Man City consider £26m Kalvin Phillips, Cristiano Ronaldo’s rousing speech before Man Utd return – Paper Round
Tuesday’s Paper Round features reports Manchester City could turn to Leeds and England’s Kalvin Phillips as a long-term replacement for Fernandinho. There’s also talk of Cristiano Ronaldo’s pre-match speech before scoring two on his Manchester United return. Elsewhere, Axel Tuanzebe wants to leave United for Villa permanently, while Romelu Lukaku is making transfer recommendations at Chelsea.
Solskjaer: Ronaldo 'delivered' after scoring brace against Newcastle
Both The Sun and Daily Mail have picked up on reports in Spain linking Manchester City with a move for Leeds United and England midfielder Kalvin Phillips. City were said to be keen on West Ham’s Declan Rice, likewise Manchester United, but his hefty price-tag – potentially more than £100m – is likely to put off suitors next summer, and in contrast Phillips could be available for just £26m and be viewed by Pep Guardiola as the perfect long-term replacement for Fernandinho.
Paper Round’s view: This is very speculative, and with a contract running until 2024 it is difficult to see why Leeds would let England’s player of the year leave for cheap. They’ll play hardball like Leicester and other clubs have done in the past, particularly when these title-chasers come calling.
Cristiano Ronaldo gave a rousing speech on the eve of his goalscoring second debut for Manchester United against Newcastle United. A source told The Sun: “Ronaldo’s speech was very powerful and uplifting. The whole group of players and coaching staff listened in silence. The first is because I love the club. The second is I love the winning mentality that breeds through the ranks of this club. I have not come back to be a cheerleader. If you guys want to succeed, then I need you to love this club from the bottom of your hearts.”
Paper Round’s view: No surprises here from a man who loves to win and accepts nothing but perfection. That’s referring to Ronaldo, of course, the man who scares his team-mates into avoiding the apple crumble when it comes to dessert time.
Tuanzebe wants Villa move
Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe wants to make his move to Aston Villa permanent, The Sun reports. The 23-year-old is enjoying his third loan spell at Villa, and the centre-back has played four times already this season. A source told The Sun: "Axel is playing with a smile on his face and loved the reception Aston Villa fans gave him when he returned to the club. He’s very happy in the West Midlands and would welcome a permanent move to the club, if that was to arise."
Chelsea's Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku (L) is challenged by Aston Villa's English defender Axel Tuanzebe during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge in London on September 11, 2021
Image credit: Getty Images
Paper Round’s view: After Raphael Varane’s arrival at Old Trafford it’s no surprise Tuanzebe wants to move on for good from Manchester United. It would take something special to force his way back into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans, and so United may as well try to make a bit of money in the coming year given his contract expires in June 2023.
Lukaku recommends two Inter players
Romelu Lukaku has made two recommendations for Chelsea the next time they enter the transfer market. Reports in Italy, via the Mirror, claim the Belgian thinks Chelsea should approach his former side Inter and attempt to sign defenders Alessandro Bastoni and Milan Skriniar. Chelsea had looked to bring in Jules Kounde before the summer deadline, but Lukaku’s advice could see them turn elsewhere in the future.
romelu lukaku of Chelsea FC celebrates scoring his teams first goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on September 11, 2021 in London, England
Image credit: Getty Images
Paper Round’s view: Again, very speculative, but perhaps it’s a way into starting the transfer rumour wheel ahead of the January window when it comes to Chelsea’s search for a defender. Their Kounde pursuit made it plain they wanted to strengthen there, so perhaps they will have to think of other options if Sevilla continue to make it difficult – as they should – next time around.