Operation Mbappe 2: The sequel

Real Madrid are ready to reignite their pursuit of Kylian Mbappe next summer after a shocking detail from his Paris Saint-Germain contract emerged. The 23-year-old decided against moving to Madrid this summer and reportedly signed a three-year contract extension with the French champions. However, the Sun report that the deal is actually only two seasons, with a player option to extend by another year. This has re-opened the door to Real Madrid as PSG may be forced to sell Mbappe in 2023 in order to avoid losing the French forward for free the following year.
Rashford on Mbappe's shortlist for PSG transfer - Paper Round
Paper Round’s view: Just when you thought the Mbappe-Real Madrid transfer saga was over. It seemed like the World Cup winner had closed the door on Madrid when he made the huge decision to extend his contract at PSG. It felt like Real Madrid president Florentino Perez had taken the decision personally too. However, Mbappe opened the door to Los Blancos once again earlier in September and now this important contract detail has suddenly become public knowledge. Maybe Mbappe regrets his decision, but he is still young. It is likely he will play for Real Madrid one day, but that day could come sooner than we once thought.
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Liverpool’s failed transfer attempt

Spanish media outlet AS report that Liverpool failed in a last-ditch attempt to sign Federico Valverde from Real Madrid during the summer transfer window. The Premier League club were desperate to add some depth to their midfield options following injuries to Thiago Alcantara, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita. Liverpool were reportedly willing to pay €100 million (£87 million) for Valverde but Madrid dismissed the approach without even considering the possibility of selling the “irreplaceable” 24-year-old. The Reds eventually ended up signing Arthur on a season-long loan from Juventus on Deadline Day.
Paper Round’s view: Liverpool had a bit of a nightmare in the summer window. A lot of people thought they were light in central midfield – and have been since Georginio Wijnaldum left as a free agent in 2021. Jurgen Klopp waited until the very end of the transfer window to enter the market for a midfielder and that is when it becomes difficult. Valverde is a key player in Madrid and tied down to a contract until 2027 so it was always going to be a near-impossible deal to complete. Arthur on loan seems to be a short-term solution before an expected approach for Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham next summer.
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Chelsea chase Salzburg director

Chelsea have entered talks with Red Bull Salzburg director Christoph Freund as the West-London club looks to hire a new sporting director. New owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali are aiming to bring someone in before the World Cup begins in November and ahead of the winter transfer window. Freund is one of the club’s top targets alongside Luis Campos, who is currently working as an advisor to French champions Paris Saint-Germain. The Independent report that Chelsea could hire both Freund and Campos as the Blues look to rebuild their off-field recruitment team.
Paper Round’s view: Chelsea’s recruitment team needs a rebuild after Petr Cech and Marina Granovskaia stepped down from their roles at the end of the Roman Abramovich era. New head coach Graham Potter has brought recruitment specialist Kyle Macaulay with him from Brighton, but it is also important for Boehly and Eghbali to hire their own staff. Campos and Freund have both enjoyed success in Europe, so would bring their respective talents to Stamford Bridge if they were to team up there. Ideally, they will join as soon as possible so the club can start to plan for the next few transfer windows.
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Premier League All Stars

Chelsea owner Todd Boehly has tabled the idea of a Premier League All-Star Game in a bid to raise funds for the English football pyramid. All-star matches are very common in American sport and are popular events in the NBA, MLB and NFL. However, the idea has not been put forward in the Premier League before. Boehly believes there could be a North v South All-Star Game and the revenue could be used to fund the lower leagues.
Paper Round’s view: Boehly is looking to make his mark on English football and people do not like change. But he makes a good point. The MLB All-Star Game reportedly brought in $200m (£174m) over two days this year, so it could be a good way to bring money to the country’s football pyramid. Although it could definitely appeal to a younger audience, it just doesn’t seem like something that people would go for. Nobody will want more matches as players are already overworked as it is.
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Leipzig star Nkunku has secret Chelsea medical ahead of summer move - reports
Nkunku completes Chelsea medical ahead of transfer - Paper Round