United favourites for Vardy transfer

The Sun reports that Manchester United are now considered favourites to sign Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy. The 35-year-old striker has struggled with injuries of late but started brightly this season, and Chelsea have distanced themselves from a move for the player. United are desperate for a new striker as Edinson Cavani left and Cristiano Ronaldo could still quit.
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Paper Round’s view: A few years ago Vardy was wanted by Arsenal and remained with Leicester. In truth, his career has not suffered for it, but he may see any chance to join United as a way to end his time in football in style. He probably has one or two more years left, and his spiky attitude may be welcome at Old Trafford after they have suffered from mediocrity.
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Gordon wants Chelsea switch

Chelsea had an offer of around £40-45 million turned down by Everton for their forward Anthony Gordon. The 21-year-old is viewed as an important figure at Everton, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin out injured. The Telegraph reports that Everton want at least £50m for the player, with the English player keen on a move to Stamford Bridge if it can be completed.
Paper Round’s view: Chelsea have grown a little desperate in their pursuit of reinforcements in the last few days, and with Memphis Depay looking set for Juventus, it may be tough for them to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Barcelona. Gordon would be a more long-term option but forcing through a reluctant Everton may take too much persuasion.
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Antony set for Ajax stay

Ajax’s Brazilian winger Antony appears certain to stay at Ajax, at least for this season. The Daily Mail reports that the 22-year-old forward had been valued at £67m by his Dutch club, but Manchester United have not come close to matching that. Antony is reportedly content with his side and a bright start to the new season means that he is set to remain in the Netherlands.
Paper Round’s view: Antony looked like he was almost certain to make the switch to Old Trafford a couple of months ago, but the usual inertia, indecision and parsimony at United means that not only is Antony still at Ajax, but there is little to no chance of the club pulling off enough serious and credible signings before the end of the current transfer window.
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United could come back for De Jong

Manchester United have withdrawn their £72m bid for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong. The 25-year-old Dutch international remains in a protracted disagreement with his current club over deferred wages, and The Mirror reports that United are looking at alternatives. However United could use the pressure on Barcelona to come back in with a lower bid before the window shuts.
Paper Round’s view: This is all remarkably tedious. Barcelona have got themselves into a right pickle and United are even more desperate to get something done in order to give Erik ten Hag a chance. With a couple of weeks left United need to get their act together but every selling club now will be determined to drive a hard bargain to benefit from United’s desperation.
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