Man City set Sterling price
Manchester City will demand €80m (£67.7m) for Raheem Sterling amid interest from Barcelona, reports Marca. Sterling said he was open to a move abroad recently given he is struggling for game-time at City, and while Barca have been strongly linked with the England international, the asking price could be a stumbling block for the Catalan club given their financial issues.
Paper Round’s view: Sterling to Barca has been doing the rounds for a good few weeks but money was always going to be the issue. That said, if they can somehow find the desired fee, the 26-year-old – and yes, he is somehow still just 26 – could prove to be the type of signing that turns Barca’s fortunes around. Whether another abroad option emerges remains to be seen, but this one has legs if the money is there.
Coutinho joins Aston Villa on loan from Barcelona
Ole still backed at Man Utd
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer still has the complete backing of the Manchester United board despite taking one point from their last three Premier League games, the Telegraph reports. United are sixth in the table, five points behind Chelsea, and have stumbled of late with defeats to Aston Villa and most recently Leicester City. According to the reports, with the Mirror also running a similar line, Solskjaer is not under pressure and will not be sacked even if United lose to Liverpool and Manchester City, with their daunting run of games also featuring two matches against Atalanta and a trip to Tottenham.
Paper Round’s view: It would be very Solskjaer to take something from the Liverpool game and buy himself more time, but this just does not feel like a reign which will ever produce silverware, and so you have to ask yourself how long you go down this road while better managers are currently available, or attainable given the pull United still have. If they actually do lose to Liverpool and City, the tune at Old Trafford may well change.
- Opinion: Only a matter of time until Solskjaer is sacked as Man Utd boss
- Guardiola urges Sterling to do his talking on the pitch
- Mourinho admits 'emotional connection with Newcastle' but remains committed to Roma
Emery on Newcastle shortlist
Newcastle United will step up their search for a new manager this week, the Times reports, with Roberto Martínez, Steven Gerrard and Unai Emery all deemed leading contenders to replace Steve Bruce. Newcastle’s new era began with a 3-2 defeat to Tottenham on Sunday as chairman Yasir al-Rumayyan and director Amanda Staveley watched on at St James’ Park, but Bruce will remain in charge until a replacement is lined up.
Image credit: Getty Images
Paper Round’s view: Bruce may well be getting a tidy golden handshake when all this is over, but you still have to admire him for what he has put up with this past week or so. Some Newcastle fans may not agree, while all this could well depend on who they get in instead. Replace Bruce with Martinez and you have to wonder if it’s fair the latter gets a chance to transform their fortunes when the former does not. Emery, on the other hand, would be an intriguing appointment and arguably an ideal one.
Kounde wants Man Utd move
Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde was close to joining Chelsea in the summer transfer window but he has asked his agent to look into a potential Manchester United move, El Nacional reports – via the Mirror. Both United and Real Madrid have been linked with the defender, but over fears of game-time at Real, Kounde wants his agent to prioritise United’s interest.
Paper Round’s view: A man in demand, although the reported £75.9m asking price may not have clubs queuing around the corner unless Sevilla bring that fee down somewhat. That said, Sevilla will look at the parties interested, note what they have paid for centre-backs or otherwise, and think perhaps that might not be out of the question after all.
Coutinho passes Villa medical, could make debut against Man Utd
Coutinho joins Villa on six-month loan, reunites with Gerrard