United battle Liverpool for Upamecano
Manchester United and Liverpool could face off for RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano. The Mirror reports that German champions Bayern Munich can't afford the 22-year-old French player, who has a £40 million release clause that comes into effect at the end of the season. However his club may be willing to accept that money in January in order to raise funds.
Paper Round’s view: Upamecano is one of the most promising young defenders in Europe and has been able to hold his own in one of the continent’s best leagues. At just 22 he has plenty of time to improve. Liverpool need reinforcements due to their injury problems, while United need at least one player in central defence, given Harry Maguire needs a new partner.
'David Alaba's suitcase is ready' as Juventus lead four-team race – Euro Papers
Almiron attracts Inter attention
Miguel Almiron was wanted by Atletico Madrid, and the Sun also reports that his agent claims that Italian side Inter Milan are now interested in Newcastle United’s midfielder. The 26-year-old Paraguayan is ready to move on and might have already done so but for the coronavirus pandemic. His agent said: “Inter have shown interest in Almiron, but no progress has been made.”
Paper Round’s view: Almiron is a tidy player who is very mobile and able to link up play well. He also has an eye for goal and appears to be the kind of player who would benefit most from being alongside a better class of player. Inter have those kinds of players, and need a new midfielder to replace Christian Eriksen, who is regularly linked with a move back to the Premier League.
Thiaw welcomes Liverpool interest
The Daily Mail suggests that Schalke youngster Malick Thiaw is keen on a move to Liverpool, who have injuries to both Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk. The 19-year-old central defender had been valued at around £40 million recently, but the paper suggests that Thiaw would be allowed to leave for somewhere around £18 million in the winter transfer window.
Paper Round’s view: The financial impact of the coronavirus gives a chance for the richest clubs to move in the market and exploit the weaknesses of less secure clubs. Thiaw seems very promising and if he can be secured on a cut-price deal then Liverpool would do well to act. Given Gomez and Joel Matip have their problems with injury, another defender would not hurt.
Messi speaks out again
Lionel Messi has spoken out again to hint at his unhappiness continuing at Barcelona, despite his decision to stay for at least one more year following his transfer request. Spanish paper Marca reports that in response to comments from Antoine Griezmann’s former agent blaming him for the French international struggling at Barca, he said: "I'm tired of always being to blame for everything."
Paper Round’s view: Messi has made it clear that he’s had enough of life at the club, and this latest episode shows that he probably just can’t be bothered with the circus around the club anymore. A move to Manchester City seems close to inevitable at this point, with the only question whether he will wait until the the summer to carry out the switch.