Phillips to be offered new contract

Leeds United have opened negotiations with Kalvin Phillips over a contract extension after rumours emerged that the Yorkshire club's fierce rivals Manchester United were interested in signing Phillips next summer. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is demanding a new defensive midfielder and has made the role his "number one priority". The Manchester club have been priced out of a move for West Ham United's Declan Rice, so have turned to his England midfield partner, Phillips. The 25-year-old is currently under contract at Elland Road until 2024, but the Star report that the club are ready to tie him down to a bumper new deal to deter external interest.
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Paper Round's view: It's difficult to keep hold of your star players once they begin to make their mark in the Premier League and on the international stage. We've seen this with Jack Grealish, who found it impossible to resist the lure of Manchester City despite his love for his boyhood club Aston Villa. However, Rice is another example, who is seemingly happy plying his trade at West Ham despite interest from top Premier League clubs. Phillips is Leeds through and through, but signing a new deal is a huge decision. Harry Kane's situation has shown us what happens when you sign a huge contract and price yourself out of a transfer.
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Leno attracts interest from Inter

Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno has attracted interest from Inter Milan, who are tempted to make a move for him in January. The 29-year-old is currently out of favour in north London following the £24 million arrival of Aaron Ramsdale from Sheffield United during the summer. Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta wanted to encourage competition for the number one spot, but Leno has seemingly already lost his place to Ramsdale and he wants to play first-team football. Inter are weighing up a winter move for the German stopper but also have one eye on Ajax's Andre Onana, who will be available to sign for free next summer upon the expiration of his contract in the Dutch capital.
Paper Round's view: Leno's Arsenal exit seems imminent. Whether it is in January or next summer, it will surely happen. The former Bayer Leverkusen keeper has been solid enough for the Gunners, but the club are moving in a different direction now. The signing of Ramsdale was repeatedly questioned, but his scintillating start at the Emirates seem to have quashed any fears from fans. Inter are in need of a new goalkeeper too. Club captain Samir Handanovic has been reliable for years, but he's 37 years old now. Leno or Onana would be a solid addition for the defending Serie A champions.
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Southgate's defensive dilemma

Gareth Southgate and England are facing a defensive dilemma ahead of their 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and Hungary in October. Southgate is set to name his squad on Thursday, but he has been hit with an injury crisis in defence. Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Reece James and Trent Alexander-Arnold are all fitness doubts, while John Stones has not played a single minute for Manchester City this season. Arsenal defender Ben White is expected to receive a call-up, while AC Milan's Fikayo Tomori and Chelsea's Ben Chilwell could also make returns.
Paper Round's view: Obviously this can be easily labelled as a 'defensive crisis' for Southgate, but he can also view it as an opportunity. England are unbeaten in their qualifying group and have a four-point cushion ahead of Albania, who sit in second place. There are no easy games, apparently, but Andorra away and Hungary at home aren't the most difficult. It's a chance for Southgate to test out some new defenders ahead of the World Cup next year. White, Tomori and Chilwell are all top-quality footballers playing for big clubs. They will be hoping to grab their opportunity with both hands if they are called up for the Three Lions.
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Man Utd demand Greenwood misses out on England squad

The Star report that Southgate has "caved in" to the demands of Manchester United after the Premier League side asked for Mason Greenwood to be left out of the latest England squad. Southgate was ready to recall the 19-year-old, who was forced to pull out of the Three Lions squad ahead of Euro 2020 due to injury. United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer informed the England boss that a call-up would increase the pressure on Greenwood and affect his confidence. Southgate is keen to keep a strong relationship with club managers so has agreed for now, but expects Greenwood to return to the England setup for November's international break.
Paper Round's view: These days, getting an England call-up comes with a lot of extra baggage. The media scrutiny will increase and there will be a microscope over every move you make on and off the pitch. Solskjaer is obviously just trying to protect Greenwood, but this is potentially harming his chances of making the England squad at next year's World Cup in Qatar. The United teenager has not featured for the Three Lions since he was sent home from Iceland for breaking Covid-19 protocols over a year ago. There's a lot of competition in his position so he's going to have to focus on his club form and hope he is called up in November.
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