Paper Round: Arsenal plotting Raheem Sterling swap for Alexis Sanchez
Arsenal will make a fresh attempt to carve out a deal with Manchester City to swap wantaway Alexis Sanchez for Raheem Sterling. It’s Wednesday’s Paper Round.
Sterling talked up as Sanchez replacement
Just when Sterling thought he was safe, it was reported once again on Tuesday evening that the Manchester City midfielder would be targeted by Arsenal in the January transfer window. The Sun reported that the 22-year-old will be brought in by Arsene Wenger as part of a deal which will see Sanchez move to the Etihad.
Paper Round’s view: Sterling would be a decent enough replacement for Sanchez, but he won’t want to leave City any more than Pep Guardiola will want to see him go, given the season he’s having and the potential he still has. As for Sanchez, we remain unconvinced Wenger would sell him mid-way through such a critical season to a league rival.
Arsenal abandon hope in Lemar
Arsenal have apparently abandoned hopes for signing Monaco striker Thomas Lemar according to Wednesday’s Daily Mirror. The North Londoners had a massive £90 million deadline day bid rejected last summer, but were hopeful they might win him round next summer. However, with Barcelona named as one of the clubs vying for the 22-year-old’s attention, the club is now said to believe it can’t compete.
Paper Round’s view: Well, perhaps that’s why Wenger’s so keen to get Sterling on board? In fairness given previous dealings or rather the lack thereof, this isn’t a huge surprise. Lemar is a much talked-up player and if £90m didn’t do it last summer, goodness knows what price will be on his head next summer. AT the very least, we imagine, the promise of Champions League football.
Conte tops list for Italian job
Antonio Conte is said to be top of The Azzurri’s list to take over from Gian Piero Ventura after the four-time World Cup winners failed to qualify for next year’s tournament in Russia. Conte had a relatively successful spell as the manager of the national team, leading Italy to the quarter-finals of last year’s Euros and could be looking for a way out of Stamford Bridge, according to reports.
But Conte ready to snub the offer?
Meanwhile The Daily Star reports that Conte will “snub” any offer made by the Italian Football Federation. Despite rumours emerging some time ago after Conte suggested he could one day return to the national team, he added that he had no intention to do so in the immediate future. Instead, the newspaper asserts Everton target Carlo Ancelotti is the prime candidate to take on the job.
Paper Round’s view: While obviously it’s heart-breaking for the Italy side not to qualify, it’s pointless referring to ancient victories. Italy have been struggling for some time now thanks to a changing of the guards, or the retirement of a number of established, older players. Conte did an incredible job to get a team that included Graziano Pelle as far as they did at the Euros last year, but it’s fair to say it was an odd year all round. There may be trouble ahead for Chelsea and Conte, but this would be a thankless task to take on, and one he’s already had a go at, to boot.