Paper Round: Mesut Ozil looking to leave Arsenal for free next summer
Mesut Ozil is planning to leave Arsenal for free in the summer after his contract negotiations broke down. It’s Wednesday’s Paper Round.
Ozil set to leave Arsenal on a freebie
Mesut Ozil is set to leave Arsenal next summer for free when his contract expires, according to reports on Wednesday. The 28-year-old is one of several Arsenal players who has been linked with a move away from the club during recent troubled times in North London, though The Sun now reports that the Germany international has not spoken to club officials about a new contract since February.
Paper Round’s view: Well, it’s been at least a week since we heard a rumour about Ozil… I guess we’ve been too busy focusing on all the rumours about Sanchez. Though the newspaper cites speculation about Wenger’s future earlier this year, namely that he would leave The Emirates for pastures new, as the source of the breakdown in communication, in reality this has been going on much longer. Contract negotiations apparently started well over a year ago between the club and both Sanchez and Ozil. Perhaps if the club had stumped up the salary the stars were reportedly after at the time, they’d be in a much better position now.
Barca to swoop for Coutinho again in January
Claims by Spanish outlet Sport, reported by The Sun, suggest that Liverpool are not out of the woods yet when it comes to keeping hold of Philippe Coutinho. The 25-year-old midfielder was a Barcelona target this summer though Liverpool were able to fend off the Liga club’s advances. According to reports, Barcelona will make another attempt to sign Coutinho come January, after being panned by critics for a disastrous transfer window.
Jurgen Klopp and Philippe Coutinho in happier timesGetty Images
Paper Round’s view: It’s not really news this, is it? You’d surely expect Barcelona to chance their proverbial arm again in January, wouldn’t you? And Perhaps Liverpool will feel differently by then, given that the Brazil international has yet to feature for them so far this season. Though we wonder where this sits with Barcelona’s hopes for the end of a January transfer window?
Guardiola’s mega-bucks squad needs to grow up before it can win titles
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has said his team may be no closer to winning the Champions League, despite a £215m spending spree this summer. The Mirror reports that the spree brings City’s squad value up to £775m, though Guardiola says the squad may not yet be able to compete for titles while they are in “the process of growing up.”
Paper Round’s view: Not the words you’d be dying to hear as a City fan, but Guardiola has had a pretty big clear-out since joining the club and you’d expect some of the players to take a little while to gel as a team. After all, as Leicester City reminded us not so long ago, it’s not all about the money.
Sampson denies reports of Bronze rift amid allegations
The England women’s football team manager Mark Sampson played down suggestions of a rift with Lucy Bronze after she appeared to shrug him off during training on Tuesday. As The Lionesses gear up for a World Cup qualifier against Russia next week, Sampson put his hands on Bronze's shoulders during a training session. Pictures taken of the “incident” show defender Bronze shaking him off. When asked if there had been any issue by the press, Sampson said: "No, absolutely not. With the players we're working with, we have a fantastic working relationship. The environment within the team is very positive."
Manchester City's Lucy Bronze was rumoured to have been unimpressed with England boss Mark Sampson at a recent training sessionPA Sport
Paper Round’s view: With Sampson having recently faced a number of questions regarding his treatment of players, this is the kind of thing you can imagine newspapers getting very excited about. We just hope that The Lionesses' recent triumphs will bring them the right kind of media attention, rather than that often endured by the men’s team – especially going into major tournaments.