Dortmund duo to follow in Sancho's footsteps?
Manchester United are ready to return to Borussia Dortmund in the transfer market, with the club keeping an eye on the highly-rated duo of Jude Bellingham and Erling Haaland. The Independent reveal that "there is cautious optimism at Old Trafford" that Bellingham will follow in the footsteps of Jadon Sancho by joining Manchester United, and the 18-year-old has even asked his former teammate about the "set-up and vibe" at his new club. The report also states that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen on recruiting Dortmund striker Haaland, who reportedly has a transfer release clause that becomes active in the summer of 2022.
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Paper Round's view: Are there any top clubs in world football that aren't looking at both Bellingham and Haaland? The Norwegian striker will most likely move next summer once his cut-price release clause becomes active, but Bellingham is a more interesting story. He's still 18 years old. The former Birmingham City midfielder moved to Dortmund for more first-team chances and actually rejected Manchester United in doing so. The Premier League club gave Bellingham a tour of their Carrington training ground complex before he finally decided to move to Germany. There's no rush... but when he finally moves, it is likely to a be a deal worth north of £100 million.
Will Rudiger leave Chelsea?
Antonio Rudiger's future at Chelsea has become uncertain with the German defender stalling over signing a contract extension at Stamford Bridge. Rudiger has been offered a new deal worth around £140,000 per week, which has fallen short of his expectations. The 28-year-old is currently earning £100,000 a week but his current contract is set to expire at the end of the season, meaning he will be able to open negotiations with foreign clubs from January. Rudiger has attracted the interest of European giants, including Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Juventus.
Paper Round's view: Rudiger has enjoyed a renaissance since the arrival of Thomas Tuchel in west London. The former Roma centre-back was frozen out under former boss Frank Lampard, but he has quickly become one of the first names on the teamsheet under Tuchel. Rudiger has consistently performed for the European champions and his form should be rewarded with a new contract. Yes - he will be 29 years old at the end of the season, but he doesn't look like he's slowing down. Chelsea should give Rudiger a salary that reflects his importance in the squad - otherwise he will leave for another big club.
The two conditions that will see Mbappe renew at PSG - Euro Papers
Koeman on the brink...
Ronald Koeman reportedly has three matches to save his job at Barcelona, according to the Mirror. The Catalan club suffered an embarrassing 3-0 defeat at home to Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday and failed to register a single shot on target, which has piled the pressure on the Dutch boss. Koeman will need his Barca side to bounce back in an upcoming busy week, where they face Granada, Cadiz and Levante in La Liga. The 58-year-old's job is said to be at risk if the Blaugrana slip up against any of those opponents.
Paper Round's view: It seems like Barcelona are looking for any excuse to get rid of Koeman. This obviously isn't the Barcelona project that the Dutch boss was sold when he took the job in 2020. Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann both departed in the summer, the club are no longer a superpower and the finances are all over the place. Barcelona's board now needs to just commit to the rebuild - so they should either back Koeman or bring in a young, hungry (and patient) coach who is prepared to go on a long journey to bring the club back to the top of European football once again. What are the odds on Xavi being in charge by Christmas?
Ronald Koeman intends to stay at Barca
Image credit: Getty Images
A new leadership hierarchy at Man City
The Telegraph reveal that Ilkay Gundogan has been promoted to the role of vice-captain at Manchester City this season. Kevin de Bruyne has worn the armband in the past when club captain Fernandinho has been absent (see Champions League final), but the City players and backroom staff had a vote this week to formally appoint their leadership team. Reigning Premier League Player of the Season Ruben Dias was voted as third captain after an impressive debut season in England and De Bruyne is next in line.
Paper Round's view: This could be seen as a problem from the outside but it's a great situation for Manchester City. You can never have too many leaders in your squad and it seems like Pep Guardiola's side is full of them. It's good to have multiple leaders and Man City have the likes of Fernandinho, Gundogan, Dias, De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Aymeric Laporte, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Jack Grealish. This is the kind of squad that will win silverware for fun - and that's what we've seen at Manchester City for years now. De Bruyne is a mature professional and won't take it to heart that he has been 'demoted' to fourth captain.
Bellingham on target as Dortmund cruise past Bielefeld
Sterling may be denied Real Madrid move as he prepares for exit - Paper Round