Mbappe hints at PSG stay
After a couple of weeks where Real Madrid have appeared to be less confident of signing Kylian Mbappe, with the French international striker appearing to warm to the concept of staying on at Paris Saint-Germain at least for a year or two more. On Instagram he posted, "Always hungry for more. Thanks, PSG," while posing with club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi.
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Paper Round’s view: PSG are logically happy to keep Mbappe for as long as they can. Alongside Erling Haaland there is not a more exciting young striker in world football. There is no downside to trying everything they can to make him feel wanted and increase any pressure he may feel about potentially staying on.
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Odegaard open to Sociedad return
Martin Odegaard would return back to Real Sociedad, according to Arsenal’s former goalkeeper Mat Ryan. The Sun reports the ‘keeper as saying: "Before I knew Real were interested in me, [Odegaard] told me that Real, because of his experience here, was a great team. A ten out of ten in everything: the team, the life here, the public…everything. And now I agree with him. He’s comfortable at Arsenal, but he’s open to coming back one day, for sure.”
Paper Round’s view: Odegaard is only 22 and it appears that he is beginning to settle in at Arsenal after turning his loan deal into a permanent one. Just as importantly, Arsenal are beginning to turn things around under Mikel Arteta, and they could start to move up the table to secure Champions League football.
Fati contract hits problems
Ansu Fati’s Barcelona contract ends next summer, and the Daily Mail reports on some problems facing the club when it comes to the 18-year-old forward. Barcelona want to tie him down to a long-term contract with a £1 billion release clause, while Fati’s agent, Jorge Mendes, does not want such a high figure and would prefer a two-year deal.
Paper Round’s view: With Fati looking like the club’s best bet on replacing Lionel Messi with a home-grown player, Barcelona cannot afford to lose him in the next few years. Given the circumstances, expect a healthy amount of money to be offered to persuade Fati to fall into line with Barca’s wishes.
Bruce wants clarity
The Telegraph reports that Newcastle manager Steve Bruce wants clarity over the future. Bruce watched his side lose 3-2 to Spurs on Sunday and said after the game: “Ever since I have walked into this club of ours it is difficult. I knew how difficult it was going to be with the frustrations. I will carry on as best I can until I hear otherwise. The owners have conducted themselves respectfully since they came in. As long as I hear otherwise, I will go into work tomorrow."
Paper Round’s view: Bruce is due £8 million if the club sack him, so even if he feels like he has been mistreated by Newcastle and is unable to properly do his job, he has to stick it out for the payoff. It seems unlikely that there will be long left for Bruce at Newcastle.
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