European soccer weekend: What to watch in the main leagues

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Fred is believed to have been targeted by the Portuguese manager, but is only one of several other players being monitored.

The hosts enjoyed the majority of early possession and came close to taking the lead when Bernardo Silva's deflected effort rippled the side netting in the 15th minute, before De Bruyne forced visiting keeper Frank Fielding into a sharp save.

Arsenal's 49 games in 2003-2004 is currently top, followed by Nottingham Forest's 42 in 1977-1978, Chelsea with 40 in 2004-2005, Leeds's 34 in 1968-1969 and Liverpool's 31 in 1987-1988.

Manchester City have been expected to move for Alexis Sanchez this January but the news now is that the Premier League leaders don't want to spend more than £20 million on him whilst Arsenal want £35 million.

Sane's nine goals this season is equal to the tally he achieved in the whole of the last campaign.

The 32-year-old has played a key role for City this season, but it has been suggested that Guardiola is wary over the amount of games that the central midfielder has competed in since August.

"Be free like Messi, have fun, do things like he wants from a striker like the end of the space [near goal] - take the option to shoot or give an assist". A mis-hit clearance by Bravo in the opening stages of the second half and Ilkay Gundogan's furious reaction said much about their performance so far.

With the Spaniard's current deal expiring in 2019, United aim to extend his stay for another five years.

After qualifying for the League Cup semifinals in midweek, defending champion Monaco travels to Montpellier, its next opponent in the cup. Bravo's arced through ball while under pressure in his own six-yard found De Bruyne in midfield and the Belgian began haring up the pitch. It's exciting and for me it's a challenge to see how good I can be, how I can get to the best level.

The European champions also endured a setback in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday, drawing with second-division club Numancia 2-2 at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium and advancing to the quarterfinals thanks only to a 3-0 first-leg win.

It is understood that Mourinho is also chasing Valencia's Carlos Soler and Atletico Madrid's Saul Niguez, but the latter's release clause of 140 million might deter further advances. It was a late reprieve that Manchester City's finishing and Bristol's otherwise resolute defending had not deserved.