Manchester City target Vinicius Jr. as Real Madrid look set to land Erling Haaland - Paper Round
Manchester City want to sign Vinicius Jr. as Real Madrid hope to sign Erling Haaland this summer, while Arsenal are unlikely to complete a deal for Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic this January. Elsewhere, Jurgen Klopp wants Loris Karius to succeed at a new club, and Youri Tielemans could be on his way out at Leicester City.
Real Madrid's Brazilian forward Vinicius Junior gestures after scoring during the Spanish Super Cup semi-final football match between Barcelona and Real Madrid at the King Fahad International stadium in the Saudi capital Riyadh on January 12, 2022.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is considering his options, according to The Mirror. With the news that Erling Haaland prefers the idea of moving to the Bernabeu when he leaves Borussia Dortmund, the City coach has identified Real Madrid’s own 21-year-old striker, Vinicius Jr., as the next potential striker to arrive at The Etihad as they look for a new forward.
Paper Round’s view: If Real Madrid sign Kylian Mbappe on a free that will still take a huge transfer outlay on wages and a signing-on fee, so the chances of them also being able to do the same with Haaland will not be assured. However, if City are then willing to step in to pay up for Brazilian forward Vinicius Jr., it would allow Florentino Perez to more or less balance out the transfer.
Guardiola on Chelsea test: 'They are champions of Europe... excellent in all departments'
Vlahovic set for Fiorentina stay
Dusan Vlahovic’s exit from Serie A side Fiorentina is not assured despite the 21-year-old Serbian international being no closer to signing fresh terms with his current side. Arsenal are keen on the player, as are Spurs, Inter Milan and Juventus, but Fiorentina have valued the player at £58 million and, despite having a contract that runs out next summer, are refusing to budge.
Paper Round’s view: If Fiorentina do not cut a deal now then they will almost certainly be forced to do so in the summer, and on significantly reduced terms. The club are nine points off the Champions League spots which means that they may consider it worth the gamble of keeping Vlahovic to see if they can snatch a top four finish and the money that comes with it.
Jurgen Klopp hopes that goalkeeper Loris Karius is soon able to find a new club. The 28-year-old German has not played for the club since the 2018 Champions League final and has had two loan spells elsewhere. He is out of contract in the summer but could move now, with Klopp saying: “Loris? I wish him only the best. He will find a club whether it is now or in the summer. From there he will go on, I’m very sure.”
Paper Round’s view: Karius clearly had his confidence shot by the Champions League final and, given the importance of the match, the club’s fans always remain concerned about his role in the squad. Two loan spells were relatively uneventful on the pitch, so he could still make a decent career over the next ten years given his position.
Leicester may let Tielemans leave amid Arsenal interest
Leicester City may have to consider selling midfielder Youri Tielemans as his contract is up in 2023 and there is no indication that talks are progressing over a new deal, reports Spanish newspaper Marca. The 24-year-old is wanted by Arsenal and, with the playmaker able to leave for nothing next year, the club may elect to sell him now or this winter to avoid a total loss.
Paper Round’s view: Tielemans is likely a target for most of the Premier League’s biggest clubs as well as those who are challenging for Champions League spots around Europe. Arsenal are also interested and Tielemans would probably be good competition if not an outright replacement for their current attacking midfielder, Martin Odegaard, who is not yet reaching his full potential.