Liverpool's plan for Werner deal revealed - Paper Round
Liverpool's transfer plans for Timo Werner are revealed, Premier League sides join queue for Chris Smalling, Arsenal want ex-Manchester United star and Manchester City face more consequences from their European ban. It's Tuesday's Paper Round...
Liverpool's conditions to complete Werner signing
The Independent has confirmed Liverpool are interested in RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner, but the Reds are currently far from completing a deal with the German club. Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and the club's recruitment team are in agreement that the 23-year-old fits the profile of a player they would sign, but the potential transfer depends on numerous factors, which are revealed in the story. Werner would not be a guaranteed starter at Anfield due to the current success of the Liverpool front three containing Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane and the club are worried about whether Werner would be able to adjust to being a back-up for his initial period in England. The German international is also wanted by Bayern Munich and has a release clause of around £50 million.
Paper Round's view: £50 million for player of Werner's quality and age is fairly cheap in the current transfer market. Liverpool are right to be wary over the possibility of the player being discontent in his first few months while he adjusts to the 'Liverpool style', but if Werner were to join, he simply has to trust the process. Similar situations have happened in the past with Andy Robertson and Fabinho, where they had to bide their time before securing their places in the starting eleven at Anfield and now they are untouchable. Werner would be a cheaper alternative to somebody like Jadon Sancho, who commands a £120 million price tag from Borussia Dortmund. The German would also know that after initially being given a rotational role, he could consolidate his place in the team when Salah and Mane compete in the midseason Africa Cup of Nations in January 2021.
Premier League clubs join chase for Smalling
Chris Smalling could return to the Premier League after his season-long loan with AS Roma is over, with the Sun reporting that Tottenham Hotspur and Everton are in the hunt for the Manchester United defender. The 30-year-old has reignited his career in Serie A after some inspiring defensive performances in the Italian capital this season and now Roma face competition from Premier League clubs for Smalling's signature. United are said to be demanding £16.5 million for the centre-back as Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer doesn't see him as part of his future plans.
Paper Round's view: It suddenly becomes a tough decision for Smalling when Premier League clubs get involved. It took a lot of courage for Smalling to go out on loan to a European club and it's not something you see very often with English players these days. The 30-year-old has rediscovered his form in Italy and - if Roma are willing to pay the asking price - he could continue playing for the Giallorossi. But if an English club come knocking - especially one like Spurs - it could be difficult for Smalling to turn down. The 30-year-old will begin to think about his family and moving back home to London, where he grew up. It's a difficult decision but, at the same time, he will be delighted that clubs are queuing up for him after previously thinking his career at the top level was coming to an end.
Arsenal eye ex-United star for cut-price deal
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is eyeing up a deal for former Manchester United versatile defender Daley Blind this summer, according to the Sun. The 29-year-old was an integral part of the Ajax team that was seconds away from the Champions League final last season, but a potential mass exodus in Amsterdam this summer could see Blind return to the Premier League. The report states that the Dutch international has an unspecified "small release clause" and Arsenal see him a player that could benefit William Saliba in his debut season in England. Blind's versatility could also be key as he is comfortable playing centre-back in a back four, left-sided in a back three, at left-back and even in a deep-lying playmaker role in midfield.
Paper Round's view: Blind could be a very shrewd signing from the Gunners this summer. He is a player that possesses plenty of quality, but once former Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal had left Manchester United, Blind fell out of favour at Old Trafford. He has proved his quality in the Champions League recently and his calmness, leadership and experience would certainly improve the Arsenal defence. Arteta reportedly has a limited budget this summer, so the Arsenal recruitment team will have to be very clever in their transfer dealings. The club are unlikely to be playing European football next term, so it might take some convincing to bring Blind to north London.
City forced to foot huge bill to cover squad European bonuses
Manchester City could be forced to pay out huge payments to their squad after facing a two-year ban from the Champions League due to Financial Fair Play breaches. According to the Mail, the Premier League club "face paying millions in compensation" to the City stars due to Champions League bonuses in their contracts. Club officials are in "urgent talks" to decide how the situation will be approached as players will need to be reimbursed for the fact that the club could be banned from the competition for two seasons. Some bonuses are as high as seven-figure sums... just for qualifying for Europe's elite competiton.
Paper Round's view: This FFP situation keeps going from bad to worse for Manchester City. The club are set to appeal their European ban and will reportedly hear the final decision on it in May. The Premier League side are said to be confident in their appeal process after the two-year ban from the Champions League rocked the footballing world last Friday. It is a huge decision which could affect the staff, players and the club's finances. The consequences will continue to be revealed in due course, but things are currently looking bleak for Manchester City.