Barca target Martinez
Barcelona face a challenge to replace Ronald Koeman as their manager. It would reportedly cost around £10 million to sack the Dutchman but the club are struggling financially, and there is admittedly no obvious candidate to take over. The Mirror says that Belgium manager Roberto Martinez is in their sights but it would be difficult to get them to give up the Spanish manager.
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Paper Round’s view: Martinez has done nothing exceptional with Belgium and when he was at Everton he had one good season before overseeing a decline. He does play relatively attractive football though, and that might count in his favour after Koeman decided to use Gerard Pique as a striker in the dying moments of their game with Granada on Monday evening.
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Mourinho wants Dalot a second time
Diogo Dalot is in the crosshairs of former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho. The current Roma boss hopes to sign the 22-year-old Portuguese international right-back from Manchester United to strengthen his options on the right side of defence. Dalot has two years left on his current contract and spent last year on loan at Italian side AC Milan.
Paper Round’s view: If Dalot has failed to convince Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that he offers more going forward than Aaron Wan-Bissaka then he will almost certainly never get a chance under the Norwegian. It is clear that the club would like to reinforce on the right hand side but were unable to shift Dalot in the summer, and therefore he is the back-up until he moves on.
Derby face 12 point deduction
Derby County are set to officially enter administration with the club owing £26 million to the UK tax authorities. The Telegraph reports that they will be punished with a 12-point deduction, which will take them to the bottom of the Championship league table, and they could be deducted a further nine points if they are found guilty of breaking financial rules.
Paper Round’s view: If Derby County suffer a 21-point total ban then they will have few options to rescue their season. They will struggle to make any new signings and keep hold of their best players, and that would make life almost impossible over the rest of the season. It is hard to see how they will be able to see what their future will look like without a change of owners, and that may cost them Wayne Rooney as manager.
Ancelotti accepts Asensio frustration
Real Madrid’s manager Carlo Ancelotti is understanding of Marco Asensio’s frustration after failing to get many minutes on the pitch. The player has a contract that runs until 2023, but Spanish newspaper reports that Ancelotti can see why Asensio is unhappy, saying: "If Marco Asensio or Isco or Luka Jovic aren't happy with not playing then that's normal, that's good. But, Asensio, Isco and Jovic are training well. Asensio, Isco and Jovic will have minutes.”
Paper Round’s view: Asensio was a hugely promising player but he has now certainly lost his way at the club. He is now aged 25 and if he wants to kick on with his career then now is the time for him to move. Real Madrid will likely be happy to raise money because they are still struggling after the coronavirus, and will not want to lose the player for nothing.
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