Manchester United want Alex Telles, Liverpool are closing in on Diogo Jota, Aston Villa want Bertrand Traore and Mauricio Pochettino dismisses the Barcelona job
United in race for Telles
Manchester United reportedly move on to yet another transfer target having signed only one player so far. The player in question now is Alex Telles, Porto’s 27-year-old left-back. He has a contract that runs out in 2021 meaning he could be available for less than the £27 million asking price, but Paris Saint-Germain are also in the running, according to the Mirror.
Paper Round’s view: United urgently need to improve upon Luke Shaw who appears to have come back to training overweight again, and his lack of fitness should mark him for the exit as a sign of improving standards at the club. Brandon Williams needs someone more professional to learn from and the chances of Telles being a worse footballer than Shaw are slim.
Liverpool launch surprise bid for Barca forward Dembele - Euro Papers
Liverpool set for Jota move
Liverpool are close to signing Diogo Jota from Wolves, reports the Sun. The champions have just signed Thiago from Bayern Munich for around £25 million, and now have their sights on the 23-year-old Portuguese forward. The deal means that Liverpool are unlikely to be in for Ismaila Sarr, with Watford asking for £36 million for the Senegalese winger.
Paper Round’s view: If Jota is cheaper than Sarr then it is an easy decision to make, and it may leave Wolves rueing their hard-nosed approach to transfer dealings if they do not manage to get back up at the first attempt. Jota is a proven Premier League player and an upgrade on Divock Origi, meaning Liverpool have added depth and quality to their squad this window.
Villa close in on deal for Traore
Aston Villa are closing in on a deal for Bertrand Traore, according to the Daily Telegraph. The former Chelsea winger is now at Lyon, but Villa have agreed a deal worth £19 million for the 25-year-old Burkina Faso international. With Wesley out injured for months more the Premier League side need to strengthen their attack as they attempt to stay up again.
Paper Round’s view: Having signed Jack Grealish to a new long-term deal the foundations could be laid for a robust Aston Villa side who can establish themselves back in the Premier League. Traore has done well at Lyon and Dean Smith can take advantage of the coronavirus’ financial damage to prise the player away from Ligue 1 for a relatively small sum.
Pochettino: I was not offered Barca job
Spanish newspaper Marca reports that Mauricio Pochettino was not offered the Barcelona job after the dismissal of Quique Setien. However, the Argentine admitted to contact with two clubs, saying: "I didn't speak to Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus or Inter. But - and I don't need to lie about it - I did have calls from Monaco and Benfica. On the whole, though, I'm not missing coaching.”
Paper Round’s view: Pochettino is one of the best managers around without a contract, but there is no obvious place for him to go. He has already ruled out the Barcelona job before, and there is no major opening around Europe. Perhaps when the next big name manager is let go he will be ready to step back into action, but he seems a discerning man.