United target Brooks wants Premier League return
The Sun claim that Manchester United target David Brooks is keen to get back into the Premier League and has hinted that he may not do so with Bournemouth. The 23-year-old midfielder is rated at £50 million by his current club which was enough to ward off suitors, but he now says: "I was disappointed I couldn’t really factor in last year, so I am desperate to get back in the Premier League and hopefully it’s with Bournemouth.”
Paper Round’s view: United need plenty of reinforcements but at this point the problem is not with their midfield or attacking options. The money that needs to be spent next is on central defence. Brooks would only be needed if there is a clearout of midfielders, and only Paul Pogba looks like he could be leaving Old Trafford this summer.
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Inter ready to sell Eriksen
Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte is ready to sell Christian Eriksen in January. The 28-year-old Denmark international has failed to impress in Italy and Inter are now considering cutting their losses by selling him to Paris Saint-Germain when the transfer window opens again. Eriksen and Conte have disagreed with the amount of game time he is getting, with the player increasingly benched.
Paper Round’s view: Eriksen’s form for Tottenham Hotspur had started to drift as he anticipated a move away from the London side, and many at the time assumed it was to do with a lack of focus. However his inability to revert back could suggest that form is hard to rediscover, or that Eriksen’s body is simply starting to fail him after so many games in the top flight.
Pedri fee may rise significantly
When Barcelona completed their deal for 17-year-old Pedri from Las Palmas in the summer, an initial six million euro fee was agreed, with a further two million to come. However, that amount could yet balloon to 22 million euros. If he plays more Champions League games, is called up by the national side, or other milestones are reached, then Barcelona may have to keep paying out.
Paper Round’s view: These payouts may see them decide to ration the player’s game time across the next few months. However, if they manage to get a player so young who can already hold his own at this level, then they will presumably be more relaxed about paying what is a relatively minor sum.
Salah set to miss chunk of Liverpool’s schedule
The Daily Mirror reports that Mohamed Salah could be out for big sections of the upcoming seasons due to international commitments with Egypt. Shawky Gharib, who will pick the country’s Olympic side, said: "The team's technical staff and the Egyptian Football Association have the desire to call up Mohamed Salah for the Olympics," and he could also play in January/February 2022 for the Africa Cup of Nations.
Paper Round’s view: Taking part in the Olympics would be disruptive for a player who will probably play almost every game he is available for Liverpool. He, like most players, has not had a proper pre-season due to the coronavirus, and going straight into the Olympics would be more strain and travel when he will likely need a rest - it is not clear if he would then have to miss another pre-season with Liverpool.