Paper Round: Real Madrid prepare £270m Neymar bid
Real Madrid want Neymar, Jose Mourinho wants to keep Paul Pogba, Sunderland spent thousands on plastic flowers, and Blackburn up their bid for Ben Brereton.
Real Madrid prepare £270m Neymar bid
Real Madrid chief Florentino Perez is preparing a £270m for Neymar. However, the bid is not straightforward, as Real Madrid will only make the offer if Paris Saint-Germain fail their Financial Fair Play test. Their sponsorship deals are currently being examined, and should they not pass muster, Perez will offer the cash to prise away the 26-year-old Brazilian international from the French capital.
Paper Round’s view: Perez must be struggling having failed to add a Galactico this summer at time when Barcelona have restocked and are ready for another Liga campaign. Eden Hazard seems set to stay, and Paul Pogba appears to have no interest in any other team than Barcelona. Awaiting the FFP decision seems a smart move, but there is a notable lack of alternatives.
Mourinho loves Pogba
After a couple of stories of a contretemps between Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba, Mourinho has spoken to the press of his admiration and happiness with the player. Mourinho said that he "could not be happier" with the 25-year-old French international, despite rumours of him wanting to join Barcelona, and having told Mourinho that he should speak to his agent on contractual matters in future.
Paper Round’s view: Mourinho said he "could not be happier" which, while seeming positive, also could mean that he has no hopes of the situation getting any better than it is now. Moving on from double-meanings, the most important thing to note is that Mourinho and Pogba are not stupid. There is little point in Mourinho bringing a war of words into the public in what will probably be his final season at Old Trafford - he needs Pogba on his side and on form.
Sunderland’s new owners decry profligacy
Sunderland’s new owners have told local newspaper the Sunderland Echo that the club was being run poorly in the years before the most recent takeover. According to them, the club had no full-time staff member selling sponsorship, had only one person in sales, and spent £1,000 a month moving plastic plants around the club. They also spent £30,000 on a report to find out how they were perceived.
Lamine Koné sous le maillot de SunderlandGetty Images
Paper Round’s view: The new owners are being sensible in their approach. When you take over somewhere else, by throwing out every bit of bad news you can find at the start, you are able to look much better in comparison as you start to make progress. But Sunderland is not an easy club to own, and it has brought down plenty of people before, so they should not be complacent.
Blackburn make new Brereton offer
Blackburn Rovers have made a new bid for Nottingham Forest’s Ben Brereton after having a £6m offer rejected. They have upped their bid to £8m, with the player to join on loan until a permanent move can be completed in the winter transfer window. Forest are considering whether to hold onto Brereton for another season and to watch his transfer value increase further.
Nottingham Forest striker Brereton tucks away his goal to make it 2-1Getty Images
Paper Round’s view: With Brereton, Forest’s chance of claiming a place in the Premier League is much better, if still relatively remote. However, without him, they would probably be consigned to another mediocre season. For £8m, when a Premier League side might be interested in January or next summer, it probably also makes financial sense to hold on for another year.