Football news - Paper Round: Manchester City want £50m Juventus star Alex Sandro
Manchester City want Alex Sandro and Ritsu Doan in January, Wolves target three signings, and Real Madrid want to beat Manchester United to Antonio Conte.
City scout Alex Sandro
Manchester City sent scouts to Old Trafford to watch Manchester United take on Italian champions Juventus, and Alex Sandro was the object of their attention. Sandro is rated at £50 million by his current club, and the 27-year-old has already been linked with a move away to Chelsea in the past. However, with Marcelo now potentially on his way to Juventus in January, there is a chance they would be willing to let him go.
Paper Round’s view: Sandro has been a consistent and impressive defender in one of the best leagues in the world for some time now, and it would be a surprise if he did not move to England or Spain where he could dramatically improve his wages. Benjamin Mendy’s effervescence may have finally tested Pep Guardiola one too many times, meaning a replacement left-back may be one of their targets.
City face competition for Ritsu Doan
Japan's midfielder Ritsu Doan celebrates scoring during the international football friendly match between Japan and UruguayGetty Images
Sandro is not the only player wanted by City in the mid-season transfer break. The Mirror reports that they are ready to sign Ritsu Doan, the 20-year-old who currently plays for Groningen. City have tracked Doan for some time, and are prepared to spend £5 million. There is interest as well from Juventus and Atletico Madrid, and his current side are not happy to sell in the winter.
Paper Round’s view: £5m seems a very low asking price for a player who is in demand from three of the best clubs on the continent, and that suggests that there will be some kind of bidding war to raise the sum. Unless there is a contractual problem for the Dutch club, it is unclear why they would let someone so talented leave for such a low figure.
Wolves plan three signings
Wolves are planning on making several signings in the winter transfer window in order to secure their Premier League safety. They have started impressively under Nuno Espirito Santo, but the Portuguese manager wants to add a striker. Divock Origi, who turned down a loan move in the summer, could be approached again. As well as that, Jonny Otto Castro, on loan from Atletico Madrid, could join on a permanent deal.
Paper Round’s view: Both Castro and Origi would have been aware that joining a newly promoted side in the Premier League would be a risk, but Castro’s move has paid off for him at his new club. Origi may now see that he will get more time on the pitch than he would at Liverpool, and not in a side that is struggling for its life. Whether Jorge Mendes has other ideas about potential signings is another matter.
Real race to beat United to Conte
Chelsea would be able to claim £9.5m if former manager Antonio Conte is appointed as manager of Real Madrid, according to the terms of his Stamford Bridge exit. Conte is wanted by Real as they look for replacements for Julen Lopetegui, and the Spanish club are concerned that United will beat them to the signing of Conte. Jose Mourinho’s position at Old Trafford is not secure after three league defeats.
Paper Round’s view: It would be an odd and impractical move for Ed Woodward to sign Conte over Mourinho, given the similarities between the two coaches - and for that reason it cannot be ruled out. Real seem the likelier destination, but having been reluctant to spend in the transfer market, it would be a double punishment for poor planning if they need to spend £20m or so to sack and bring in a new coach.