Real unlikely to pursue Pogba deal
Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba discussed his willingness to join Real Madrid when asked during international duty, but the Mirror reports that Real Madrid have no inclination to chase his signature. The club’s French boss Zinedine Zidane has targeted Pogba in the past but now sees Paris Saint-Germain’s striker Kylian Mbappe as his number one target for next summer.
Paper Round’s view: It is perfectly reasonable that Pogba would like to join Real Madrid - they are the most glamorous club around. However, his obvious dissatisfaction with life at Manchester United seems to have led to years of underperformance at the club. In that context, it is hard to see why Real would want to sign him when the consistently better, and younger, option of Mbappe is on the horizon.
West Ham ready new Rice contract
After keeping hold of Declan Rice in the face of interest from Chelsea, West Ham are looking to extend their 21-year-old defender/midfielder's contract. Rice has two and a half years left on his current deal on wages of £60,000 a week. That might need to be doubled to get him to sign a new, long-term deal and protect his resale value ahead of next summer, when Chelsea may look to meet their £80 million asking price, reports the Sun.
Paper Round’s view: Rice is West Ham’s star player, and with the mediocrity on show at the club for the last few years they can ill afford to lose his talent, nor can they risk upsetting their fans yet further. Doubling his wages may be enough to keep him for another year, but a good performance at Euro 2020 would make it almost impossible to keep hold of him if the bigger clubs come calling.
Koeman happy with a single signing
Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman is happy despite the club signing only Sergino Dest, according to a report in Spanish newspaper Marca. In it, Koeman states: ”I'm happy with the squad we have. We have tried to improve it in some areas, and we were successful at some points and not so in others. This is also part of the club's financial situation; we have to accept that and learn to work with it."
Paper Round’s view: Koeman lost Rafinha, Arturo Vidal, Nelson Semedo, Luis Suarez and Ivan Rakitic, and other players might have gone if offers had come in for them. They wanted to sign Memphis Depay from Lyon but could not quite afford him, and the same goes for Eric Garcia. While they have talented youth players and Philippe Coutinho is back from loan, they may struggle again this season.
Moses in talks with Spartak
The Daily Mail brings news that Russian club Spartak Moscow are in talks with Chelsea over a move for Victor Moses. The 29-year-old utility player spent last season on loan with Inter Milan but a return to Antonio Conte’s club fell through on deadline day. A fee for £8 million could be enough to sign Moses on a permanent basis after he fell out of Frank Lampard’s plans for the season.
Paper Round’s view: Moses has the trust of Conte, and has always been a consistent performer whenever he has been called upon by various clubs. A move to Russia may not be the obvious choice but there are limited options now that the transfer window has been shut for most leagues. Chelsea, too, need to raise funds after their huge summer outlay of over £200 million.