Hernandez targets Sterling
According to a report in The Mail, Barcelona’s new boss, Spaniard Xavi Hernandez, wants to bring a new winger to the club, particularly in light of a new injury to current wideman Ousmane Dembele. The former midfielder wants to bring Raheem Sterling to the club to operate on the flanks, presupposing there is enough money available to do a deal with Manchester City.
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Paper Round’s view: Sterling is going into the last 18 months of his contract with City, and because of the club’s rigorous and honest embrace of Financial Fair Play regulations they may wish to move Sterling on in order to raise some funds to balance the books. Sterling is ready to move abroad and has shown the aptitude to adapt to various tactical requirements.
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Moyes wants to keep Bowen
Jarrod Bowen is a target for Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, according to The Mirror, and in light of more praise from the German about the 24-year-old striker, David Moyes has made it clear he believes he should stay, saying: “Well, Jarrod’s at a top club now.” The striker has been one of West Ham’s best players in another impressive campaign and Moyes does not want him to leave.
Paper Round’s view: Bowen’s current deal with West Ham does not expire until 2025 so they will not be forced to sell him on the cheap. Liverpool have often spent less than their major rivals, so there is a slight risk that another of the bigger, richer clubs in the Premier League could come in with an offer that Moyes is not given the chance to turn down.
Newcastle target Strakosha signing
Newcastle United are putting together their plans for the January transfer window, according to The Sun. The paper claims that they want Napoli’s 26-year-old Thomas Strakosha, who is out of contract in the summer. They will try to force through a cheap January deal after signing a pre-contract agreement, and hope the Albanian goalkeeper will be let go earlier.
Paper Round’s view: Strakosha has not been able to dislodge the experienced Pepe Reina ahead of him in the Italian side’s pecking order, but he has 16 caps for the Albanian national team, so he may have some talent. At 26, that is plenty of time for a goalkeeper to grow into his talent, and Newcastle really do need improvement across every aspect of the team.
Xavi deal to be examined
Spanish newspaper Marca reports that Barcelona will have their transfer deal for Xavi Hernandez examined by La Liga authorities. They will have to make sure that the wage level fits within the restrictions given their wage bill, and if they have paid the release clause in cash then that will count towards their expenditure. There are, though, ways around it.
Paper Round’s view: If Xavi has taken a relatively small sum in his first year of salary then he can only have it bumped up by a limited amount in forthcoming years. However, there are ways for Barcelona to pay both Al Sadd and their new manager in other means without committing the cash now, or even paying them directly, so they should be able to pull it off.
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