City plan January move for Messi
Manchester City are ready to make a move for Barcelona forward Lionel Messi, according to the Sun newspaper. The paper reports that Barcelona are desperate to cut costs and so an offer of £50 million or perhaps less could be enough to secure the 33-year-old Argentine’s signature. From City’s point of view the purchase may help them convince Pep Guardiola to stay.
Paper Round’s view: Guardiola has never won the Champions League without Messi at his disposal and it is starting to be something of a blot on his copybook. All that money and unable to produce the best team in the world. The presence of Messi, even for a season or two, could be the difference that would help them regain the Premier League and dominate in Europe.
La Liga president Tebas attacks Man City over Messi transfer rumours
Jorginho considers Sarri switch
The Mirror reports on Jorginho’s agent, who has hinted at a move in the near future for the 28-year-old midfielder. The Italian was close to a move to Arsenal in the summer, but instead he could be in line for a contract extension at Chelsea. However the player’s agent said that he would be tempted to link up with Maurizio Sarri again, who is looking for a new job after leaving Juventus.
Paper Round’s view: Jorginho has never quite convinced at Chelsea and has at times been hugely unpopular with the Stamford Bridge crowd. Perhaps he still remembers the support he received from Sarri at the time, and also their relationship when they were both at Napoli. Chelsea might be open to a sale to balance the books given their huge expenditure in the summer.
Crowds could be back by Christmas
The government is considering the return of fans to football stadiums, according to a report in the Telegraph. The news comes as a group of ministers have suggested that clubs in areas which are under Tier 1 restrictions. Currently no fans are permitted across the football pyramid, which has been the case since the first lockdown was implemented in March earlier this year.
Paper Round’s view: Given people have been allowed back into offices and pubs, it seems like the risk of an open-air stadium half-filled (or perhaps less) with people is far less. Given a vaccine is on the horizon it may be an unnecessary rush which might exacerbate the rate of infection, but given the economic damage done to clubs it may be a compromise worth exploring.
West Ham offered Real’s Diaz
The Daily Mail claims that West Ham United have been offered the chance to sign Real Madrid’s forward Mariano Diaz. The 27-year-old striker has struggled to get game time uder Zinedine Zidane and was offered to other clubs in the summer, with West Brom interested. However a loan move to West Ham could be attractive given it is a chance to live in the capital.
Paper Round’s view: Diaz looked like a talented player while at Lyon and nobody could begrudge him a move back to Real Madrid even if it was a risk. That gamble did not pay off but now is the time for him to move somewhere he can get on the pitch. At 27 it could be a chance to get some momentum back in his career and earn him a move elsewhere this summer.