Cavani going nowhere

Edinson Cavani has informed Manchester United’s interim manager Ralf Rangnick that he will stay at Old Trafford for the rest of the current campaign. The 34-year-old was linked with an exit during the summer transfer window following the late arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo but decided to stay. Cavani has attracted interest from cash-strapped Barcelona, who are keen on signing a replacement for Sergio Aguero. However, United boss Rangnick revealed that he told Cavani that he wished for the Uruguay international to stay and he agreed to commit his future to the Premier League club until the end of the season.
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Paper Round’s view: Cavani has a lot to offer Manchester United – even if he is not going to be a starter in Rangnick’s plans. The veteran forward is the ideal professional and his experience and leadership could prove vital to have around the squad if the club want to secure a place in the Premier League’s top four or challenge for silverware. Cavani is always a goal threat when he’s on the pitch and United will definitely benefit from keeping him until the end of the season. However, the club need to decide in the summer whether they promote Mason Greenwood to a more important role or try to sign a big-name striker like Erling Haaland.
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Villa continue ambitious moves in transfer market

Aston Villa are set to win the race to sign Everton left-back Lucas Digne. The Mail report that Villa are in advanced talks to sign the French full-back for a fee of £25 million. Chelsea, Newcastle United and West Ham United were all interested in Digne, but the 28-year-old is keen to play under Steven Gerrard at Villa Park. The former Barcelona defender has failed to feature for the Toffees since the start of December after reportedly falling out with Everton boss Rafa Benitez. The Merseyside club have already signed Vitaliy Mykolenko from Dynamo Kyiv in the winter transfer window as a replacement for Digne.
Paper Round’s view: First Philippe Coutinho and now Digne. The Midlands club are continuing to show real ambition in the transfer market since their arrival back in the Premier League in 2019. It looks like the owners are ready to back new manager Gerrard and his reputation is attracting big names. Digne is a top-class talent, who will be an upgrade on Matt Targett and a real threat on set pieces. Everton fans won’t be happy with the reason behind his Goodison Park departure – especially because Benitez is not the most popular figure on the blue half of Merseyside.
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Newcastle hope to sign new striker this week

Newcastle United are ready to ramp up their search for a new striker this week. The Magpies’ starting striker Callum Wilson is reportedly sidelined for six weeks with a calf injury, which has forced the club to accelerate their movements in the transfer market. The Telegraph reveal that Newcastle have approached Burnley over the signing of Chris Wood in the hope that he will sign for the Tyneside club this week. Eddie Howe’s side also have Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah, Liverpool’s Divock Origi, Zenit St Petersburg’s Sardar Azmoun and Marseille’s Bamba Dieng on their shortlist.
Paper Round’s view: Newcastle are desperate for goals and could do with signing more than one striker in the January transfer window. Wood has Premier League experience and a proven track record of scoring goals. These are two vital – and sometimes underrated – traits for a striker that can make all the difference in a relegation scrap. The only problem would be finding out if Burnley would sell to a fellow relegation rival. Newcastle and Burnley are the two clubs in the Premier League that have won just one match all season – so why would Burnley help improve their rivals?
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Brighton slap £50m price tag on Bissouma

Brighton have slapped a £50 million price tag on their highly-rated defensive midfielder Yves Bissouma. The seaside club have no intention of selling mid-season, but Brighton would give the sale “serious consideration” if their asking price is met in January. The main factor behind this thinking is the fact that Bissouma’s current contract is set to expire in the summer of 2023 and the Mali international has not entered talks over a new deal. Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United have all held an interest in Bissouma in the past, while Aston Villa are also eyeing up the Brighton midfielder.
Paper Round’s view: Bissouma plays a huge role for Brighton, but £50 million is a massive transfer fee. It might be the club’s way of saying that he’s not for sale in the winter transfer window, but the story seems to hint that Bissouma will probably depart in the summer. He only has 18 months left on his contract - meaning that this summer will be the last opportunity for Brighton to cash in on him for a decent fee, unless he decides to extend his deal. If clubs like Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United are sniffing around, it’s unlikely he will sign a new deal with Brighton.
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