Brighton struggle to afford Andre Ayew, Real consider Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe, and Bayern want Paul Pogba.
Brighton struggle to afford Ayew
Brighton are struggling to afford Swansea City striker Andre Ayew. The Sun reports that one way around the obstacle of his £90,000-a-week wages is for him to negotiate to leave Swansea for free, giving the south coast side more flexibility. Another option that Brighton are looking at is Josh King, likely heading for West Brom, or free agent Danny Welbeck.
Paper Round’s view: Welbeck’s problems with injury mean that if he’s signed on low basic wages, he would probably provide value over the course of the season, but he can't be relied upon. Ayew meanwhile is an experienced and proven goalscorer, and aged 30 he would probably have a couple of years left in him when he would prove a threat to most sides he faced.
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Real face Mbappe-Haaland dilemma
Spanish newspaper Marca reports that Real Madrid face a tough choice in their pursuit of Erling Haaland or Kylian Mbappe. Mbappe is the more rounded player, but Real need a straightforward central striker. The Norwegian is cheaper, too, with a release clause of 75 million euros. There is also a worry over Mbappe’s friendship with former Barcelona striker Neymar.
Paper Round’s view: Mbappe is obviously the better player, but would probably cost twice as much as Haaland would, with even more in wages. Given the continued impact of coronavirus on football club finances, this might be a rare occasion where the glamorous choice is given over in favour of the logical one at Real. Real Madrid would also then be ready to sign Mbappe as his contract ran out at Parc des Princes further down the line.
Bayern keen on Pogba
Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has denied Manchester United made a bid for their young forward Kingsley Coman, relays the Mirror, but has admitted he would be keen on Paul Pogba. He said: "If I could choose a player, I would like to have Pogba for Bayern. This would be fantastic. He has unbelievable abilities and is a fantastic midfielder. Apart from this he is not only important on the pitch. He has a huge marketing value. He stays in people's minds."
Paper Round’s view: After so many years of underwhelming performances most fans would be happy to see the back of Pogba if they thought that the Glazers would give permission to spend money to get in a replacement. However, if he did join a club as well run and with as many excellent players as Bayern have, Pogba would likely get closer to the form he displays on the international stage.
BT refuse to show Merseyside derby for free
The Daily Mail reports that sports broadcaster BT are unwilling to show the upcoming Merseyside derby for free, with minister for the department for culture, media and sport Oliver Dowden saying that those in Liverpool should be able to watch in their homes. That would stop households mixing at a time of heightened coronavirus infections. BT have pointed out that such a choice is impractical.
Paper Round’s view: The British government have reacted oddly at almost every stage of the coronavirus pandemic, and this late intervention from Snowden is a repeat of his government's admonishment of Premier League footballers early in the lockdown. A more structured and organised approach to this - and other aspects of lockdown - would have solved this problems earlier than 48 hours before they come into view.