United face battle for White
Manchester United face a battle for Brighton’s young central defender Ben White, according to the Mirror. The 23-year-old player impressed on loan last season for Leeds United, but stayed at the south coast club after signing a new deal. However United need defensive reinforcements and could make a move for the player as early as January. Chelsea and Spurs could also be interested.
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Paper Round’s view: United really need two central defenders given how poorly Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof have been for most of the last year, and none of their back-ups have the quality to step up. White is certainly more impressive and would probably come cheaper than Maguire, but he might find a move to Spurs or Chelsea are more attractive option right now.
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Martinez ready to leave Bayern
Bayern Munich’s defensive player Javi Martinez is considering leaving the German and European champions. The 32-year-old Spaniard is out of contract in the summer and almost left in the previous transfer window, reports the Sun. However Martinez said: “I would like to try something new, no matter where, but something new before I end my career. The contract says it is the last year.”
Paper Round’s view: Martinez has been an exceptionally consistent performer for Bayern Munich under a series of managers. At 32, he is probably ready to try something else while for the Germans it is time to refresh the squad. Perhaps with the impact of the coronavirus on finances he will be offered the chance to stay on for one more year to avoid having to find a replacement.
Barcelona target Mustafi and Rudiger
Barcelona need to sign a central defender following the injury to Gerard Pique. The 33-year-old Spanish international could be out until April next year, meaning the club need reinforcements. The Daily Mail reports that the preferred target is Eric Garcia of Manchester City, but alternatives would be Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger and Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi.
Paper Round’s view: Mustafi has done nothing at Arsenal to suggest that he is good enough to play at the highest level, but he is probably available at an affordable price. Rudiger, too, is likely a player that Chelsea would be willing to let go considering he almost left in the summer. Garcia seems the likeliest player to leave, given they came close to signing him a few months ago.
Trincao happy at Barcelona
Barcelona’s 20-year-old winger Francisco Trincao has made it clear that he is keen to stay at the club. He has played only 300 minutes for the club over 12 appearances so far this season, but he is not looking to move elsewhere, Marca reports. The former Braga player said: "I'm not thinking about leaving, I'm happy to be here at the best club in the world.”
Paper Round’s view: The youngster has been one of Barcelona’s best young players so far this season, though of course Pedri has also done well. With Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann in the side it is going to be difficult for Trincao to get too much game time, but neither of those players are certain to stay beyond the summer, so he should get more chances.
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