Ronaldo’s going nowhere
Manchester United are confident that Cristiano Ronaldo will “make a dramatic U-turn” and stay at Old Trafford this season. The 37-year-old has constantly been linked with an exit throughout the summer transfer window and his agent, Jorge Mendes, has been trying to find him a potential destination – without any success. However, the Sun state that United’s spending spree may be enough to convince Ronaldo to stay. The Premier League side have added Antony, Casemiro, Lisandro Martinez, Christian Eriksen and Tyrell Malacia to their ranks.
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Paper Round’s view: This will be music to the ears of United fans. The Ronaldo transfer saga has been hanging over the club all summer and has created a circus for the media. The squad and management will finally be able to get on with their season once it has been put to bed and the transfer window closes. Ronaldo might not fit into the tactical plans of Erik ten Hag, but he will be an important member of the squad. He is 37 years old now so has slowed down, but he is still capable of scoring vital goals and his experience and leadership is unrivalled. It could push United towards winning a trophy this season.
Barca eye final defensive additions
Barcelona are not finished in the market yet as Spanish media outlet Sport reveal that the Catalan club are planning to add a right-back and left-back before the transfer window closes. Barca boss Xavi is desperate to improve his defensive options and has made the two full-back positions a “priority”. Sport state that the club are aiming to complete the signings of Thomas Meunier from Borussia Dortmund and Marcos Alonso from Chelsea within the next 24 hours. Academy graduate Hector Bellerin is viewed as a potential alternative for Meunier.
Paper Round’s view: Who knows where Barcelona are getting this money from? The Blaugrana still need to shift a few players before the window closes too. Martin Braithwaite, Memphis Depay, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Miralem Pjanic are still at the club. Alonso and Meunier would be solid additions though. The right-back area is pretty important, while Jordi Alba is getting on a bit at left-back. They might not be the signings that elevate Barcelona into title-winners, but it would be decent squad depth.
Man City launch shock Akanji bid
Manchester City are closing in on the shock signing of Borussia Dortmund centre-back Manuel Akanji. The Guardian reveal that talks between the two clubs are “progressing to the final stage” and the transfer fee will be £14.6 million. The report also states that the arrival of Akanji will not lead to any late sales in the Manchester City squad, despite Pep Guardiola already having four centre-backs at his disposal in Ruben Dias, John Stones, Aymeric Laporte and Nathan Ake.
Paper Round’s view: This seems like a strange signing. It does not make much sense to have five centre-backs in your squad – unless one was a recent academy graduate or a youngster who would be learning a lot from the main four in your rotation. The signing of Akanji may reveal that Laporte’s current knee injury could be a lot more serious than first expected or it could point to a formation shift. Otherwise, it leaves Guardiola with a bloated squad – which could cause unrest when each centre-back is demanding more minutes.
Saka confident over new Arsenal contract
Bukayo Saka is edging closer to agreeing a contract extension at Arsenal, according to the Mail. The 20-year-old’s current contract is set to expire in 2024 and Arsenal have made it a “priority” to tie him down to a new deal amid long-term interest from Manchester City. Gunners boss Mikel Arteta said he was “confident” that Saka would sign an extension in north London and the England international admitted that he “shares the confidence” of his coach. Saka’s new deal is expected to see him double his current £70,000-per-week salary.
Paper Round’s view: Arsenal aren’t wrong. Extending Saka’s current contract has to be a “priority”. The Three Lions star might only be 20 years old, but he has been the shining light at the north London club for the past two seasons. It’s criminal that they have risked letting him enter the final two years of his contract. Arsenal fans will be able to breathe easy once Saka signs the deal and the news is confirmed.
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Ronaldo loan moves among final options with Osimhen to Man Utd unlikely – Paper Round
YESTERDAY AT 21:37