Manchester United in four-way Premier League battle for Atletico Madrid's Joao Felix - Paper Round
Manchester United face competition from Liverpool, Arsenal and Newcastle for Atletico Madrid's Joao Felix, Barcelona could start the next season with seven new players who cost nothing up front, Brighton are looking at a Polish teenager, while Real Madrid's Marco Asensio is not giving up on his time at the club.
Atletico Madrid's Portuguese midfielder Joao Felix celebrates scoring his team's third goal during the La Liga win over Real Betis at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium
Manchester United are one of four Premier League clubs keen on signing Joao Felix. The 22-year-old is reportedly on his way out of Atletico Madrid, and the Mirror says that Ralf Rangnick is a fan of the Portuguese forward. However, Arsenal, Liverpool and Newcastle are all interested, with Newcastle willing to offer the largest sum - though Felix is not keen on the north eastern club.
Paper Round’s view: Felix is talented enough that he should not necessarily have to stoop to Newcastle, but signing a player who is out of sorts and struggling is a risk for anyone. The important thing would be to structure the deal so that Atletico can move him on, but any club who buys him doesn't have to commit to a huge transfer outlay until they know he is back to fulfilling his potential.
Rangnick: "Pogba won't be back in training for more than 2 weeks"
Barcelona target free transfers
The Mirror reports on the possibility that Joan Laporta and Xavi Hernandez could start next season with seven players brought in for little to no cash. There is the chance that Chelsea trio Andreas Christensen, Cesar Azpilicueta and Antonio Rudiger could arrive for nothing. Adnan Januzaj could make a free transfer move, Ajax stopper Andre Onana may join, and Anthony Martial could join on a loan-to-buy arrangement.
Paper Round’s view: Barcelona already have Dani Alves who might be able to help raise the standards behind the scenes as Xavi tries to overhaul the failures at the Nou Camp of late. Martial is another interesting one, because he has said he now wants to leave despite the change of manager at Old Trafford, making a January switch a real possibility.
Brighton & Hove Albion are aiming to sign Poland international midfielder Kacper Kozlowski this season. The 18-year-old became the youngest player at the European Championships when he featured in the Euro 2020 games this summer. Pogoń Szczecin are willing to do business and it could be that a £5 million move is secured for the player to move this January.
Paper Round’s view: Graham Potter might have been booed by his own fans recently but most people understand that he is doing an impressive job with limited resources. Buying an 18-year-old is a demonstration that he and the club hope he could be around for the long-term, because it will be hard for him to settle in and show his best performances until next season.
Marco Asensio is not yet giving up on his Real Madrid future, according to Spanish newspaper Marca. The 25-year-old suffered a serious injury in 2019 and has not yet been able to force his way back into the side. The player said: "It is still too early to talk about [a potential departure from Real Madrid]. As I said I want to be playing, working and have consistency. Then we will see how things go."
Paper Round’s view: Asensio burst into the Real Madrid team looking like an exceptional talent who would be able to hold down a spot in the first team for years to come, but with no clear way through with injury and struggling to get regular minutes under Zinedine Zidane, it would not be a surprise to see him try a move to the Premier League at the end of the season.