Liverpool leap to front of Bellingham queue
Liverpool believe they have jumped to the front of the queue to sign Jude Bellingham because rival clubs are focusing all their attention on his Borussia Dortmund teammate Erling Haaland. The Mirror report that Jurgen Klopp is keen on adding Bellingham to bolster his midfield options and the Reds are not even put off by the teenager’s £90-million asking price. Haaland is wanted by Premier League giants Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea and Spanish duo Real Madrid and Barcelona, which means Liverpool believe they will have a free run at Bellingham next summer.
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Paper Round’s view: Targeting Bellingham while every other club chases Haaland could be a stroke of genius, but why would Dortmund let two of their star prospects leave in the same summer? The Bundesliga side rejected any advances for Haaland last summer after allowing Jadon Sancho to leave, so we should probably expect the same this summer if Haaland were to leave. Bellingham is only 18 years old so has plenty of time to continue his development before moving to the Premier League. However, Liverpool would probably be the ideal destination for the youngster when he does eventually decide to return to England.
Erik ten Hag: A manager in demand
The Telegraph reveal that Ajax manager Erik ten Hag is wanted by some of the biggest clubs in Europe. The 51-year-old admitted that he will be "ready to coach abroad" at the end of the current campaign after five years in Amsterdam. Ten Hag was previously approached by Bayern Munich, Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United, but he reaffirmed his desire to remain at Ajax. He is now being looked at by Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain ahead of a potential summer move and is even said to be on the shortlist to replace Pep Guardiola when he eventually leaves Manchester City.
Paper Round’s view: Ten Hag caught the attention of Europe’s top clubs after Ajax went on an incredible run in the Champions League back in 2019. The Dutch club were merely minutes away from reaching the final before facing heartbreak against Tottenham. Ten Hag has continued to impress during the constant rebuild in Amsterdam and it is expected that he will move on at the end of the season. Manchester United could be a decent move for him, but PSG might be a disaster. There is far too much pressure to win the Champions League in Paris and there are a few too many egos, which would be a drastic change from his team in Ajax.
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Ajax eye Henderson loan
Ajax are exploring the possibility of signing Manchester United stopper Dean Henderson on loan in the winter transfer window, according to the Telegraph. The Dutch club are in the hunt for a new goalkeeper, with regular number one Andre Onana expected to leave in January. Ajax have been following Henderson for over a year and there is specific interest from the club chief executive and former Red Devils keeper Edwin van der Sar. The 24-year-old may push to leave Old Trafford due to his pursuit of first-team football and his desire to be part of the England squad for next year’s World Cup.
Paper Round’s view: Henderson can’t keep waiting around for De Gea to slip up and get his chance. He obviously backed himself to take the number one jersey when he decided to sign a lengthy contract extension, but it just has not worked out. A move away would be a good decision for Henderson – especially if he wants to reclaim his spot in the England squad. Ajax would be interesting and would allow him to develop his game on the European stage. A permanent move to a club like West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur or Newcastle United in the summer could be a decent option to explore if he wants to stay in the Premier League on a permanent basis.
West Ham want Ake to provide defensive depth
West Ham United will look to Manchester City centre-back Nathan Ake after suffering another injury blow on Saturday. Kurt Zouma may face months on the sideline after limping off with a hamstring injury during the Hammers' 3-2 victory over Chelsea. Additionally, the east London club's other first-choice centre-back Angelo Ogbonna has been ruled out of the remainder of the season with a knee injury. Ake has found himself down the pecking order at Manchester City and the Sun reveal that West Ham will attempt to sign the Dutch defender on loan in the winter transfer window by offering him first-team football.
Paper Round’s view: David Moyes’ side are enjoying another brilliant season. West Ham sit in fourth in the Premier League table, they recently knocked out holders Manchester City to reach the Carabao Cup quarter-finals and are dominating their Europa League group. A long-term injury to Ogbonna wasn’t ideal, but Craig Dawson is a decent back-up option. However, Zouma’s injury could be a disaster. Ake would be a solid replacement and if Manchester City are happy to loan him to a potential top-four rival, it would be a great piece of business for West Ham.
‘They needed my quality’ – Haller rejects idea he is Haaland’s successor at Dortmund
De Jong refuses to join Man Utd, Real Madrid target Bellingham – Paper Round
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