Football news - Paper Round: Romelu Lukaku ready to quit Manchester United
Romelu Lukaku is considering a move, Manchester United want Antoine Semenyo, Atletico Madrid identify cover for Diego Costa and PSG may sell Neymar.
Lukaku considers United exit
Romelu Lukaku is the latest player to become unsettled at Manchester United. He is concerned that he has lost his place under Jose Mourinho, and if he does not get back into the first team then he will consider an exit. His long-term deal makes it unlikely that he will leave in January, but the Sun notes that agent Mino Raiola tried to engineer a move away for Paul Pogba at the same time last season.
Romelu Lukaku warms up prior to the Premier League match between Manchester United and Everton FCGetty Images
Paper Round’s view: Lukaku is free to do what he wants with his career, and there is little point spending any time unhappy if the reward is not substantial. But Lukaku has been dropped because he has increased in size so much that he is no longer mobile, and because he is consistently wasting chances. He does not deserve a place at United right now, nor would he if he moved elsewhere.
United chase Bristol City teenager
Manchester United could replace Lukaku with another striker, and have now been linked with Bristol City’s 18-year-old forward Antoine Semenyo. The player is currently on loan at Newport County and has scored five goals already this season. City manager Brian Tinnion said: "I was sat with a Man United scout at Newport the other week, to be honest. And they really like him. People will like him because he's 18 years of age”
Paper Round’s view: There is almost no chance that Semenyo would get into the first team at United right away if he were bought, but he clearly has an eye for goal and has plenty of potential at just 18. Compared to Lukaku though, if Semenyo showed a willingness to run with the ball, could control it, and had an eye for goal, he could already be the superior option.
Atletico identify Gomez as Costa cover
Atletico Madrid are planning to bring in a striker to provide cover for injured forward Diego Costa. The man they have identified is Celta Vigo’s striker Maxi Gomez, with the Uruguayan 22 year old available for 50 million euros. However, Atletico want to pay around half that, and might not be able to afford his wages unless they trim the squad first, with Nikola Kalinic and Gelson Martins earmarked for the exit door.
Paper Round’s view: Gomez has seven goals in 13 appearances this season and clearly is in good goalscoring form. As a young South American, he seems to have adjusted well to life in Spain and will probably get on well with Diego Simeone. 50 million euros for a player that young seems fair enough, so perhaps he is an unreasonably expensive target and they will have to look elsewhere.
PSG prepare to sell Neymar or Mbappe
Paris Saint-Germain have changed their stance on Financial Fair Play preparations at the club and are willing to consider the sale of one of their star players, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe. They have undergone a change of heart over the last few months and would be prepared to sell one - when previously they had planned to keep both - in order to meet the constraints of FFP.
Neymar and MbappéEurosport
Paper Round’s view: Spending so much money with so little real income was always likely to provoke UEFA into action. They could raise around £200 million from selling one of the playes, and given Neymar promises far less than Mbappe in the coming years, now might be a politic time for Neymar to get his move back to Spain, perhaps even to former club Barcelona.