De Gea wanted by Juve on free transfer - Paper Round
Juventus to open talks over free transfer for David de Gea, Manchester clubs battle over Portuguese wonderkid, Gareth Southgate backs Harry Kane to break England record and Jim Ratcliffe reveals why he didn't buy Chelsea. It's Monday's Paper Round...
Juve eye up De Gea talks in January
Juventus are ready to open contract talks with Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea ahead of a potential free transfer next summer, according to the Express. The Spanish stopper's current deal with the Premier League side expires in June and he is yet to sign a new contract, despite being offered a £350,000-per-week extension to stay at Old Trafford. Juve are the current favourites to sign "contract rebel" De Gea and if he allows his contract to run down, the Italian club would be able to sign him without having to pay a transfer fee.
David de Gea for Manchester UnitedGetty Images
Paper Round's view: Juventus love a free transfer. The Serie A side have completed some of the most shrewd transfers in recent years by taking advantage of the Bosman rule. It wouldn't be too surprising if David de Gea moved away from Old Trafford next summer, especially if the club fails to qualify for the Champions League again. Juventus are building a squad that aims to win Europe's most elite competition which makes a potential transfer to Turin look very appealing. De Gea would swap playing alongside some good players with playing with superstars like Cristiano Ronaldo.
Manchester clubs battle over Portuguese wonderkid
Manchester United and Manchester City are set to fight over the signing of Portuguese youngster Florentino Luis, according to the Star. The rivals are reportedly going head-to-head next summer in their chase for the 20-year-old's signature. Luis plays in a defensive midfield role for Benfica and has seemingly attracted attention from the Manchester clubs, who have both sent scouts to watch him this season. The Portugal Under-20 international is "expected to be a key player for Benfica" this term and is said to have a gigantic £91 million release clause.
Florentino Luis of SL Benfica in action during the Liga NOS match between Belenenses SAD and SL Benfica.Getty Images
Paper Round's view: Benfica are a club that consistently produces top talent. Joao Felix left to Atletico Madrid for €126 million in the summer and we could see another superstar leaving for a monstrous fee in 2020. However, after signing Rodri for a club-record £62.8 million this year, it is difficult to see Manchester City spending such a big fee on another defensive midfielder. Contrastingly, on the Red side of Manchester, it looks like a holding midfielder is much-needed. Nemanja Matic is ageing and there are doubts over the potential of Scott McTominay. United definitely need to add more stability to their midfield and Luis could be the answer.
Southgate backs Kane to break Rooney record
England manager Gareth Southgate has backed his captain Harry Kane to break Wayne Rooney's international goalscoring record. The Tottenham forward has already bagged 25 goals for the Three Lions in just 40 appearances and the Mirror report that Southgate has tipped Kane to surpass Rooney's tally of 53 goals - if he can stay fit and injury-free. The 26-year-old hit a hat-trick against Bulgaria in the European Championship qualifiers at Wembley Stadium on Saturday and he will have another chance to chase down the record on Tuesday as England host Kosovo at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton.
Paper Round's view: You'd have to be a brave person to go against Harry Kane when he's showing no signs of slowing up. The Spurs striker has suffered numerous ankle injuries in the past few years, which could be seen as a potential problem in the future, but he always seems to bounce back with plenty of goals. Kane is only 26 years old and is well on his way to overtaking Rooney's record. It will soon just become a case of 'when' instead of 'if' and Southgate is filling his forward with confidence by backing him to make history for his nation.
Britain's richest man opted out of Chelsea takeover
Sir Jim Ratcliffe, chairman and chief executive officer of the Ineos chemicals group, withdrew his interest in buying Premier League club Chelsea "because the stadium problems would take too long to resolve", according to the Sun. The West London side had planned a £1 billion redevelopment of their stadium Stamford Bridge, but current owner Roman Abramovich put the plans "on hold" citing the current "economic climate" as the reason. The ongoing issue of the stadium stopped Ratcliffe's Ineos from pursuing their interest in purchasing the Premier League side. The 66-year-old was also put off buying Newcastle United due to Mike Ashley's £350 million price tag.
Paper Round's view: It's understandable that Ratcliffe didn't want to commit to a huge investment when Chelsea are in-limbo over their future at Stamford Bridge. Additionally, £350 million is a massive fee to pay for a club like Newcastle where the quality of the squad is still a long way away from competing for a European spot. Ineos ended up buying Ligue 1 side Nice which could give them the taste for moving up in the footballing world and convince them to buy a bigger club, so we shouldn't write off a future move for Chelsea when the stadium issues are sorted.