City consider De Jong move
Manchester City are close to a January move for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, according to The Sun. The 24-year-old Dutch international moved from Ajax in 2019 for £65 million, and £10 million more could be enough to seal the deal. There is speculation that a swap deal with Raheem Sterling could appeal, but the Spanish club are in need of raising funds.
United want Leipzig pair Nkunku and Haidara - Paper Round
Paper Round’s view: Barcelona’s financial position means that they have little room for manoeuvre when there is almost no money available. De Jong might have excellent potential but he has not met that in Spain and it might make sense for them to send him on his way if they are able to secure a sizable fee. The interest payments alone will be a huge obligation and need to be tackled.
Xavi takes Barcelona training for the first time as he starts work as head coach
Spurs battle for McKennie
Former Schalke midfielder Winston McKennie could be sold by Juventus for £25 million, and that is attracting attention from Aston Villa, Tottenham and West Ham, with the 23-year-old American international in demand. There is also interest in Juventus’ 30-year-old Welsh international midfielder Aaron Ramsey, with Newcastle potentially taking him on a free transfer, reports The Mirror.
Paper Round’s view: McKennie will likely prove the better signing despite having much less experience, because at just 23 he still has room to grow into his talents, and is priced very reasonably. Ramsey, however, would give Newcastle credibility in the eyes of their fans and others but there has to be doubt over his ability to stay fit and his performance level after struggles in Italy.
Southgate ready for England deal
The Telegraph claims that England national team manager Gareth Southgate is keen to get a new contract signed, with his current deal set to expire at the end of the 2022 World Cup. The FA want to keep him until 2024, meaning he would oversee the European Championships that year, and Southgate is confident of the future, saying: “We will only get better.”
Paper Round’s view: Southgate has done little wrong compared to many of the managers who have previously held the position, and there is no reason to think England won’t be confident of putting in another decent performance in Qatar. However only rarely does a manager keep his players keen for longer than a couple of years at a time, so while it is understandable, keeping Southgate for longer is a risk.
'Clear cultural differences' between England and Qatar - Southgate
Raiola hints at Pogba exit
Spanish newspaper Marca suggests that Paul Pogba could leave Manchester United as early as January, with agent Mino Raiola saying: “It's too early to speak about Paul Pogba's contract [with Manchester United]. Let's see what happens. I can't stop anyone from dreaming about him. December is the month of dreams... and I can't stop dreams, but it is better to not speak about Paul. If some former Man United players don't speak about me and Paul, they won't work anymore.”
Paper Round’s view: Pogba has underperformed now for the best part of half a decade. That’s not solely his fault, given the rest of the team has also underperformed for the best part of half a decade. But when he’s on his game he can be exceptional, and as his 30s approach, now is the time he must impress at club level rather than waste any more time at Old Trafford.
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