United target double signing
Manchester United have been linked with two midfielders in the winter transfer window. The Mirror reports that incoming United boss Ralf Rangnick has been given a budget of £100 million, which includes £63m earmarked for Erling Haaland next summer. Before then, RB Leipzig pair Amadou Haidara and Christopher Nkunku are both potential winter additions to the squad.
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Paper Round’s view: United still need a midfielder if Rangnick is the latest manager unwilling to use Donny van de Beek, but even if the Dutchman comes through, the club probably need a long-term replacement for Paul Pogba, who has shown little inclination to sign a new deal at Old Trafford, and whose performances probably have not earned him a future with the club.
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Pereira error could cost United
Flamengo midfielder is on loan from Manchester United, with a proposed £17 million asking price. However, his error against Palmeiras in the Copa Libertadores means that the Brazilians want to pay less than that, according to The Sun. That could affect Ralf Rangnick’s transfer plans, with midfielders Haidara and Denis Zakaria both potential targets.
Paper Round’s view: Pereira should have left United a long time ago when it became clear that as tidy a player he is (despite the weekend’s error) there is not a huge amount he can do for a club of United’s size. A single mistake is unlikely to mean a deal will not go through, but perhaps Flamengo realise the 25-year-old is a player of limited talents, and there is better value elsewhere.
Barca ready to act in winter
Barcelona CEO Ferran Reverter is confident that the Spanish side can bring in players this winter, and the following transfer window. The club has struggled with their finances and saw Lionel Messi leave on a free transfer, but Spanish newspaper Marca reported that Reverter said: "Of course we can renew Dembele. It could take a little longer on the operational side because we have to look at it in detail."
Paper Round’s view: Signing players could be vital if new manager Xavi Hernandez has a grand idea of fresh blood that could be used to revitalise the approach to the game - Dani Alves is unlikely to be enough by himself. Keeping Dembele is also an important step because the club simply cannot afford to let players go without raising funds for replacements.
Derby face liquidation
The Mail reports that Derby County face the threat not just of another relegation, but of liquidation. The paper says that £20 million is owed to MSD Group - US investors - as well as £10m in other debt and £30m to HMRC. A takeover, likely by Chris Kirchner, only makes business sense if that debt to the taxman can be more than halved, which appears to be unlikely.
Paper Round’s view: While it does not seem fair that fans would have to lose their club due to the debts placed upon it by the previous owner’s decisions, HMRC has little flexibility. If the custom becomes established that tax can be easily and heavily discounted during administration proceedings, then other clubs will be tempted to go down the same route.
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