Laporta wants Dembele to stay
Joan Laporta hopes that Ousmane Dembele will sign a new deal at Barcelona. The 24-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season, but Spanish paper Marca reports that the new Barcelona president said: "The relationship is very good. He feels loved at the club, we want him to stay," Laporta is also supportive of Ronald Koeman as the club moves on from Lionel Messi.
Raiola plans Haaland talks with Man City in January – Paper Round
Paper Round’s view: Laporta and Barcelona can ill afford to see yet another player leave on difficult financial terms. If Dembele - who has disappointed at the club so far - leaves for nothing then they have to find a replacement on the cheap. If they can sign him to a new contract then at least they can attempt to sell him for cash in a couple of years.
Messi breaks down in tears as he announces Barcelona departure
Leicester keen on Berardi winter deal
The Daily Mail reports that Leicester City are closing in on a winter transfer for Sassuolo’s Domenico Berardi. The 27-year-old was subject of interest from AC Milan, Lazio and Fiorentina, Chelsea, West Ham and Borussia Dortmund as well as Leicester, with the latter having a late bid rejected. Now though a £30 million offer could be enough to secure the player.
Paper Round’s view: Leicester made their bid too late for Sassuolo to identify and sign a replacement before the end of the last transfer window, so reopening talks now will allow the Italian side to line up future deals of their own in order to smooth negotiations. With months until the window opens again though, they are at risk of being gazumped until the deal is signed.
Wilshere given Arsenal hope
Jack Wilshere has a remote chance of re-signing for Arsenal. The Sun reports that the club’s manager, Mikel Arteta, said the door is always open for the 29-year-old to train with the squad, which might ultimately lead to his return. The player had been training with Italian Serie B team Como but he is not able to sign for them because he no longer holds an EU passport.
Paper Round’s view: If Wilshere can get back to full fitness then with the passing range he has then he could perhaps be of use to Arteta, but realistically he is no longer going to be a regular starter even if he is injury-free. He has lost too much time sitting on the bench to ever be the same player, but conceivably he has five years left of his career to find a new way forward.
Free agents still available to the EFL
With the transfer window passed and EFL teams now required to finalise their squads for the next season, there is still an option to sign players, reports The Mirror. Players without contracts can still sign up to new sides, and that gives hope to players such as Jack Wilshere, Jack Rodwell, Hal Robson-Kanu, Connor Wickham and Andy Carroll, all of whom are without clubs.
Paper Round’s view: Carroll is a huge risk given his injury problems, but Wilshere showed at Bournemouth and then West Ham that his body is more resilient than it was when he was at his peak. As for Rodwell and Wickham, there is plenty of talent there but neither of them have been effective on the pitch for some time now, so it may be hard for them to find a suitable deal.
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Barca confident of signing Sterling in January, Man Utd scout Benfica striker – Paper Round