Football news - Paper Round: Manchester United target £100m Felix
Manchester United want Joao Felix, Vincent Kompany could stay at City, Wolves could buy Raul Jimenez and Lionel Messi will be offered a new Barceona deal.
United face competition or Joao Felix
Manchester United are interested in Benfica’s 19-year-old midfielder Joao Felix. They have been scouting the playmaker for months, and there is competition from Bayern Munich, Barcelona, and Real Madrid. The Sun believe that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could make a move for the player in the summer, with the Portuguese club ready to accept a deal worth £100 million.
Paper Round’s view: United are struggling in midfield with a lack of quality. Nemanja Matic is an able player but too slow for many games, and Ander Herrera is happy to run but can't be relied upon to do much else. Adding Felix would give him the chance to learn from the best of Paul Pogba and give Ed Woodward the chance to develop another commercial asset, which is his usual focus.
Kompany set for new deal
Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany is on the verge of remaining with the club for another season. The 32-year-old defender is ready to agree a new contract in return to lower wages, justified by Kompany’s regular problems with injury. The Belgian international’s current deal expires at the end of the season, but the Mail explains his preference is to remain with the club.
Vincent Kompany of Man City in action during the Premier League match between Watford FC and Manchester City at Vicarage Road on December 04, 2018 in Watford, United Kingdom.Getty Images
Paper Round’s view: Kompany appears to be a beneficial presence in the dressing room, and he should be able to continue that role. If he is able to regain his fitness for the longer term, then there is no reason not to see him continue his career with City for a few more seasons yet, particularly as he is willing to accept reduced wages.
Jimenez to sign with Wolves
Wolverhampton Wanderers have been offered the chance to make the loan of Raul Jimenez permanent. The 27-year-old Mexican international is set to go back to Benfica at the season but Benfica are in second place in the Portuguese league and happy to accept £30 million for the player. He has 11 goals in 29 appearances for the side so far, and Wolves’ wealthy owners could now choose to close the deal, reports the Mirror.
Raul Jimenez of Wolverhampton Wanderers avoids Naby Keita of Liverpool during the Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Liverpool at Molineux on January 7, 2019 in Wolverhampton, United KingdomGetty Images
Paper Round’s view: Jimenez’s goalscoring record for Wolves in his first Premier League season is impressive, given the adjustment the side are making to the top flight, and the new environment the player has had to get used to. £30 million is not a small sum, but compared to the other more expensive options around, it may make senses to keep him on for next season at least.
Messi to sign new deal
Barcelona are confident that Lionel Messi will sign a new contract to extend his stay at the Nou Camp. The Spanish champions’ president Josep Maria Bartomeu says that he will keep the 31-year-old forward at the club forever. Marca reports that Jordi Alba will also be offered a new deal.
Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona during the La Liga Santander match between Athletic de Bilbao v FC Barcelona at the Estadio San Mames on February 10, 2019 in Bilbao SpainGetty Images
Paper Round’s view: Messi has shown little sign of slowing down, and when he finally does there is every chance he will be able to withdraw into a deeper position and remain as a playmaker in midfield. Should he make the transition then he will continue to be a viable first team player well into his late thirties, and will continue to sell plenty of shirts and launch many more sponsorship deals.