Ron's full debut on hold?

Cristiano Ronaldo may not make his second full Manchester United debut until Tuesday given he will only have trained with his new team-mates for one day before Saturday’s match against Newcastle. The Sun reports Ronaldo is quarantining at his home and will not train until Friday, meaning a start a day later is unlikely. A substitute role could be the option Saturday, and that would see the Portugal captain instead make his full debut against Young Boys in the Champions League next week.

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Paper Round’s view: Even if he’s on the bench, he’s coming on, and so regardless of the “full debut” potentially getting pushed back, it will still be all about that moment he comes on at Old Trafford on Saturday. If anything it ramps up the anticipation more, and make that inevitable 87th-minute header all the sweeter for United fans.
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Man Utd begin next summer planning

After signing Ronaldo, Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho and Tom Heaton this summer, United are already making plans for the next summer transfer window, with the Daily Star reporting striker Erling Haaland and midfielder Declan Rice are the club’s top priorities. Borussia Dortmund’s Haaland will be available for £68m at the end of the season due to a release clause in his contract, and while United are likely to face competition from Real Madrid for the Norwegian, they could also do battle with Chelsea for West Ham’s Rice. United were keen on Rice before the window closed last week, but may make their move next year if West Ham lower their asking price.

Declan Rice of West Ham United warms up prior to the Premier League match between West Ham United and Leicester City at The London Stadium on August 23, 2021 in London, England.

Image credit: Getty Images

Paper Round’s view: With an asking price of more than £100m this summer it does not seem likely West Ham will go much lower next year. At least Haaland is available for relative peanuts, given what he’s going to deliver, but as that’s the case he will have every major European club after his services – which basically these days means the big Premier League clubs, Bayern Munich, PSG and at a push Real.
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New Foden contract soon

Phil Foden is on course to return to training this week, having suffered a foot injury which ruled him out of the Euro 2020 final, and the Manchester Evening News reports the England star could also sign a new six-year contract by the end of the week as well. Foden, 21, has three years remaining on his current deal, but City are keen to reward him with a bumper contract after he emerged as a regular starter last season.

Pep Guardiola speaks to Manchester City's Phil Foden

Image credit: Getty Images

Paper Round’s view: Makes sense, even with three years left, and you’d imagine Foden is set for a pretty significant pay rise too. Six years is long but not when you’re 21, and with City likely to be fighting for silverware throughout that time it’s unlikely Foden will want to be anywhere else. Still, you never know what might happen a few years down the road.
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Wenger seeks Southgate backing over Word Cup idea

Gareth Southgate gave a rather non-committal response after revealing Arsene Wenger has sought the backing of the England manager over his desire to see the World Cup played every two years. “I met Arsene a couple of weeks ago, so I have a pretty good idea of the proposals,” said Southgate, per quotes in the Daily Mail. “There are many different strands so there are bits I thought could work, bits I think need more consideration and bits that probably wouldn't work.”

Arsene Wenger in Zürich

Image credit: Getty Images

Paper Round’s view: Give it up, Arsene. Although this is something that’s going away, is it. How any club manager, past or present, can support the idea of making the schedule more manic beggar’s belief, but here we are. Firmly in the camp of hoping this becomes an idea of the past.
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