De Gea to be offered new deal
There is big news at Manchester United from the Daily Telegraph, who report that goalkeeper David de Gea will be offered a new deal. United will not sell De Gea this season and as there are only 12 months remaining on his current contract, they will continue talks with his agent Jorge Mendes. The 28-year-old Spanish international wants something close to Alexis Sanchez’s £500,000 a week.
Raiola demands £1m-a-week wages for Haaland
Paper Round’s view: Leaving Ed Woodward in charge of transfers has been a disaster for years at Old Trafford, and as we’ll see later, that shows no sign of changing. Losing one of the best goalkeepers in the world after one of the worst signings in the world would sum up his time in charge, and now Woodward and United are being held to ransom with other part of the team also in need.
Pep plans sabbatical
Spanish manager Pep Guardiola could go on another sabbatical when his contract ends at Manchester City in 2021 - or possibly even sooner. The Daily Star claims that the stress and strain of City’s treble season has left him planning his next break, and he could leave the Etihad when and if he wins the Champions League with his current club.
Paper Round’s view: While there can be little doubt of just how exhausting Guardiola finds working to his own exacting standards, and that a break is sensible move for his mental and physical health, there is a more cynical view. He refused to deny he receives undisclosed payments from Manchester City when asked, and the club may face both a transfer and Champions League ban - maybe he is planning to simply jump ship before it gets too hairy.
Bayern still keen on Hudson-Odoi
The Sun believes that Callum Hudson-Odoi is still a target for Bayern Munich. Chelsea are now in a better negotiating position following the 18-year-old England international’s achilles injury, but he is willing to commit his future to the club only if he receives assurances about playing time when he makes his return. The departure of Maurizio Sarri, if it happens, could lead to further uncertainty.
Paper Round’s view: It is hard to see why Sarri leaving would be a problem, given the Italian manager appeared unconvinced by Hudson-Odoi’s claim for more playing time. However, there is clearly a talented player there and it does seem unwise to force Hudson-Odoi to consider his future when he could potentially hold down a place on the wing for the next decade at Stamford Bridge.
Woodward drags his heel
We now come full circle back to Manchester United, and the Mail’s account of Ed Woodward’s influence. The United executive has yet to appoint a man to take over responsibility for transfers, or to establish a committee of former players such as Darren Fletcher, Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra. Instead Woodward continues to oversee transfer dealings.
Paper Round’s view: It seems as if talk of reforming transfers was an acknowledgement that the club has lost direction, but the lack of progress simply reinforces the notion that Woodward will not give up control over something he has no competence in dealing with. As long as the commercial revenue increases, his bosses are content, so that will not change until he is removed.
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