United target offered new deal, still up for sale - Paper Round
Bruno Fernandes has a decision to make, Victor Lindelof is set to sign a bumper new deal, Mauricio Pochettino holds talks with his Tottenham squad and Manchester City back a new Premier League transfer window. It's Friday's Paper Round...
New contract but still up for sale
Portuguese international Bruno Fernandes is set to be offered a new contract worth up to £1.8 million a year at Sporting Lisbon - despite the club still willing to sell him if the £63-million asking price is met in January, according to the Sun. The 25-year-old was heavily linked to a move to Manchester United throughout the summer transfer window, with rumours that Real Madrid were also interested. Fernandes also confirmed that Tottenham Hotspur tabled a respectable contract offer, but the North London side failed to reach an agreement with the Lisbon club over the transfer fee .
Paper Round's view: The midfielder, dubbed the 'Next Frank Lampard' due to his goalscoring exploits, made it clear that he would be willing to move away from Sporting in the summer. Manchester United are clearly lacking some flair and goals from midfield and have acknowledged that Fernandes could be the answer to their problems. £63 million is a lot of money to pay, but it could look like a bargain if it propels the Red Devils into next season's Champions League and helps them become title challengers in future. It is a strange decision from Sporting to offer their captain a new deal while also being willing to sell, but it is likely to keep him happy during his remaining time at the club.
Lindelof to sign bumper contract
Manchester United are set to offer Victor Lindelof a contract extension which will see him double his salary to £150,000-a-week, according to the Mirror. The Swedish centre-back claimed a spot as a starter under Jose Mourinho and has continued to hold that role with new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Lindelof signed a four-year deal at £75,000-a-week when he joined United from Benfica in 2017. Solskjaer sees Lindelof and Harry Maguire as the starting centre-backs for United for the foreseeable future, which is why the 25-year-old is set to be rewarded with the new deal.
Paper Round's view: Lindelof's current contract doesn't expire until 2021, but the Swede must've seen Maguire join for a world-record fee in the summer and thought that he deserves some recognition too. The former Benfica defender has solved United's issue at centre-half over the past year, consistently performing at a higher level than United's other defenders and now that Maguire has arrived at Old Trafford, Lindelof finally has a competent partner. A defensive unit of Aaron Wan-Bisska, Lindelof, Maguire and Luke Shaw actually has the potential to be pretty solid.
Poch reveals 'crisis talks'
Mauricio Pochettino has reportedly held "crisis talks" with Tottenham's "wantaway" stars after their Premier League title bid took an early hit. The Sun have reported that the Spurs boss held a one-hour talk with his squad at the Hotspur Way training ground ahead of their meeting with Crystal Palace on Saturday. Pochettino is said to have addressed Christian Eriksen, Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose in particular as he "urged his unsettled players to put their personal situations behind them". The trio were all linked to transfers away from North London in the summer window.
Paper Round's view: Tottenham haven't had the best of starts to the Premier League season and the Lilywhites are currently sitting in ninth place, with one win, two draws and a loss after four matches. However, the North London club have travelled away to reigning champions Manchester City and fierce rivals Arsenal and still claimed a draw in both matches so it would be silly to write them off already. Pochettino is probably just using his experience and man-management skills to try and squeeze the best out of his players ahead of another London derby on the weekend.
City back 'best of both' transfer window
Manchester City have put forward a new transfer window idea that involves the possibility of having two different deadlines for Premier League clubs. The proposal keeps the current plan which means players can't move domestically once the Premier League season has started, but adds the idea that footballers from foreign clubs can still be signed until the European transfer window closes at the end of August. The Mail report that the plans were "well received by other clubs", but a majority vote of eleven would be needed in order to implement the new ruling.
Paper Round's view: A 'best of both' transfer window certainly isn't the worst idea. It would allow Premier League sides to replace players once the domestic deadline has passed without disrupting their division rivals. The window would also encourage more transfer dealings with foreign clubs as the English sides would be more willing to negotiate sales beyond the domestic deadline if they were able to sign replacements.