Pochettino Real’s first choice

Former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is leading the race to take over from Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid, according to Spanish newspaper Marca. The first candidate under consideration is Raul, who currently manages Real’s reserve team, however the club do not want to appoint him so soon into his managerial career and would find it easy to conclude a deal with Pochettino having almost appointed him manager to take over from Rafael Benitez.

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Paper Round’s view: Pochettino has made it clear that he wants back into management and will soon start to suffer if he does not get another job. The longer you are away, the quicker you go stale. While he prefers to stay in England with his family, Real Madrid are the biggest club in the world and so it is hard to see him turning down the chance for both these reasons.

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Chelsea’s Alaba hunt hits a snag – Euro Papers

Villa want £100m for Grealish

Aston Villa have decided that Jack Grealish is worth £100 million. The 25-year-old Villa captain was valued at around £70 million in the last transfer window but has since signed a new deal at Villa Park, and no serious bid came in this summer, meaning he will have four years left on his contract at the end of the season. His move into the England team has also increased the valuation.

Paper Round’s view: Grealish is one of the best players in the Premier League who plays for a club outside of the top four. At 25, he probably only has one or two more years left before he will miss out on his chance to move to a Champions League side. At £100 million, other clubs could find younger targets with more potential, so he may end up stuck like Wilfried Zaha is at Crystal Palace.

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Alaba set to leave for nothing

Bayern Munich defender David Alaba is likely to leave the German and European champions for nothing, according to the Daily Mail. The 28-year-old Austrian international wants £22.5 million a year and Bayern offered £9.9m with further bonuses of £5.4m. With his deal up in the summer, he is attracting attention from Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and Juventus, who would all be keen to sign him for nothing.

Paper Round’s view: At 28, Alaba has a couple of years left as one of the best central defenders in the world, and also possesses the versatility to fill in on the flanks if necessary. There are not many clubs who could afford those wage demands, but perhaps he could be the answer for Pep Guardiola’s struggles at left-back, and the pair know each other from Guardiola’s time at Bayern.

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David Alaba

Image credit: Getty Images

Spurs consider Skriniar transfer

Tottenham Hotspur could move for Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar in January. The 25-year-old Slovakian international is available this winter if the club are able to pay £45 million. While Spurs signed Joe Rodon this summer, they may be looking for long-term replacements for Davinson Sanchez and Jan Vertognhen, who could be moving on.

Paper Round’s view: Skriniar is one of the best defenders around, and the impact of the coronavirus gives clubs the chance to pick up players who might not ordinarily be available. Vertonghen is likely approaching the end of his best years, and Sanchez is no longer an automatic first-team pick under Jose Mourinho, so could be let go to raise transfer funds.

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