Juve blocked Costa move
Manchester United were keen on signing Douglas Costa in the summer, but Juventus head coach Maurizio Sarri refused to sell the winger, the Daily Mail reports. The Brazilian has started the Serie A season brightly after missing the second half of the last campaign through injury, and the 28-year-old was said to be a target for United as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looked to bolster his attacking options. Sarri, however, said no.
Paper Round’s view: Two starts in two games tells you what Sarri thinks of Costa, and the fact he provided two assists in the 4-3 win over Napoli will only have deepened the Italian’s affection for the winger, who is keeping Juan Cuadrado and Federico Bernardeschi on the bench. Wishful thinking, it would appear, from United.
De Gea to match Pogba’s wages
David de Gea is close to signing a new Manchester United contract which will see him earn the same basic £290,000-a-week wage as Pogba, the Guardian reports. The goalkeeper is out of contract next summer, but United are hoping to tie him down to a deal in order for his asking price to rise to at least £80m.
Paper Round’s view: At 28, De Gea has potentially a good decade (should he want to play that long) left at the top, and you wonder if United are asking the Spaniard to commit now with a view to selling him on in a year or two, for an actual fee, rather than watching him walk out the door for nothing.
United, City battle for signature
Manchester United are set to go head to head with neighbours Manchester City for the signature of Benfica’s Florentino Luis, The Sun reports. United sent scouts to watch the Portugal U20 midfielder, who has a 100 million euros (£91m) release clause. He played 15 games for Benfica last season and is set to have a greater role this term.
Paper Round’s view: Only one winner, if both teams really wanted him, surely? Sorry, United.
Spurs wanted ‘the new Gazza’
Tottenham considered signing Roma midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo before bringing in Giovani Lo Celso this summer, the player's agent told the Daily Mail. Lo Celso joined Spurs on a season-long loan from Betis, but Zaniolo's agent, Claudio Vigorelli, said the Champions League runners-up showed “great” and “concrete” interest in the 20-year-old. Vigorelli even compared Zaniolo to England legend Paul Gascoigne.
Paper Round’s view: An agent talking up a client. No shock there. Whether it’s true or not, discussing Spurs’ interest gets Zaniolo’s name out there and shows other clubs that they may have a fight on their hands.