Man Utd make audacious Kante enquiry

Manchester United have made contact with the advisors of N'Golo Kante over a potential surprise transfer. According to the Mirror, the 29-year-old could be allowed to leave Chelsea "for the right offer" following the Blues' summer spending spree of over £200 million. Premier League rivals United are keen to add Kante to their midfield and bolster their defensive options after signing Bruno Fernandes and Donny van de Beek this year. However, the Red Devils would need Kante to take a wage cut in order to complete any deal. The World Cup winner is currently earning £300,000 per week at Stamford Bridge. Former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is also exploring the possibility of signing Kante for Inter Milan.

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Paper Round's view: It would be a dream signing for Manchester United fans, wouldn't it? N'Golo Kante can do it all. The Frenchman has proved himself as one of the best midfielders in world football since becoming a household name during Leicester City's Premier League-winning season in 2015-16. He might be 29, but Kante would certainly bring vital balance to an attacking midfield which features the Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and Donny van de Beek. Adding Kante to that trio would give United one of the best midfields in world football, let alone just in the Premier League. If a deal can be done, Ed Woodward should do everything he can to get it over the line.

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Man City react to Leicester loss with new £64m defender

Over on the blue side of Manchester, City are set to complete the signing of Portuguese centre-back Ruben Dias from Benfica. Pep Guardiola's side have been desperate to bring in a right-sided centre-back all summer and the Independent are reporting that Dias is set to join for a fee of £64 million, with 32-year-old Nicolas Otamendi returning to Portugal as part of the deal. The Premier League side failed to strike an agreement with Napoli for their first-choice centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly and decided to sign Dias over Sevilla defender Jules Kounde. Manchester City are set to confirm the signing of the 23-year-old Portugal international this week following a 5-2 humbling at the hands of Leicester City on Sunday.

Paper Round's view: Manchester City are desperate for some defensive reinforcements. Their loss to Leicester was the first time a Pep Guardiola side conceded five goals in a single match, but it's not just about one game. City have looked vulnerable defensively since the departure of club captain Vincent Kompany in the summer of 2019. The issue might be a lack of leadership in the defence and adding the 23-year-old Ruben Dias may not solve this problem. Guardiola now has five young centre-backs in his squad with Dias, Aymeric Laporte, Nathan Ake, Eric Garcia and John Stones. It's a bloated area of the squad and the names involved - bar Laporte - don't really scream 'Champions League-winning defenders'.

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Spurs to sign King as Kane competition

Tottenham Hotspur are exploring the possibility of signing Bournemouth's versatile attacker Joshua King as the club's search for a back-up option for Harry Kane continues. The Telegraph report that the Cherries would be willing to allow King to leave the south coast "for the right price" as he is currently in the final year of his contract. The option to sign the Norway international would appeal to Spurs as Premier League clubs are still able to sign players from EFL clubs for 11 days after the summer transfer window deadline on October 5. Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho would prefer to sign a striker in the build of a target man but King's versatility of being able to play as a wide forward is an attractive trait for the north London club.

Paper Round's view: Josh King would be a decent signing for Spurs. He will surely come at a reduced price due to the fact that his contract is up in June and Bournemouth are looking to cash in on some of their stars following their Premier League relegation in July. However, Mourinho seems pretty keen to bring in a different type of striker. It's all well and good signing a versatile player who can fill in on the wing like King, but Tottenham have plenty of options in those wide areas. Signing the 28-year-old would give them another player like Son Hueng-min or Lucas Moura, when it's quite clear that the manager wants something different. Spurs should continue to explore the market for a target man, but use the extended English transfer window to sign King if needed after the European deadline.

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Chelsea hungry for Rice homecoming

Chelsea could pounce to take advantage of West Ham's money troubles in a bid to bring former academy product Declan Rice back to Stamford Bridge, according to the Sun. The Hammers are reportedly "desperate" for transfer funds and despite stating that Rice is not for sale, co-owner David Sullivan admitted the 21-year-old "is getting more depressed" over a lack of signings. Chelsea are set to launch a £40 million bid to test West Ham's resolve as Blues boss Frank Lampard looks to add "the final piece in his jigsaw puzzle". The Sun also reveal that West Ham are interested in the possibility of signing Chelsea centre-back Antonio Rudiger on loan.

Paper Round's view: Declan Rice's homecoming has been rumoured for a while. It's no secret that Frank Lampard is a huge fan of the England international. If Chelsea can complete a deal for £40 million, it would be significantly less than the rumoured asking-price of around £80 million from a few months ago. The arrival of Rice at Stamford Bridge would have to mean that either N'Golo Kante or Jorginho would leave the club - otherwise Lampard's already-bloated squad would be even more of a problem. Maybe Chelsea could use West Ham's interest in Rudiger or Ross Barkley to their advantage in negotiations, which would allow the Blues to reduce their squad size and sign their top target.

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