Silva wants stay, Alaba wants a lot
The Telegraph is reporting that Chelsea centre-back Thiago Silva wants to extend his stay beyond this season, while the club’s hopes of partnering the Brazilian with David Alaba will depend on whether the defender drops his “eye-watering” wage demands. Alaba looks set to leave Bayern Munich in the summer, but given he wants to be paid just shy of £400,000 a week, Chelsea are baulking at the idea of bringing him to Stamford Bridge.
Paper Round’s view: Perhaps a case of one or the other? Even if they convince Alaba to drop his demands, that would be a costly partnership if he comes in to join Thiago Silva at the back. Worth it, perhaps, but perhaps a stretch too far even for a club that has not been afraid to flaunt its wealth in the transfer market in recent years.
Man Utd want Konate
Step aside Dayot Upamecano? The Independent claims Manchester United are chasing the RB Leipzig centre-back Ibrahima Konate given his team-mate Upamecano looks set to join Bayern Munich in the summer. Konate has 11 caps for France, and the 21-year-old is also attracting interest from Liverpool and Chelsea as he would be – currently – a cheaper alternative to Upamecano.
Paper Round’s view: Why not. Centre-back is certainly an area United need to strengthen, and though options seem few and far between, signing a player with international experience at 21 would be a nod to the future as well as the present, and one which would help them solidify their place as regular top-four and maybe title challengers in the coming years.
Shawcross to Miami?
Ryan Shawcross could be heading to the USA, with the Mail reporting the Stoke City defender is in talks to join David Beckham’s Inter Miami. The 33-year-old is said to be attracted by the prospect of playing in the MLS, in what would be a new challenge having played almost 400 league games for Stoke since joining in 2008.
Paper Round’s view: At 33, having played for the same club for 13 years, you can hardly blame Shawcross for taking on an exciting challenge like that. You just never know with Inter Miami, and it would be thrilling to be part of the project early doors in case it happened to realise its dream earlier than expected.
Atletico vs Chelsea on the move?
It looks as though Chelsea’s Champions League last-16 tie with Atletico Madrid, the Blues’ away leg in Spain, is set to be played in Romania, according to The Sun. Liverpool and Manchester City have seen their matches with German opposition moved, and given travel restrictions make it difficult for Chelsea to head to Madrid, their game with the current Liga leaders on February 23 will likely be moved as well.
Paper Round’s view: One of the phrases of these times. It is what it is. Football has continued to be flexible in its unbending desire to continue, so of course they will move these matches anywhere if that means the show can go on.