Real turn down Ronaldo
The Sun claims that Real Madrid have turned down the opportunity to sign Manchester United striker Cristiano Ronaldo this winter. The 37-year-old striker looks set to depart his current team after a controversial interview, and offered himself to real on a short-term deal until the end of the season, but they have no wish to sign anyone this winter.
Ronaldo to join Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr on January 1, deal 'complete' – report
Paper Round’s view: Real have seen Karim Benzema suffer an injury while away at the Qatar World Cup with the France national team but there is no suggestion that it is going to turn out to be a long-term problem for Carlo Ancelotti. The club seem to be prioritising younger players anyway, so a move for Endrick might be more interesting even if he has to stay in Brazil for now.
De Jong still wants Barca stay
Frenkie de Jong was linked with a move to Manchester United and Chelsea last summer but the 25-year-old Dutch international remained at Barcelona. He remains unwilling to leave, reports the Mail, as he said: “When I play, it's great, and in terms of living there, life is perfect. I see myself at Barcelona for as long as possible. I would personally hope for another eight or 10 years.”
Paper Round’s view: De Jong now looks like he has earned the trust of manager Xavi Hernandez and appears to be a regular starter in Spain under the Spaniard. With Barcelona challenging for the title it seems like De Jong could become an integral part of a side that is ready to put its worst season behind it, and take on Real Madrid again.
Arsenal and Chelsea battle for Pepe
The Daily Express reports on a transfer battle that could kick off in January when the window for business re-opens. Both Arsenal and Chelsea are keen on signing Porto’s winger, the 25-year-old Brazilian Pepe, who can also play at full-back. Todd Boehly may make more funds available for Graham Potter, and may have to meet the £65 million release clause.
Paper Round’s view: With Pepe able to play in a couple of positions he would offer tactical flexibility to both Chelsea and Arsenal, who would expect their forward players to be able to swap positions throughout a match. At £65m he does not come cheap, but has shown in Portugal that he is almost certainly ready to make the step up to come to England.
Man Utd interest in Mane revealed
Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal has revealed that he attempted to sign Sadio Mane from Southampton for Manchester United when he was in charge at Old Trafford, reports the Mirror. The Dutch coach told the press about the Senegalese forward that, “I wanted him when I was the manager at Man Utd. I chased him at the time,” but in the end he moved to Liverpool.
Paper Round’s view: Van Gaal and United were interested towards the end of yet another transfer window when Ed Woodward had failed to land targets quickly, which left them without enough time to do a deal for Mane. At Liverpool and then Bayern Munich he has amply demonstrated his talents, as one of the best players of the decade.
How to watch Portugal v Switzerland last 16 World Cup match
United line up £50m Gakpo as Ronaldo eyes Sporting return - Paper Round
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