Real reluctant to go back for Mbappe
After agreeing a deal worth 150 million euros-a-year with Paris Saint-Germain, Kylian Mbappe may now never get a chance to join Real Madrid. The Spanish newspaper Marca reports that the 23-year-old French international may leave on a free transfer in 2024, but the wages he is on mean that Real will not be interested in paying out at that level for the player.
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Paper Round’s view: Mbappe could end up as a billionaire in just a few years' time when his existing earnings, current contract and sponsorship deals are totted up, and for now it seems that has done little to affect his commitment on the pitch. It is an interesting question, though, whether that amount of money offers good value for anyone looking to build a Champions League-winning side.
Knighton still hopeful on Glazer deal
Michael Knight, who first tried to buy Manchester United in 1989, is still working on a takeover deal, reports the Daily Mail. Knighton tweeted: “Thank you ALL for the wonderful messages of support. There is much going on behind the scenes. Things are moving forward as planned. I apologise I can't be on this platform more, just bogged down in meetings. God bless and every good wish to all of you. Yr support is greatly appreciated.”
Paper Round’s view: While his previous takeover bid lends him a little credibility in terms of getting a new offer ready, there are few details emerging over who would be part of any deal. Knighton is now 70 so has a lifetime of contacts to tap up as he works to raise funds for a takeover, but for now, people should be sceptical that he would be able to put several billion pounds together.
Chelsea close in on Freund
Chelsea are hoping to agree terms for Red Bull Salzburg’s Christoph Freund as a sporting director, who has been responsible for launching the careers of Erling Haaland, Sadio Mane, Naby Keita and Dayot Upamecano. The Mirror reports that Todd Boehly is likely to give him plenty of cash to spend in the coming windows to support the new manager, former Brighton head Graham Potter.
Paper Round’s view: Thomas Tuchel clearly had little chance under Boehly if he was cut after only a few games despite the large transfer outlay last summer, so this must have been the American’s long-term plan, to work with a sporting director and coach of his choosing. With Liverpool stumbling a little at the moment, Chelsea have the chance to become Manchester City’s main rivals.
Frank not keen on Leicester move
Leicester City might be losing £120 million-a-year, and they are paying Brendan Rodgers £10m a year, with three years left on his contract. But the struggling club are weighing up sacking their current boss, and want to sign Thomas Frank from Brentford. The Sun reports that they might not be able to afford to get rid of Rodgers and sign a replacement, leaving Sean Dyche as an option.
Paper Round’s view: It is obvious why Frank would be the preferred option, as he is currently enjoying success at Brentford, but that is also why there is no reason for him to leave the club. Dyche, on the other hand, is an unglamorous alternative. He is out of contract, and is used to working on a small budget with a track record of success. Whether that will be enough to turn things around at Leicester is not certain.
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