Dembele contract dispute sinks United loan

Manchester United were unable to sign Ousmane Dembele because the 23-year-old winger refused to sign a contract extension with Barcelona. The Daily Mail says that the French international was going to be allowed to join United for a year in exchange for a big loan fee, but the Spanish club did not want to see him return to the club with only two years left on his deal if he had an impressive season.

Ligue 1
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Paper Round’s view: The intransigence from Barcelona cost them the chance to sign Memphis Depay, who is available for a bargain amount and would likely slot in well under Ronald Koeman, his former Netherlands boss. However Dembele cost around £100 million, so Barcelona do first and foremost have to protect their financial well-being given their perennial struggles.

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Garcia won’t sulk

Eric Garcia was the subject of a number of bids from Barcelona on transfer deadline day as they attempted to bring the 19-year-old back to his boyhood club from Manchester City. He has a year left on his current contract and was ready to return to Catalonia, but Barcelona would not meet City’s asking price of £20 million. The Telegraph reports that City believe that Garcia will remain professional.

Paper Round’s view: Barcelona desperately need new defenders given their squad’s performance over the last couple of seasons and their dreadful defensive track record. City have just bought Nathan Ake and Ruben Dias to add to John Stones, so Garcia will consider his route to the first team blocked for the foreseeable future. A compromise deal does look most sensible for both in January, if not a free transfer this summer.

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Chelsea fail to shift Palmieri

Chelsea were unable to shift Emerson Palmieri from their squad as they tried desperately on the last day of the Dutch and Portuguese transfer windows. The 26-year-old Brazilian and 29-year-old Marcos Alonso are behind Ben Chilwell in the pecking order, but there is also Baba Rahman to contend with. Marco van Ginkel has been loaned out to PSV for another season but the Sun notes just how bloated Frank Lampard’s squad is now.

Paper Round’s view: After an astonishing transfer window in which they spent over £200 million, you would have thought that Chelsea’s normally excellent transfer team would have been able to cut more of the flab from their squad. As it is, they have four left-backs who could cut it in the Premier League and they were unable to find homes for three of them.

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Saliba set for loan to Championship

Arsenal’s teenage defender William Saliba has enjoyed an awkward start to his time at the club after his former side St Etienne fell out with his new club’s doctors in a row that saw him fail to take part in a cup final in July. Now a potential loan return to the French club has collapsed, and he may have to move to a Championship side in order to gain some game time, reports the Mirror.

Paper Round’s view: A cynic would say that Arsenal allowed the proposed new arrangement to fall through as punishment for their recent squabble. That doesn’t help Saliba in the short term because he needs experience to develop. Ligue 1 would probably have the best place to do that and the Championship can be a tough place to adjust for many Premier League youngsters.

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23/10/2020 AT 15:51