European giants battle for German wonderkid

Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund are ready to go head-to-head in the fight to sign the latest German wonderkid, Karim Adeyemi, from Red Bull Salzburg. Sport1 (via the Mirror) report that Jurgen Klopp's side have been dealt a "significant blow" in the battle because Borussia Dortmund are preparing a €35 million January bid for the 19-year-old. The Bundesliga club are also willing to table a lucrative contract worth €5 million per season to bring Adeyemi back to his homeland. Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain are also tracking the teenager, but have been dubbed as "outsiders" to win the race for his signature.
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Paper Round's view: Adeyemi is a huge talent and it's no surprise that a handful of Europe's elite are chasing him. The youngster has already surpassed his goal tally from last season and it's only November. A move back to Germany would make a lot of sense for him. The pressure of the Premier League would be intense for such a young player and he would have Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino blocking his pathway to first-team football at Liverpool. Contrastingly, Dortmund have shown themselves to be a brilliant place for teenagers to blossom in recent years.
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Barca plan another free transfer

Barcelona boss Xavi is looking to add another free transfer to his squad following Dani Alves' return to the Camp Nou. The Catalan club are eyeing up Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta, who is approaching the end of his current contract in west London. The Spaniard will be free to open talks with foreign clubs from January if Chelsea and Azpilicueta fail to agree an extension to his deal. The Blues are keen to keep him at Stamford Bridge and talks are ongoing, but Barcelona are "long-term admirers" of the 32-year-old and Azpilicueta could be tempted to pursue a new challenge after nine years at Chelsea.
Paper Round's view: Barcelona have clearly shifted their transfer strategy since they were struck by their financial troubles. Last summer we saw Sergio Aguero, Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia all sign for free and now Alves has returned without a transfer fee. It seems likely that the club will target similar players next summer. Low-cost players who will provide experience for the youngsters that are being promoted to the first-team squad. Azpilicueta makes sense. The club are in the middle of a massive rebuild so it's all about striking a balance between experienced heads and exciting academy products.
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Everton eye cut-price Arsenal defender

Everton are planning to head to north London in search of a right-back in the January transfer window. The Toffees were keen on Arsenal's Ainsley Maitland-Niles during the summer and were said to have been "devastated" when Mikel Arteta rejected a deadline day loan bid for the 24-year-old. The Sun report that Everton remain interested in a loan deal - with a future option to buy - for Maitland-Niles, but may turn their attention to his Arsenal teammate Calum Chambers. The versatile defender could be available for as little as £5 million as his current contract is set to expire at the end of the season.
Paper Round’s view: Chambers' Arsenal career seems to be dead in the water. The former England international has not featured in Arteta's Premier League match-day squad in the past two months and it seems unlikely that he will break into the first team soon. The summer signings of Takehiro Tomiyasu and Ben White seem to have effectively ended his path to any first-team opportunities, so a move to Everton could be perfect to resurrect his career. His versatility means he would be able to play at right-back or centre-back and his contract situation would allow him to leave the Emirates Stadium for a cut-price fee.
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Southgate set to sign bumper new England deal

Gareth Southgate is expected to sign a contract extension with England without "any complications". The Mirror report that the FA have been "anxious" to resolve Southgate's future as his current deal is set to expire following the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. A new contract worth double Southgate's current salary of £2.5 million-per-year has been tabled and it would see the Three Lions boss extend his stay in charge until 2024.
Paper Round's view: Southgate has been in charge since 2016 and the England set-up has seen plenty of positive change during his tenure. The current England squad is probably the most likeable group of players in over 20 years and the results have been sensational on the pitch. Southgate's side reached the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup in Russia and were unlucky to lose the Euro 2020 final on penalties to Italy last summer. A new contract for Southgate would be a positive piece of news ahead of next year's World Cup.
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