Real and Barca battle over Liverpool duo - Paper Round
Real Madrid and Barcelona target Liverpool's main men, Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois convince Los Blancos to sign N'Golo Kante, Tammy Abraham is unsure over his England future and Manchester United chase a Kosovo international. It's Monday's Paper Round...
Liga giants set for fight over Liverpool duo
Real Madrid and Barcelona are ready to battle over a potential "mammoth double deal" for Liverpool pair Jurgen Klopp and Virgil van Dijk, according to the Star. The Merseyside club's manager and centre-back have been vital in their rise to becoming one of Europe's top sides. Liverpool have reached the last two Champions League final, lifting the elite trophy in the Spanish capital last May. The Premier League side are unlikely to consider any incoming bids for their superstars.
Paper Round's view: It's unsurprising that Barcelona and Real Madrid are looking to employ a coach like Klopp. The German is viewed as one of the best managers in world football and his long-term projects at Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool have proven this. The signing of Van Dijk for a then-world record fee for a defender completely revolutionised the Liverpool team, taking them to the next level. Barca and Real have both looked fairly flat in the last couple of years so an injection like the Dutch defender could well be needed. However, Liverpool are a massive club and are fully focused on winning the Premier League so it would be difficult to see either of them leaving any time soon.
Ex-Chelsea duo try to convince Kante to leave
Ex-Chelsea duo Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois are trying to convince former teammate N'Golo Kante to copy them by switching clubs to join Real Madrid next summer, according to the Sun. The Belgian pair used to play for Chelsea with Kante and have identified him as a target for Real Madrid and fellow Frenchman Zinedine Zidane in the summer of 2020. It is reported that there is an "agreement" in place with the defensive midfielder and the Spanish giants.
Paper Round's view: N'Golo Kante is arguably the best defensive midfielder in the world and he should be playing for one of the biggest clubs in world football to reflect that. Chelsea are a top side and are doing okay so far this season under new manager and club legend Frank Lampard, but it would be tough to argue against Real Madrid being a step up from the West London club. Courtois and Hazard both made the move to Madrid over the past two years and since Real Madrid have been leaking goals over the past 18 months, purchasing the world's best defensive midfielder would be a great signing for them.
Abraham unsure of international future
Staying at Stamford Bridge, 21-year-old forward Tammy Abraham has refused to rule out an international team switch from England to Nigeria. Goal have reported that the Chelsea striker has left the door open to play for Nigeria, his parents' home country, by admitting "you can never say never" when asked about potentially playing for the Super Eagles in the future. Abraham has featured twice for the senior England team, but both outings were in friendly matches, meaning he is able to switch allegiances.
Paper Round's view: Abraham has proven that he can cut it in the Premier League since returning to Chelsea following a season-long loan to Aston Villa in the Championship last year. The Young Lions star has scored seven goals so far this season in just five matches, including an incredible hat-trick against Wolves on Saturday. His form is worthy of an England call-up and there are two European Championship qualifiers next month where he could make his competitive debut for the Three Lions. England boss Gareth Southgate needs to make a decision, especially as his side's centre-forward options aren't too strong, excluding Harry Kane.
Premier League pair battle over Kosovo star
Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly going head-to-head over the signing of Kosovo international Vedat Muriqi, according to the Sun. The news outlet states that the pair sent scouts to watch the 25-year-old during September's international break, which included Kosovo's trip to St Mary's Stadium where they lost 5-3 to England in the European Championship qualifiers. Muriqi recently joined Turkish giants Fenerbahce in July, where he has scored twice in three Super Lig appearances so far this season.
Paper Round's view: United and Spurs both look slightly weak when assessing their squad depth and on paper it would appear that this type of signing would be low risk with a low fee. However, Muriqi has only just joined Fenerbahce for a fee of £3.1 million and he signed a four-year contract upon signing for the Turkish club which would make things difficult and more expensive, especially if the Premier League pair moved for him in the winter transfer window. United especially look like they need attacking reinforcements, but this doesn't look like the answer.