by LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images)

Whether PSG would provide an offer that meets Milan’s expectations for Rafa Leao would involve a pure guess job from me and I’d never do that… Leao has a €175m release clause, let’s see if clubs will try to get close to that number to open talks with Milan but nothing has happened so far.

These kinds of deals enter into important stages around May/June, never in February or March. I can also guarantee that Leao doesn’t want any distraction until the end of this season and also “social media” fans demanding his sale after his performance against Rennes in the Europa League are not all the fans. I live in Milano and I can guarantee that Milan fans absolutely love Rafa Leao.

Previewing the Carabao Cup final between Liverpool and Chelsea

Mauricio Pochettino and Jurgen Klopp – (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images)

Liverpool are in a fantastic state of form despite many injuries – the club confirmed Dominik Szoboszlai, Mo Salah and Darwin Nunez will be touch and go ahead of the final – Chelsea are back at a good level in recent weeks, even securing an impressive draw against Manchester City in the Premier League.

I’m sure it will be a balanced final. It will be really good to watch; even if I agree with Mauricio Pochettino on considering Liverpool favourites, as their players are used to these kinds of games. For Chelsea it will be crucial to limit Salah in case he starts, that is the crucial area of the game.

In other news…

Amadou Onana – There will be many clubs keen on signing Amadou Onana this summer, for sure. Arsenal appreciate him and are well informed but I already mentioned also Martin Zubimendi, they have to decide what kind of player they want to sign and it won’t be decided in February, it will take some time. In any case, Onana is attracting interest and I think he has a good chance to move in the summer.

Loic Bade – Loic Bade could leave in the summer, it’s a possibility with a good proposal. Tottenham never opened talks for him in January, as far as I know; also they signed Radu Dragusin and they trust him for the future, so there’s no movement so far, that’s my understanding.

Manchester United – United want to bring in a new striker to help Rasmus Hojlund. One more in rotation would help the manager and players. They’re not yet clear on which striker they’d like to bring in, and in particular whether to go with an experienced or young option.

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