Barcelona confident of signing Raheem Sterling in January, Man Utd scout Benfica striker – Paper Round
In Tuesday’s Paper Round, we’re leading with a report that claims Barcelona believe they will be able to sign Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling this January. Elsewhere, Benfica’s Darwin Nunez was watched by Manchester United, although City are interested as well. There’s also talk of Mohamed Salah’s wage demands at Liverpool, and a price-tag for Monaco’s Aurelien Tchouameni.
Barcelona could look to sign Raheem Sterling this winter, Mundo Deportivo reports, via The Sun. Barca may be in a financial crisis, but apparently the Catalan club believe they can afford to sign the Manchester City forward in January. The 26-year-old, who made the Euro 2020 team of the tournament, has started just two Premier League games so far this season, and Barca are hopeful of buying him for less than the £60m that is being quoted for RB Leipzig’s Dani Olmo.
Raheem Sterling of Manchester City reacts during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Southampton at Etihad Stadium on September 18, 2021 in Manchester, England
Paper Round’s view: A pretty sensational report, surely this one isn’t coming off in January? It could depend on whether Sterling’s standing at City worsens over the next couple months, but even if he did want to move elsewhere, it is tricky to see Barca competing financially with other clubs who could look to sign the England star. We’ll wait and see, I suppose.
Manchester clubs want Nunez
Manchester United sent scouts to watch Benfica forward Darwin Nunez, the Daily Star reports, although Manchester City are said to have the edge in the race to sign the Uruguayan. Nunez’s buy-out clause is £125m, though City hope a £70m offer would be enough, while not only are United their competition, but Liverpool, Chelsea and Bayern Munich as well. Nunez has started the season with six goals in eight games for Benfica.
Paper Round’s view: A striker scoring goals? Form an orderly queue, interested clubs. Oh, and Manchester City are interested? Let’s ramp up the asking price given the club are looking for a striker - £70m seems steep, but perhaps Benfica will chase even more.
Salah’s wage demands
Last month it was claimed Mohamed Salah was demanding £500,000-a-week in order to sign a new contract at Liverpool, but now the Independent reports the figure is somewhere between £300k and £380k. That would disrupt Liverpool’s current wage structure, says Miguel Delaney, although Salah’s recent performances – and that goal against Manchester City – has led to considerations on whether the Egyptian is currently the best player in the world.
Paper Round’s view: "It's imperative that at his peak he's still scoring goals in the red shirt of Liverpool,” Jamie Carragher said after the Manchester City draw, and how could you disagree? Anyone who snaps up Salah is vastly improving, and weakening Liverpool in the process. No doubt the powers that be at Liverpool are weighing up the costs and whether it’s worth making exceptions regarding wage structure.
Tchouameni price set
Monaco have placed a £34m price-tag on Aurelien Tchouameni amid interest from a host of top European clubs, the Mail reports. The French midfielder enjoyed a breakthrough campaign last season, starting all but two of Monaco’s Ligue 1 games, while he earned his first international call-up last month and made the squad again for this week’s Nations League. Among the clubs reportedly interested are Chelsea, Liverpool and Juventus.
Paper Round’s view: When there’s queue forming, particularly with a couple English clubs involved, the £34m figure seems a relatively low amount for a 21-year-old who has broken into the French squad this year. Monaco will no doubt hope the interest increases as the season goes along, driving up his price in the process.