Arsenal interest in Isco
Arsenal are having an absolutely dreadful season so far under Mikel Arteta, and Spanish newspaper Marca reports that the Spaniard is interested in fellow countryman Isco. The 28-year-old attacking midfielder is wanted to provide creativity to a team that could be on the cusp of a relegation battle, having fallen out of favour at Real Madrid under Zinedine Zidane.
Paper Round’s view: Arteta is clearly a bright man and there is probably a benefit in the club showing patience with the manager. Giving him Isco might give the squad a lift, and if they bring him in on loan then it could be done relatively cheaply. If the club are not going to give Mesut Ozil another chance, then they need to find an attacking player to offer a similar threat.
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Derby move for Jones
Former Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney could be in for a former Old Trafford teammate, defender Phil Jones, reports the Mirror. The 28-year-old has struggled to get games under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and Rooney wants him in the Championship. However, he will face competition from Premier League sides Burnley and West Brom, but Rooney would offer him a chance to get game time on loan.
Paper Round’s view: Jones has shown that he can’t cut it in the Premier League and has little chance of getting back to his best given the sheer amount of time and injuries that have gone by. The Championship might be more his level, and should he be able to help Derby fight their way into the Premier League then he might have to move down again to cope.
Sheffield United want Jesse Lingard
The Sun claims that Premier League strugglers Sheffield United are looking to Jesse Lingard in order to revitalise their season. The 28-year-old forward is wanted by Chris Wilder on loan in January, and his parent club are keen to get him off the books as he has little chance of playing regularly. United would be prepared to subsidise his wages in order to get some of his salary of the books.
Paper Round’s view: Lingard has failed to kick on, and probably should have left a couple of years ago in order to not lose momentum. He has been shown up by Bruno Fernandes, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood as a player who doesn’t do enough on the pitch. Like Jones, Sheffield United and maybe the Championship are better suited to him.
Liverpool close in on Scanlon
Liverpool are set to sign a player for their youth team, according to the Daily Mail. They have made a bid of around £500,000 for Calum Scanlon, Birmingham City’s 15-year-old midfielder. He would follow in the footsteps of Jude Bellingham as a midlands youngster who goes onto a bigger club at an extremely young age.
Paper Round’s view: Liverpool need to make sure that in the next few years that they have plenty of homegrown-qualified players to bulk up their squad, particularly as the British government might impose more restrictions on the make-up of Premier League squads. At half a million, if Scanlon gets into the first team then he will have been well worth the money.