Paper Round: Manchester United fight Arsenal for Barcelona striker Jose Arnaiz
Manchester United and Arsenal want Jose Arnaiz, Liverpool chase Roma's Emerson Palmieri, Newcastle have a £300m pricetag, and Antonio Conte is angry.
United battle Arsenal for Barcelona striker
Manchester United could go head to head with Arsenal for young Barcelona striker Jose Arnaiz. The 22-year-old made his debut for the club in midweek in a 3-0 win over Murcia, and scored an impressive goal. Arnaiz moved from Valladolid in the summer for £1.5m, but has already been attracting attention from the continent, with Bayern Munich also interested. His release clause is set at 20 million euros, and he could soon be on the move again.
José Manuel Arnáiz Díaz vom FC BarcelonaGetty Images
Paper Round's view: United and Arsenal missed out in the summer, and perhaps it shows how poor the scouting network is in the Premier League. United and Arsenal rarely spend under £20m for a player these days, but Barcelona have shown that bargains are to be found abroad. Both will be in the market for strikers following the exit of (probably) Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Alexis Sanchez, and will not necessarily need a senior striker in their place.
Liverpool target Palmieri
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is looking to solve his defensive woes with the transfer of Emerson Palmieri from Roma. The 23-year-old Brazilian is rated at £22m by the Italian club, and is making his return to first team action after suffering cruciate ligament damage in May. Liverpool have conceded 16 goals in nine league games, and are looking to strengthen in January. Palmieri was a target for Liverpool before his most recent injury.
Emerson PalmieriGetty Images
Paper Round's view: Klopp has had two years with some fairly competent defenders, and has improved none of them so far, so perhaps the most sensible option for Liverpool is to give him fully formed players rather than hoping he develops the ones in his squad. It is, however, questionable as to why they brought in Andrew Robertson if they were not going to give him the chance to settle in defence before adding another full-back.
PCP Partners prepare bid for Newcastle
Newcastle United could become the latest club to come under the control of international owners, as PCP Partners prepare a £300m bid for Newcaste United. It is believed that Amanda Staveley wants to complete the transaction by December in order to give Rafael Benitez the chance to spend in the winter transfer window. Current owner Mike Ashley had valued his club at around £380m previously, suggesting the deal may not be too far off.
Owner of Sports Direct and Newcastle United, Mike AshleyGetty Images
Paper Round's view: Premier League clubs rarely become available, and St James' Park makes an attractive asset for any buyer. Add to that the new TV deal on the horizon, and Newcastle United could well be worth even more than £300m in just a few years. However, this all depends on them retaining their Premier League status, and perhaps Ashley is no longer willing to suffer the strain of keeping them in the top flight.
Conte outburst over Ancelotti rumours
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte addressed rumours that players had been texting their complaints about Conte's training to former assistant manager, Steve Holland, now working for the England national team. Holland's former boss, Carlo Ancelotti, has been rumoured to be ready for a return to Chelsea, prompting Conte to say at Friday's press conference: "There is a lot of bull****. If I see the past it happened the same with a lot of managers. A lot of bull****."
Paper Round's view: Conte is clearly under pressure at Chelsea after a mixed start to the defence of their Premier League title, but it would be premature to read much into the answer here. Fighting for his job is enough without having to deal with rumours like this, and it is no surprise that Conte has decided to take on the story in an unambiguous manner.