Real await Rudiger
Marca reports that Chelsea are set to lose their defender Antonio Rudiger at the end of the season. The 28-year-old has been offered £165,000 a week to stay at Stamford Bridge but he wants around double that, leaving the door open for Real Madrid and Bayern Munich to bid, with Real the favourites. Thiago Silva, Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen all have just six months left on their deals, too.
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Paper Round’s view: Chelsea appear to be acting slowly and with all four of those players soon able to sign pre-contract agreements to move elsewhere, it seems that they are taking a big risk of having some disruption to their squad over the summer. Perhaps they are taking the view that some of them are past their best, but Rudiger now seems to be in his prime.
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Rangnick ready to let Martial leave
Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick is prepared to let striker Anthony Martial leave, with the 26-year-old striker’s £200,000-a-week wages a potential obstacle. For now, The Mail reports that Sevilla are keen and the Frenchman wants first team football. However the move suit United too, Rangnick explained: “It should not only be in the interest of the player, it should also be in the interest of the club.”
Paper Round’s view: Martial failed to kick on with what looked to be exceptional potential and perhaps he suffered just as much as any player from a succession of managers who were not interested in or not able when it came to coaching attacking players. With so many other players ready to play in the front three it now makes sense that he is sold to raise funds and cut costs.
United reluctant to sign unvaccinated players
Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick joined Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp in explaining his reluctance to sign unvaccinated players, reports The Telegraph. Rangick said: “It depends if you want to sign a player and risk him not being available. This is an issue the clubs seriously have to think about. If you sign a player knowing that he has not been vaccinated, you have to be aware that he might not be available, not only for 10 days.”
Paper Round’s view: Of course players have the right to be more particular when it comes to signing players, because much depends on their availability to be in peak physical condition, and most believe that it is significantly more likely that the vaccine protects you from serious Covid-19 than the side effects cause other problems. How long this stance will last is another question.
Bale, Isco and four others transfer listed by Real
The Mirror reports on six players who are transfer listed by Real Madrid ahead of the Janaury transfer window. Gareth Bale and his £600,000-a-week wages make him one of those up for grabs, with Isco also available. There are four more players who could be moved on as Real look to rebuild their squad: Mariano Diaz, Luka Jovic, Eden Hazard and club captain Marcelo.
Paper Round’s view: Bale has hardly any chance of becoming a regular starter for Real in the coming months, but he has shown he is determined to have his contract honoured by the club - and he has every right to do so. As for the others, there could be takers for Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic, but not many clubs will be looking to spend big during current restrictions.
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