Liverpool join Man City and Bayern Munich in transfer race for Gladbach midfielder - Paper Round
Tuesday’s Paper Round includes a couple of transfer lines, with Liverpool interested in Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Florian Neuhaus, while Sergio Ramos is nearing the exit door at Real Madrid. There’s also a report from The Times discussing how the League Cup and FA Cup finals could be pilot events for the return of fans. Plus, Paul Pogba injury news.
German midfielder Florian Neuhaus (L) celebrates the 1-1 goal scoring with his team-mates during the German first division Bundesliga football match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and 1 FC Cologne in Moenchengladbach, western Germany, on February 6
Liverpool could rival Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Dortmund for the signing of Florian Neuhaus, the Daily Mail reports. The Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder has a £35m release clause, and is contracted at the Bundesliga club until 2024, but the Germany international could leave in the summer if a club are willing to meet that amount. He has no shortage of suitors.
Florian Neuhaus (r.) im Zweikampf mit Jude Bellingham von Borussia Dortmund
Paper Round’s view: At £35m plenty could deem this a worthwhile pursuit, but could it be advantage Dortmund? On Monday it was confirmed Gladbach boss Marco Rose will take charge of Dortmund in the summer – maybe Neuhaus will follow him.
Ramos to leave Real?
There is no way back for Sergio Ramos at Real Madrid, the Daily Mail writes amid reports in Spain, and the defender is set to leave the club when his contract expires at the end of June. The 34-year-old has made more than 650 appearances for Real, and reached 100 goals for the club back in November, but his 16-year stay could be coming to an end, with Manchester United and PSG among the clubs hoping to sign the centre-back.
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Paper Round’s view: A Real Madrid without Ramos, it seems difficult to fathom, but with contract talks continuing to stall it is looking more and more a distinct possibility. Any club in Europe would jump at the chance to secure his services, so what does the next chapter, potentially the final one of his playing career, hold in store? We should find out soon.
Cup finals to pilot return of fans
The finals of the League Cup and FA Cup are being sounded out as test events for the return of supporters as the UK government looks towards a potential summer of major sporting events with some fans – the Times reports. With seven Euro 2020 matches pencilled in for Wembley, plus Wimbledon, the British Grand Prix and the Open among other events scheduled for the summer, the government could use English football’s two domestic cup finals to see what is feasible in terms of capacity when hosting socially distanced events.
Paper Round’s view: With the League Cup final on April 25, and the FA Cup final a month later, there may even be scope to increase capacity between the two events, but it will all be approached with the utmost caution, and should numbers continue to drop in the country then it would not be a surprise to see other events piloted before Wembley is the first to trial this second return of fans.
Pogba injury fears
Manchester United are worried Paul Pogba’s thigh problem could rule him out for their Premier League match at Chelsea at the end of the month, the Mirror reports. Pogba has missed the last two matches with the injury, but he could now miss their Europa League tie with Real Sociedad, Sunday’s match against Newcastle as well as the meeting with the Blues on February 28.
Paper Round’s view: Would be a blow given Chelsea’s resurgence of late, and with the top-four fight going to the wire – assuming no one will catch Manchester City that is – then every point is precious. Pogba had been key to their flurry of good form before this current dip. They’ll want him back as soon as possible.