Ronaldo close to Arsenal transfer
Cristiano Ronaldo was moments away from joining Arsenal, according to the Portuguese striker. The Daily Mail reports on Ronaldo’s discussion with Piers Morgan from Tuesday night, where the Juventus man said 'It's true. (I came) very close, one step away. Incredible. They're a fantastic club. 'It didn't happen, but I appreciate what they did for me, especially Arsene Wenger.”
FOOTBALL 2006-2007 Premiership Arsenal-Man United Cristiano Ronaldo Eboue
Image credit: Eurosport
Paper Round’s view: Wenger is somewhat famous for going on about how he was close to signing all kinds of players who went on to success everywhere. That comes down to two things. One is Wenger’s longevity - on a long enough timeline you’re going to miss out on some great players. The second is that Arsenal’s transfer policy after the Invincibles only served to undermine the club.
Why did Guardiola not buy defensive back-up?
The Mirror reports why Pep Guardiola decided not to buy a central defender despite Vincent Kompany leaving the club for Anderlecht. He had wanted to buy Harry Maguire, but was not able to out-bid Manchester United for the £80 million defender. Instead, he believed that John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi would improve alongside Aymeric Laporte, and that teenager Eric Garcias could provide cover,
Paper Round’s view: Against most sides, this will not be a problem for Manchester City. Fernandinho will probably be an able deputy, and there is a chance that Kyle Walker could play on the right-hand side of a back three if required. It is simply bad luck to lose two central defenders so quickly, but nonetheless the failure to start with four central defenders could sot them the Premier League.
Sturridge faces new ban
The claims that Daniel Sturridge may have to serve another ban for betting offences. The Trabzonspor striker served a six-week ban after advising his brother to bet on him joining Sevilla in 2018. However the FA have appealed over the length of the ban and would have to ask the Turkish FA to enforce any further ban.
Paper Round’s view: Sturridge has probably been helped because his misdemeanour did not affect the outcome on the pitch in any match, it was simply a case of using insider information to gain an unfair advantage over a bet.. Sturridge can't argue if he is punished further for a ban that had little affect on his career.
Kick It Out faces further difficulties
The anti-racism organisation Kick It Out is facing further problems in the group with Garth Crooks leading the departures. The Telegraph writes that Iffy Onuora could step down, after Udo Onwere had confirmed he had also stepped down. The three are at odds with Kick It Out after other members decide to appoint Sanjay Bhandari instead of their preferred candidate, Brendan Batson, the former West Brom defender.
Paper Round’s view: There is no obvious reason why Bhandari could not carry out the job well, but the decision to alienate so many black footballers within Kick It Out does seem a tin-eared approach to improving the situation. Losing players with experience of racism from the group has to be the biggest mistake they could make.