Sancho set to stay – so who will join Man Utd?
Manchester United are finally set to give up in their pursuit of Jadon Sancho and move their interest elsewhere. According to the Daily Record, the Red Devils have made contact with Barcelona over the potential signing of World Cup winner Ousmane Dembele. The Manchester club have tabled an offer of a season-long loan at Old Trafford, but Barca are holding out for a permanent transfer worth €100 million. The Spanish club would only be willing to allow Dembele to leave on loan if an obligation-to-buy clause was involved in the deal. United have all-but given up on their chase for Sancho after Borussia Dortmund's Head of Licensed Players, Sebastian Kehl, recently confirmed the Englishman would be staying in Germany.
Paper Round's view: Now Manchester United are in a pickle. The club have allowed the Sancho saga to continue for too long and now have less than two weeks to sign an alternative before the transfer window closes on October 5. A temporary move makes the most sense if the club are going to reignite their interest in Sancho next summer and Dembele, Gareth Bale and Douglas Costa have previously been linked with a season-long loan to Old Trafford. However, a move for Dembele now looks unfeasible unless United want to commit to a future transfer and Bale has joined Premier League top-four rivals Tottenham Hotspur. Could this leave Douglas Costa joining United on loan? Only time will tell - but United do really need to add some attacking depth to their squad for the season ahead.
Telles or Tagliafico? Man Utd aren't Shaw...
Sticking with the Red Devils, the club are monitoring two options as they look to sign a new left-back. The Sun reveal that Manchester United are weighing up a transfer between South American pair Nicolas Tagliafico of Ajax and Alex Telles of Porto. The Premier League side previously made a cash-plus-player bid for Telles, offering unwanted right-back Diogo Dalot to his former club, but Porto rejected the offer. The Portuguese club are only willing to accept an offer if their £23-million asking price is met. United have identified Tagliafico as an alternative option and his parent club Ajax would allow the Argentine to leave for a fee of around £23 million, the same cost as Telles.
Paper Round's view: So basically, the decision is down to United. The transfer fee is the same and, although wages demands may vary, we can assume that the club's scouts have assessed both options and probably favour one more than the other. However, the problem at Old Trafford comes in the form of Luke Shaw. United handed a new four-year deal to youngster Brandon Williams last month, reported to be worth £40,000 per week, yet Shaw's contract doesn't expire until 2023 and is said to be worth a whopping £190,000 per week. The club can't feasibly have three left-backs in the squad and Shaw's contract makes him far too expensive to find a potential suitor. Is this the real reason why United haven't signed a new left-back despite being linked to numerous options all summer?
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Barcelona want Norwich youngster
Barcelona are set to make a shock move for Norwich right-back Max Aarons, according to the Telegraph. The England under-21 international has been the subject of a bid made from the Catalan club on Monday night, which would see Aarons initially join Barcelona on loan. The Liga club bid £5 million to take the 20-year-old defender on a temporary basis, with a view to a permanent transfer next summer due to the financial consequences of Covid-19. Norwich have set an asking price of £30 million and are demanding that an obligation-to-buy clause is involved in any loan agreement. Barcelona are also looking at Ajax right-back Sergino Dest as the club searches for a replacement for the Wolves-bound Nelson Semedo.
Paper Round's view: Max Aarons to Barcelona? From Carrow Road to the Camp Nou? This could be an incredible move. Aarons certainly turned a few heads during Norwich's short stint in the Premier League last season. The two young British full-back pairing of Aarons and Jamal Lewis was raved about since their promotion from the Championship. Before Lewis joined Newcastle, he was wanted by Liverpool until the Premier League champions were outpriced by the Canaries. Now Barcelona want Aarons. With Semedo leaving the Liga club, Barca's right-back position is up for grabs. The England youth international genuinely has the opportunity of a lifetime if he were to complete a move to the Camp Nou.
Lampard looks to trim Chelsea squad
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has refused to rule out the possibility of both Callum Hudson-Odoi and Antonio Rudiger leaving Stamford Bridge before the transfer window closes next month. The Guardian report that the Blues boss is looking to "trim his squad" after the club opened their chequebook this summer to bring in a handful of new faces. Hudson-Odoi does not want to leave his boyhood club despite his lack of playing time. The 19-year-old was previously linked with German champions Bayern Munich before suffering a serious achilles injury last year. Lampard "would be open to selling Rudiger", who is yet to feature for the west London club so far this season.
Paper Round's view: This is what happens when you sign over £200-million worth of high-profile players in one transfer window. There was always going to be unrest at Stamford Bridge this summer after seeing Chelsea flex their muscles in the transfer market. The expensive arrivals of Hakim Ziyech, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner are likely to see less playing time for academy product Hudson-Odoi, while the Blues now have five centre-back options due to Thiago Silva's move to London. Lampard needs to balance his squad and it looks like Hudson-Odoi and Rudiger will be sacrificed. In addition to those two, it wouldn't be a surprise to see either Marcos Alonso or Emerson leave, along with Ross Barkley, Kepa Arrizabalaga and maybe even Tammy Abraham at some point this season.