Ceferin backs Black Lives Matter
UEFA head Aleksander Ceferin has backed the prospect of more player protests to support the Black Lives Matter movement. Speaking to the Mirror he said: “It has been a wake-up call, for society and the wider European football community. It is a reality that billions of fans sometimes pay more attention to football than to their elected political leaders."
Paper Round’s view: Ceferin is in charge of a footballing authority that has often been rightly criticised for failing to act sufficiently strongly against racism in its own game, so to see Ceferin make this statement is encouraging. However the proof will be how racism in football is directly combated, rather than just how they allow BLM protests to proceed.
Barcelona can sign Lautaro Martinez... IF they sell big star - Euro Papers
Werder want United’s Chong
Manchester United youngster Tahith Chong is wanted by German side Werder Bremen. The 20-year-old winger signed a new deal to stay at Old Trafford, but the Sun reports that the Bundesliga club are keen to offer him first-team football. The move would likely be a loan, giving Chong the chance to get some game time next season.
ahith Chong of Man Utd looks on during the FA Cup Third Round match between Manchester United and Reading at Old Trafford on January 5
Image credit: Getty Images
Paper Round’s view: Chong offered very little when he appeared for United’s first team, but he has plenty of pace and is highly rated. Giving him the chance to develop elsewhere away from the pressure of the Premier League could be the best way for him to improve his game and to develop the confidence needed to succeed.
Arsenal continue Willian chase
The Telegraph reports that Arsenal continue their pursuit of Chelsea winger Willian. The North London club announced 55 redundancies on Wednesday, but they are still keen on persuading the 31-year-old Brazilian international to accept a three-year deal which could earn him more than the two years offered by his current club, once bonuses are taken into account.
Paper Round’s view: The manner in which Arsenal announced the redundancies was poorly handled, with fans mainly upset that owner Stan Kroenke had not put his hand in his pocket to keep the people in a job. As for the transfer, it seems a foolhardy amount of time to offer a winger, and it may be more to do with pleasing agents than finding the very best value for money for each transfer.
City players in line for Champions League windfall
The Daily Mail reports that Manchester City’s first-team squad could win as much as £15 million in bonuses should they win the Champions League. They are due to face Real Madrid this week in the tournament, and lifting the cup would see some players, such as Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva, win up to £1 million, but there is no communal pot to be shared out.
Paper Round’s view: Winning the Champions League would be proof that Manchester City now really are one of the world’s biggest clubs in the world, and not just a side that have been bankrolled to 'sportwash' the reputation of its owner. If they succeed in becoming a successful brand and a tool to peddle soft power, then £15 million will be considered a bargain.