Race heats up for Mendes
The Sun claims that a host of top European sides and Leicester are keen to sign Nuno Mendes from Sporting Lisbon. The 18-year-old left-back has a £60 million release clause and Sporting will not negotiate on that price, and Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Italian sides Juventus and AC Milan all hold an interest in the player.
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Paper Round’s view: Left-sided players are far rarer than right-footed athletes so they can command a higher fee. For United they have Luke Shaw back to his best so they probably don’t need to move for Mendes, but both Milan and Juventus could benefit from upgrading the left-hand side of their defence.
United ready to pounce as Varane 'wants to leave Madrid' - Euro Papers
United ready to sign Varane
Manchester United’s hunt for a partner for Harry Maguire has turned to Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane. The Spanish club accept that Varane is keen to move to a new country rather than simply earn more money, while the fact his contract has just a year left to run means that United might be able to get him for a bargain price, according to the Mirror.
Paper Round’s view: United desperately need a partner for Maguire given his lack of pace, and Varane is a much more mobile presence at the back. However once Varane is in, he will need someone far better than Maguire, so don’t be surprised to see the United captain moved on in a season’s time once the Frenchman is bedded in.
Barca furious with Neymar
Spanish newspaper Marca claims that Neymar’s former club, Barcelona, are furious with the Paris Saint-Germain striker. The paper relays a story saying that Neymar has been in contact with Lionel Messi to convince him to come to the French capital, explaining what life is like in France with the champions, and what to expect from life in Paris.
Paper Round’s view: For now, it seems that Messi is open to the idea of staying with his current club as a preference, and given he is now only a few months away from the end of his contract, it does not appear that he is quite as unhappy at Barcelona. If Neymar does persuade him to leave though, that would throw the club into crisis,
Solskjaer wants to keep Cavani
The Daily Mail reports that Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to extend Edinson Cavani’s stay at the club, despite recent statements from the 34-year-old Uruguayan international’s father that he is disheartened by life in the Premier League and is looking for a return to South America, to join Boca Juniors.
Paper Round’s view: Cavani has done well for United so far and if he stays on for an extra year then it means that the club can focus their transfer outlay on other areas of the pitch, given they need a new central defender, a new winger, and potentially a right-back as well as a goalkeeper to replace one or more of Sergio Romero, Dean Henderson and David de Gea.
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