Paper Round: Barcelona consider £100m Christian Eriksen swoop
Barcelona consider Christian Eriksen as Philippe Coutinho fights to leave Liverpool, Diego Costa has brought in his lawyers, and Danny Rose is welcome at Spurs.
Barcelona consider Eriksen switch
Barcelona are reconsidering their options after finding tough resistance from Liverpool as they chase Philippe Coutinho. Liverpool aren't budging in despite £90m bids from Barcelona for the 25-year-old Brazilian, and so the Catalans are exploring a move for Christian Eriksen. The 26-year-old Dane may be even harder to prise away, though, as Daniel Levy could ask for more than £100m.
Kane, Alli ed Eriksen: il trio delle meraviglie del TottenhamGetty Images
Paper Round's view: This is likely gamesmanship on Barcelona's part. While Eriksen is a better player than Coutinho, they should be confident of forcing Liverpool's hand if Coutinho continues to press for a move away. Liverpool won't be able to turn down such high bids if he continues to agitate for a move away.
Pochettino accepts Rose apology
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has accepted Danny Rose's apology for a provocative interview in The Sun earlier this week. The 27-year-old England international was linked with a move to Chelsea or Manchester United immediately afterwards, but soon apologised to the club. Pochettino said: “Does he has a future at Tottenham and do we want to keep him? Of course.”
Paper Round's view: This is a sensible reaction from the club. Rose phrased his disquiet in such a way that it was not enough to be seriously censured. Pochettino and Spurs want to keep him, so they have no need to react aggressively. And lastly, should they end up selling him this summer, it is easier to ask for a higher sum if the club seem happy to keep him in the first team.
Costa in legal row with Chelsea
Diego Costa has retained lawyers as he argues that he has been forced out of the club by manager Antonio Conte. The 28-year-old Portugal striker was told by text that he was no longer in the plans for Chelsea in the 2017/2018 season. He has been linked with a return to Atletico Madrid, but they are under a transfer ban until the winter transfer window. Conte has said that he does not know when Costa, currenty on holiday in Brazil, will return.
Paper Round's view: For Conte, it should make little difference when and how Costa leaves - he isn't going to feature whether he trains in Brazil, not at all, or with the reserves. However, the story dragging on is a reminder that Conte is not just at odds with his bosses over this, but also in their slack approach to bringing in new players. This Chelsea squad is known for turning on managers when they see fit, so more disruption could pose a danger.
Liverpool fight to keep Coutinho
Liverpool are facing a fight to keep hold of Philippe Coutinho. Hours after a statement from the club, Coutinho sent an email requesting a transfer away from the club, and a family friend said: “Philippe has tried very hard to find an amicable solution to the situation but to no avail. He has tremendous love for the club and its fans, but like Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez have pointed out in the past Liverpool does not let its players leave on amicable terms.”
Paper Round's view: Coutinho's transfer request, on the eve of the new season, and his citing of Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard, is perfectly designed to wind up the board and the club's fans. He is using facts to turn the fans against him as best he can in order to get the move to a big club and the chance to win medals. It is hard to see how he can remain at the club for any longer than one more season.