Manchester City ready to return to Tottenham Hotspur with Harry Kane bid as early as January - Paper Round
Manchester City will resume their pursuit of Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane in January after failing to sign the England captain during the summer. Elsewhere, Barcelona have held talks with Mino Raiola over the free transfer of Paul Pogba, Manchester United have made Declan Rice their "priority" for next summer and Alexandre Lacazette's time at Arsenal could be up at the end of the season.
Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur looks on during the UEFA Europa Conference League group G match between Stade Rennes and Tottenham Hotspur at Roazhon Park on September 16, 2021 in Rennes, France.
Manchester City have not given up in their pursuit of Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane, according to ESPN. The Premier League champions spent all summer sniffing around the England captain, but reportedly never made an official bid. ESPN state that the move failed due to the fact that City failed to show any "serious intention" of an offer close to the £150 million that Spurs chairman Daniel Levy demanded. Pep Guardiola's side are prepared to test Tottenham's resolve once again in the winter transfer window - or at the end of the current campaign if that fails.
Paper Round's view: It's no secret that Kane wanted to leave Spurs in search of silverware this summer, but his contract and (therefore) price tag kept him in north London. His playing style is arguably perfect for Guardiola's Manchester City team as he likes to bring the wide forwards into play. It would essentially give City the England front three of Kane, Raheem Sterling and Jack Grealish. However, his age, price tag and injury history just doesn't make sense for the Manchester club... especially when Erling Haaland is said to be available for a cut-price fee next summer. City need to forget Kane for now and make Haaland their priority.
Barcelona are looking to bounce back from the embarrassment they suffered in the summer by "building a powerful team for next season", according to Sport. The Spanish media source report that the Blaugrana will try to convince Paul Pogba to join them upon the expiration of his contract at Manchester United next summer. Barca president Joan Laporta has reportedly spoken with Pogba's agent Mino Raiola to express their interest in the 28-year-old and the super-agent said he would "try and convince" his client to pick the Catalan club. Real Madrid, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain are also interested in signing the Frenchman if he fails to sign a contract extension at Old Trafford.
'I wont apologise... I was being honest' - Guardiola responds to fan backlash over attendances
Rice a 'priority' for Man Utd
Manchester United have made West Ham United midfielder Declan Rice a "top priority" ahead of next summer, according to the Independent. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer views the England international as "the missing piece" in his team and ideally wanted to sign him this summer. Rice and his representatives explored the possibility of a move to Manchester, but West Ham slapped a £100-million price tag on him. The Red Devils are now ready to pounce at the end of the season and the Independent even reveal that the prospective move is a "frequent topic of discussion" in the England camp between United players and Rice.
Paper Round's view: Manchester United are in desperate need of a central midfielder if they want to be serious title contenders. Ex-United defender Paul Parker stated "you don't win a Premier League title with Fred or Scott McTominay" and he's not wrong. Rice would be a perfect fit in this side, alongside Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes in midfield. Obviously the 22-year-old would be expensive due to his age, nationality and importance to West Ham, but he would be worth it. United have the money, so why not just spend it on a player that could be a key member of the team for the next 10 years.
Alexandre Lacazette's time at Arsenal could be coming to end after ESPN report that the Gunners have failed to offer a contract extension to the 30-year-old, who has less than a year remaining on his current deal. Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta previously stated that Lacazette's future would be resolved during the summer, but it is now still undecided. The Frenchman will be free to enter negotiations with foreign clubs from January if Arsenal fail to reach an agreement to extend his contract. Atletico Madrid, Juventus, AC Milan and Sevilla are all reportedly interested in signing Lacazette for free next summer.
Paper Round's view: It's unlikely that Arsenal are going to table a decent offer to extend Lacazette's contract. He's in his 30s now and has made just two substitute appearances for the north London club so far this season. It wouldn't make financial sense for the Gunners and they will definitely be hesitant following the big-money contracts given to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mesut Ozil in recent years. Arsenal should maybe try to sell Lacazette in January to raise transfer funds and start looking for a young replacement ahead of next summer.