Manchester City attempt to tie down Raheem Sterling, Real Madrid and Manchester United battle over a pair of wonderkids, Frank Lampard opens contract talks with Giroud and Pep Guardiola plays down City's Champions League chance. It's Monday's Paper Round...
Sterling offered bumper new contract to fend off Madrid
Raheem Sterling is set to be offered a new deal by Manchester City worth around £450,000 per week, according to the Sun. The England international has captured the interest of Real Madrid and has previously expressed his desire to one day play football abroad in a country with a hot climate. Sterling's current contract was only signed last year and it runs until 2023, but City are looking to reward the 24-year-old, while simultaneously putting Los Blancos off making a move for their star man.
Guardiola could quit City for shock politics role – Euro Papers
Paper Round's view: Money in football is crazy. We all know that already. It's obviously not going to change and if Manchester City really want to keep Sterling at the club at all costs then why not offer him a new deal? It will be far cheaper than signing a replacement and Sterling is currently looking like one of the best attacking players in world football. It wouldn't be too surprising to see Sterling playing abroad some day, but he is still young so has plenty of time to move on... and when that time comes, City will be able to command a huge transfer fee.
Manchester United and Real Madrid are ready to go head-to-head over the signings of youngsters Jadon Sancho and Erling Braut Haaland, according to the Mirror. The two teens have dominated headlines and attracted the attention of Europe's elite clubs. Borussia Dortmund are probably going to find it difficult to hold onto Sancho for another year, while Haaland - who is currently playing for Austria's RB Salzburg - will definitely find it difficult to turn down a move after this season.
Paper Round's view: United and Madrid are both European superpowers that are underachieving so the pair of clubs will certainly look to make waves in the transfer market next summer. Haaland looks like he could be a perfect fit for Old Trafford, especially as United are in desperate need of a new centre-forward after the exit of Romelu Lukaku in the summer. It's unlikely that Real Madrid will spend big on a number nine after signing Luka Jovic. However, Sancho looks like the perfect fit for either side, which could make things very interesting if the rumoured interest is true.
Frank Lampard has admitted that he plans to sit down with French forward Olivier Giroud in January to discuss his future at the club, according to the Express. The 33-year-old hasn't really been involved in the first team too much this season, with England international Tammy Abraham given the green light by Lampard as the number one striker. Giroud has revealed his frustrations to his boss, stating during the international break that he "wants to play more games". The World Cup winner is battling to keep his place in the France team at next summer's European Championships.
Paper Round's view: It's understandable that Giroud just wants minutes. The reason he left Arsenal for Chelsea was because he wasn't playing enough ahead of the 2018 World Cup and he has found himself in the same situation just two years later at Stamford Bridge. It makes it more difficult for the Frenchman because Abraham is starting in the Champions League matches as well as the Premier League, which really limits his minutes across competitions. Giroud won't shy away from a move in January if his current situation fails to change.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has played down his side's chances to win the Champions League this season, according to the Guardian. The 48-year-old admitted that his team aren't clinical enough and stated that there is room for improvement if the club wants to emerge victorious in Europe's elite competition. Manchester City lost to Premier League rivals and eventual finalists Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League quarter-finals last season and Guardiola's side have currently won both their group matches so far in the competition this term.
Paper Round's view: It's a baffling claim that City aren't clinical enough to win the Champions League. City have scored 29 goals in just nine league games this season, scoring 106 goals and 95 goals in their past two Premier League title-winning runs under Guardiola. It's more than likely that the City boss has made the claims to take the media pressure off his players ahead of hosting Serie A side Atalanta on Tuesday night, but also to force his players prove a point and make a statement to him.