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Paper Round: Real Madrid eye Thibaut Courtois

Paper Round: Real Madrid eye Courtois

07/10/2017 at 08:38Updated 07/10/2017 at 11:44

Real Madrid want Thibaut Courtois, Manchester Untied monitor Phil Neville's son, Ben Stokes won't go to the Ashes yet, and Jonjo Shelvey breaks a finger.

Courtois to run down Chelsea deal

Thibaut Courtois could run down his Chelsea contract in order to smooth a transfer to Real Madrid in the summer. While Keylor Navas has impressed those in Madrid, Real are looking for improvements across the pitch, and 25-year-old Courtois fits the bill.

The Belgium international is considering a return to Madrid, David de Gea looks likely to extend his Manchester United contract, and Jan Oblak may refuse to make the move across Madrid.

Courtois, en su vuelta al Wanda Metropolitano

Courtois, en su vuelta al Wanda MetropolitanoGetty Images

Paper Round's view: Real might not make another move for De Gea unless they are sure that any transfer is straightforward. With De Gea's ties to Manchester and his current club, Courtois might offer an easier situation, and given there is little difference in quality between the two Premier League goalkeepers, it makes sense to simply go after the player who is keenest to join, with the shortest contract.

Shelvey fractures finger in training ground fight

Jamal Lascelles and Mo Diame came to blows in training at Newcastle United's Darsley Park centre. Lascelles reportedly called Diame, 'lazy,' in an attempt to motivate the player, but he responded with an insult of his own. The two squared up and exchanged blows, before Jonjo Shelvey intervened to break up the scrap, and Shelvey believes that he fractured his finger in the process.

Paper Round's view: A rare bit of good news is that there do not appear to be any photographs of the incident, and Shelvey is not expected to miss any games with the injury following his return from suspension. But for Newcastle, a team in the midst of takeover rumours and with Rafael Benitez already unsettled and under pressure, it is the last thing that they need. Newcastle have a reputation for making their own problems - it remains justified.

England travel to Australia without Stokes

Ben Stokes and Alex Hales will not be allowed to join their England colleagues on international duty as the Ashes squad prepare to leave to compete in Australia. Stokes and Hales are suspended on full pay as the police investigate the nightclub bust-up that the two were involved in a couple of weeks ago. However, should the police rule out any charges - not a certainty - then they could both return to action for the Ashes tournament.

Paper Round's view: England have little choice given the attention from the papers in the lead up to the most important tournament in the team calendar. Had Stokes, Hales, or both player been charged, then the pressure on them to perform in possibly desperate circumstances would have been enormous, and Australian players, press and fans would not have let the pair forget it.

United target Phil Neville's son

Manchester United are interested in signing Phil Neville's 14-year-old son, Harvey. Harvey joined Valencia's youth team when his dad Phil was appointed as assistant manager at the club. He has impressed in his time in Spain, and both Spurs and United are said to be interested. Harvey has already had spells at both the Manchester clubs' youth teams and has developed into a dangerous right winger.

Valencia's coach Gary Neville sits next to his brother Phil

Valencia's coach Gary Neville sits next to his brother PhilReuters

Paper Round's view: With his father and uncle working in England it would be no surprise if Harvey chooses to return to England where he will be more familiar with the surroundings. However, given the Spanish club's reputation for developing young players and giving them a chance in the first side, his career may benefit from staying away from England and develop away from the spotlight.