Football news - Paper Round: Real Madrid agree terms with Eden Hazard
Real Madrid agree terms with Eden Hazard, Arsenal want Wesley Moraes and Burnley will sell Tom Heaton. It's Thursday's Paper Round...
Real agree Hazard deal
Real Madrid have reportedly agreed personal terms with Chelsea forward Eden Hazard. The 28-year-old Belgian attacker’s contract runs out at Stamford Bridge in 2020, and Chelsea are ready to sell him if they cannot tie him down to a new deal. They want around €170million should they sell him, with Real reluctant to meet that figure, though they could send Mateo Kovacic to Chelsea permanently.
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Chelsea - Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, Britain - December 5, 2018 Chelsea's Eden Hazard in action with Wolverhampton Wanderers' Conor CoadyReuters
Paper Round’s view: Hazard is one of the best players in the world, and the going rate for players of that quality seems to be around €170million - look at Philippe Coutinho and Kylian Mbappe, for example. Whether it represents the most judicious use of money is another matter, but Real Madrid rarely seem interested in looking towards younger players to save cash.
Emery wants Moraes in January
Arsenal manager Unai Emery has identified a target for the January transfer window. He is preparing a bid for Club Brugges forward Wesley Moraes. The 22-year-old Brazilian is wanted by both Fiorentina and Valencia, and rated at around £15million. With Danny Welbeck out injured and his contract running out, Emery wants competition for Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Arsenal manager Unai Emery celebratesGetty Images
Paper Round’s view: Arsenal seem to be gradually rebuilding for the longer term by phasing out their older, middling players and bringing in fresh faces. Aaron Ramsey is potentially being joined by Mesut Ozil and Danny Welbeck on his way out of the club, and as the performance against United last night showed, they are gradually improving.
Villa target Heaton
Aston Villa manager Dean Smith wants a new goalkeeper to replace Orjan Nyland, and has decided to pursue a deal for Burnley’s England international, Tom Heaton. The 32-year-old has fallen behind both Joe Hart and Nick Pope in the pecking order, and Sean Dyche is happy to let him go. However, Burnley will demand a fee for the player.
Tom Heaton injuredGetty Images
Paper Round’s view: Burnley find themselves in the odd position of having three international goalkeepers for England at their disposal, but there is little point having more than two senior ‘keepers in a squad. Heaton has done nothing wrong to lose his place but there appears to be no way back unless both Hart and Heaton find themselves injured.
Wolves chase £35 million Nakajima
Wolves have scouted Portimonense winger Shoya Nakajima, who is in a rich vein of goalscoring form. The 24-year-old Japanese international scored 10 goals last season and already has five this season. He has a release clause of £35m, but because of the financial position of his current club he could be available for less.
Shoya Nakajima of Portimonense SC looks on during the Liga NOS match between Portimonense SC and CD Tondela at Estadio Municipal de Portimao on December 2, 2018 in Portimao, Portugal.Getty Images
Paper Round’s view: Goals are Wolves’ biggest weakness, so bringing in more attacking players for the second half of the season could help their journey up the table, but any players signed now get an additional six months to bed in ahead of next season. £35m is a hefty sum for a player with little top-flight experience, but there are very few true bargains left in football.