Wolves attempt to keep Traore
The Sun reports that Wolves will offer Adama Traore more than double his current wages in response to a £30m offer from Spurs and interest from Liverpool. The 25-year-old Spain international will be offered a four-year deal and wages of £120,000 a week to tie him down to the club, in anticipation of further offers from Premier League clubs who want the winger.
Man Utd keen on Phillips, not Rice, as Mata considers January exit – Paper Round
Paper Round’s view: Traore should be careful. Both Harry Kane and Wilfried Zaha received big wage increases when they signed their most recent long-term deals, but those wages meant that when a big club did finally make an offer their clubs were in a position to refuse them. If Traore wants to move on then he could make back the money on any rise over the course of a future contract.
Arteta: 'It's time to reflect and look in the mirror' as Arsenal lose 5-0 to Manchester City
Leno set to quit Arsenal on free transfer
Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno has a year left on his current deal and the Mirror believes that he is likely to leave the club on a free transfer next season. One possible destination is Inter Milan, who as well as Andre Onana of Ajax are considering Leno as a replacement for Samir Handanovic. The arrival of 23-year-old Aaron Ramsdale indicates Leno is likely set for the exit.
Paper Round’s view: Ramsdale does not yet have sufficient Premier League experience at the top half of the table to really make it clear he is superior to Leno, but he could be phased in over the course of the current season as Leno organises his next club, and Ramsdale is given the chance to acclimatise to his new teammates. The difficulty will come if he has to make do with Arsenal’s currently dreadful defensive performance.
Newcastle hit back over spending
Newcastle United have released a statement that appears to target both criticism from fans as well as potentially their manager, Steve Bruce. Bruce was able to sign Joe Willock on a permanent deal from Newcastle for around £20 million, but was unable to land Hamza Choudhury from Leicester City. The Mail reports the club state they have spent £160m since Bruce’s arrival.
Paper Round’s view: Newcastle are not the austere club that they have been on occasion under Mike Ashley but by adding just a single player in the summer they do risk going stale. Ashley has occasionally given his managers little more than rations in a gamble that he can spend little after a decent showing in the league without risking relegation. Occasionally that has forced him to panic in January.
Barcelona continue to reduce wage bill
Spanish club Barcelona continue to drive down their wage bill as they attempt to fix the precarious financial situation they find themselves in, which forced them to let Lionel Messi leave on a free transfer. Marca reports that 31-year-old Bosnian Miralem Pjanic has joined Turkish side Besiktas on loan as he failed to dislodge Sergio Busquets in the pecking order and was not in Ronald Koeman’s plans.
Paper Round’s view: It seems that Pjanic and Arthur exchanged sides in order to flatter the top line on the income statement at Barcelona and Juventus, and now that he has shown that he is not able to offer enough to the first team, he can be moved on. Besiktas are not world beaters but they will give Pjanic the chance to stay active as he prepares for the World Cup next year.
Atletico and Juve keen on Saka as Arsenal demand at least £43m – Paper Round
Solskjaer role under scrutiny as Conte hovers; Pogba ponders future - Inside Football