Phillips refuses to join Leeds' rivals

Kalvin Phillips is prepared to reject any advances from Manchester United in favour of a move to Liverpool, according to the Sun. The Leeds United midfielder is wanted by the Premier League pair following his impressive performances for England at Euro 2020. Manchester United are “desperate” to improve their midfield options, but Phillips will reportedly stay true to his Yorkshire roots by snubbing Leeds’ fierce rivals. Liverpool are keen on signing the 26-year-old and it is reported that Phillips would be interested in a move to Anfield.
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Paper Round’s view: Phillips was one of the surprises of the tournament at Euro 2020. He played a fair few England matches alongside Declan Rice in midfield prior to the tournament, but many supporters believed the partnership was not dynamic enough. He proved his doubters wrong with his performances. It would not be a surprise to see him move to a club competing for trophies and playing in Europe. He adapted to international football with ease and Liverpool could definitely use a player like Phillips in their squad.
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Real Madrid lead race for Rudiger

Antonio Rudiger is edging closer to a Chelsea exit with his contract set to expire at the end of the current campaign. The Germany international has failed to reach a financial agreement to extend his stay at Stamford Bridge. Rudiger will be allowed to leave for free next summer and is free to open negotiations with foreign clubs from January. The Independent report that Real Madrid are leading the race to secure the 28-year-old’s signature, while Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur are also interested.
Paper Round’s view: Chelsea are making a big mistake by letting Rudiger walk away for free. There’s an argument to have that Rudiger has been the best central defender in Europe since Thomas Tuchel took over in west London in January. His performances have inspired the Blues to a Champions League trophy and they now sit top of the Premier League. Rudiger deserves a significant pay rise in relation to his importance to the team. Letting him leave over a salary demand would be stupid – especially when you consider Chelsea will have to pay over the odds to sign a top-class replacement.
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Digne row with Benitez leaves him sidelined

Lucas Digne has been left sidelined at Everton after a fierce row with Toffees boss Rafa Benitez. The 28-year-old was dropped from the matchday squad in Everton’s 2-1 comeback win against Arsenal on Monday and replaced at left-back by right-footed centre-back Ben Godfrey. The Mirror reveal that Digne is unhappy with Benitez’s defensive playing style and the fact that the Spaniard has removed him from set pieces. The future of the former Barcelona full-back is under threat and it is reported that he could leave Goodison Park in January if Benitez remains in charge.
Paper Round’s view: Digne has been a brilliant outlet for Everton since his arrival from Barcelona in 2018. He has proven himself as one of the best attacking left-backs in the Premier League. Benitez’s pragmatic management style seems to limit Digne’s game. He was deadly on set pieces and flying up the left-hand channel. The Frenchman is probably unhappy that he is being nullified to concentrate on defending – and the game plan is not even working for the struggling Toffees. Benitez’s job seemed to be hanging by a string before the Arsenal victory, so maybe Digne can outlive the Spaniard on Merseyside.
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Marcelo ready to move on after 15 years in Madrid

Marcelo has decided to leave Real Madrid after spending 15 years in the Spanish capital. The Mirror report that the Brazilian will return to his home nation in search of first-team football in a bid to be part of Brazil’s squad at the 2022 World Cup. Marcelo’s minutes for Los Blancos have been severely limited since the arrival of Ferland Mendy from Lyon in 2019. It is expected that the 33-year-old will reunite with his former club Fluminense when his contract at the Santiago Bernabeu expires next summer.
Paper Round’s view: A true Real Madrid legend. Marcelo will be leaving the Spanish capital after 15 years at the club. The left-back has won five Liga titles, two Copa del Reys and four Champions Leagues during his time with Real Madrid. He asserted himself as the best left-back in world football for a long time during this period and is now club captain. He will now return to his boyhood club in an attempt to return to the Brazil national team and play more football, so good luck to him. He will always be welcome back at the Bernabeu.
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