Bale's uncertain future
Gareth Bale future is up in the air as the Times report it is "unlikely" that his return to Tottenham will be extended beyond this season. Bale's fairytale homecoming has not gone to plan, with the Welshman limited to just one start in the Premier League so far this season. The 31-year-old has 18 months remaining on his contract at Real Madrid, meaning that he will have to return to the Spanish capital in the summer when his loan spell at Spurs comes to an end. The Spanish champions were "pleased to offload" Bale to Tottenham this season, which leaves him with an uncertain future beyond this current campaign.
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Paper Round's view: After all the fanfare over Bale's homecoming in the summer, it might be back to square one for the Welsh international at the end of the season. It was always going to take a while for Bale to get match sharp as he had played just 100 minutes of competitive football over the previous seven months. However, Mourinho still doesn't seem to fancy the 31-year-old even after he managed to regain his fitness. Bale has spent full matches on the bench, even when his manager desperately needed a goal from his side - which is far from promising. The on-loan Spurs forward has a huge few months ahead of him as he looks to prove his worth to the Premier League club in an attempt to extend his stay in north London.
Upamecano not leaving Leipzig in January
RB Leipzig will not allow Dayot Upamecano to leave in January, despite the fact that his €42-million release clause becomes active this summer. The Guardian report that the Bundesliga club will reject any approaches for the French defender in the winter transfer window, even if a bid were to exceed the cut-price fee he could eventually leave for. The Germans are "resigned" to Upamecano departing at the end of the season and there has been interest from Europe's finest, including Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Bayern Munich. RB Leipzig have identified Strasbourg’s Mohamed Simakan as one of their "top targets" to replace the 22-year-old.
Paper Round's view: It's a tough decision for RB Leipzig to make, but it's easy to understand why they are choosing to stand their ground in January. Upamecano is one of the best centre-backs in Europe, hence why he is wanted by all the top clubs. Right now, Leipzig are mounting a title challenge in Germany and are sitting just three points behind Bayern Munich in second place. Losing Upamecano in the middle of the season would be a huge blow to their Bundesliga bid. You have to admire the fact that the club are prepared to sacrifice a chunk of cash to push Bayern all the way this season.
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Premier League clubs battle over 'The Monster'
Tottenham are eyeing up a January transfer for South Korean defender Kim Min-jae, according to the Mirror. Spurs were initially interested in signing the 24-year-old during the summer and are now prepared to make a move for him amid reported competition from London rivals Chelsea. Spurs boss Jose Mourinho admitted he was not expecting the club to be busy in the January transfer window, but Kim would be available for a cut-price fee as his contract is set to expire in December 2021.
Paper Round's view: It's clear that Tottenham are hoping to avoid the same embarrassment the club faced back in 2013 when a deal to sign William was hijacked by Chelsea so they'd better move quicker than their London rivals. Kim has been dubbed as 'The Monster' so he could be exactly what Mourinho is looking for as he looks for a defender to dominate matches. Toby Alderweireld and Eric Dier have proved themselves as starters for Spurs this season, but they need serious competition. Joe Rodon is still taking time to settle, while Davinson Sanchez looks to have regressed over the past year.
Another chance for Wilshere?
Jack Wilshere has opened talks with Bournemouth over the possibility of signing a short-term deal with the Championship club. The Mail state that the Cherries would be willing to revive the 29-year-old's career after Wilshere impressed manager Jason Tindall with his fitness levels while training with Bournemouth in recent weeks. The former Arsenal and England midfielder was released from his contract at West Ham earlier this season and has been searching for a new club since. Wilshere spent the 2016-17 season on loan with Bournemouth and returned to train with the south coast side in December.
Paper Round's view: This could be a huge opportunity for Wilshere. The former England international's contract at West Ham was terminated back in October and he's been unable to find a club since. Bournemouth would be ideal - despite being a step down from where he would like to be. The Cherries play an attractive brand of football, which suits Wilshere's style, and he has played for them before. There won't be doubts about his ability, but more questions over his fitness and ability to keep himself from getting injured. Bournemouth might stick him on a pay-as-you-play contract to limit the financial risk if Wilshere's injuries come back to haunt him.
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