Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Barcelona battle over Red Bull Salzburg youngster Karim Adeyemi - Paper Round
Liverpool are ready to go head-to-head with Bayern Munich and Barcelona over the signing of highly-rated Red Bull Salzburg youngster Karim Adeyemi. Elsewhere, there are new contracts on the table for Jesse Lingard at Manchester United and Ansu Fati at Barcelona, while Pep Guardiola could use Phil Foden in a different role this season. It's Friday's Paper Round...
Karim Adeyemi of RB Salzburg looks on during the UEFA Champions League group G match between Sevilla FC and RB Salzburg at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on September 14, 2021 in Seville, Spain.
Liverpool are already plotting their deals for the winter transfer window, with The Mirror (via Mundo Deportivo) reporting that the Reds are taking a closer look at Red Bull Salzburg striker Karim Adeyemi. The 19-year-old has been linked with Barcelona and former club Bayern Munich, but Liverpool will look to gazump their transfer rivals by making a mid-season move. The report states that Liverpool's hopes have been boosted by the fact that Barca "have reservations" over completing a deal with Salzburg, especially due to their "preferred route" of selling to their German peers RB Leipzig.
Paper Round's view: Sadio Mane, Naby Keita, Takumi Minamino, Ibrahima Konate... what do all these players have in common? They have all played for RB Salzburg and Liverpool. Will Adeyemi continue the trend? The teenager is said to have attracted the interest of Barcelona and Bayern Munich too. Barca are notoriously struggling with their finances, but Bayern is an interesting option. Adeyemi spent two years with the German champions as a child and was born in Munich. Liverpool will need to move quickly and January would make sense for them as they are set to lose Mane and Mohamed Salah to the Africa Cup of Nations.
Manchester United have entered negotiations with Jesse Lingard over a contract extension at Old Trafford. The England international was linked with an exit all summer after impressing for West Ham United on a six-month loan spell from January, but Lingard ended up staying at his boyhood club. The 28-year-old's current contract is set to expire at the end of this season and United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to extend his stay at Old Trafford, admitting the club "see him as a Man United player in the future".
Paper Round's view: Lingard returned to Manchester United in search of first-team football following his scintillating loan spell in East London. He suffered a setback before the season started when he tested positive for Covid-19, but Lingard hasn't started a match so far in this campaign. The arrivals of Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo are likely to limit his chance even more... so why would he hang around at Old Trafford? It's always difficult to leave your boyhood club, but the power will be in Lingard's hands if he runs down his contract and leaves for free next summer.
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Fati in contract talks with Barca
Ansu Fati is edging closer to agreeing a contract extension with Barcelona, according to Marca. The 18-year-old, who is currently recovering from knee surgery, is keen on staying at the Camp Nou and his agent Jorge Mendes arrived for negotiations with the board on Thursday. The super-agent is set to meet with club officials for a second time in the next few days in order to agree the final details of the contract extension. Fati's current deal is set to expire in the summer of 2022, but Barcelona have the option to trigger an extension.
Paper Round's view: This is exactly what Barcelona need to be doing now. The Catalan club have to identify which players are going to be part of the rebuild - and Fati is ready to be the poster boy of the new Barcelona era. The teenager was handed the number 10 shirt, which was inherited after the shock exit of Lionel Messi this summer. That pretty much shows him how much faith the club have in him. That shirt means more than any contract or pay rise, but it will be music to the ears of Barca fans when they hear the confirmation of a new deal for Fati.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is reportedly exploring the possibility of giving Phil Foden a new tactical role this season. The Telegraph reveal that the 21-year-old has been deployed in a central-midfield role during training, despite excelling in a wide-forward position throughout last season and at the European Championships for England. Foden could be set to join the likes of Kevin de Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva in the deeper role after compatriot and left-sided forward Jack Grealish joined City for a £100-million fee during the summer transfer window.
Paper Round's view: City really do have an embarrassment of riches in their squad. There were questions on whether Grealish would be used in a central-midfield role upon his arrival at the Etihad, but it looks like he will take up the left-forward position, meaning that Foden will be forced to adjust. It's not necessarily a bad thing for Foden. His work-rate, creativity and calmness on the ball are all traits that could see him excel in central midfield too. It's tough competition, but there's tough competition everywhere in the City squad.