Man Utd identify ‘ready-made replacement’ for Pogba
Manchester United are preparing for the expected departure of Paul Pogba at the end of the current campaign and the Mail report that the Premier League club have already identified a potential replacement for the World Cup winner. Interim boss Ralf Rangnick is “prioritising” a new centre midfielder in the transfer market and will attempt to sign Marseille’s Boubacar Kamara. The Frenchman will be available for free next summer as he is running down his contract – just like Pogba. The 22-year-old is also wanted by the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus, while Newcastle and Wolves were linked with him on the most recent deadline day.
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YESTERDAY AT 23: 49
Paper Round’s view: Kamara is quite highly rated and it will be gutting for Marseille to see one of their youth products leave for free at the age of 22. However, Manchester United have somehow managed to find themselves in a worse situation. Pogba left Old Trafford for free in 2012, returned in 2016 for a then-world record transfer fee and looks likely to leave once again for free next summer. What kind of transfer business is that for United? It’s ridiculous to be honest. In fact, it’s quite embarrassing for a club of their stature. Kamara would be a smart addition, but United shouldn’t even be losing Pogba for free for a second time.
Dele stuck in the shop window ahead of January
Tottenham Hotspur are ready to let Dele Alli leave in the January transfer window, according to the Telegraph. The 25-year-old has fallen out of favour in north London and has been linked with a loan move away to Paris Saint-Germain in previous transfer windows. Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is finally willing to let Alli leave in search of first-team football and would ideally sell him or send him out on loan with an option or obligation-to-buy clause. The former MK Dons midfielder is keen to resurrect his career and work his way back into the England squad ahead of next year’s World Cup.
Paper Round’s view: Dele has been a shadow of his former self whenever he has featured for Spurs over the past two years. His form crashed under Jose Mourinho’s management and he has never really recovered. Dele wasn’t fancied during Nuno Espirito Santo’s short spell in charge and it doesn’t seem like Antonio Conte is a huge fan either. It will be interesting to see if he can rediscover his form if he is given the chance to play on a more consistent basis. We all saw what Jesse Lingard did at West Ham United last season – Dele could do the exact same thing if he moves away from Tottenham in the January transfer window.
Rangnick: If Martial wants to leave he needs to tell me or the club
Newcastle ready to improve squad in winter window
Newcastle United are planning to recruit some big names in their first transfer window since their takeover. The Guardian report that the Magpies have made Lille defender Sven Botman their “priority signing” in January, while Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard is also on the club’s radar. New boss Eddie Howe is “confident” that he can pull Newcastle out of the Premier League relegation battle if the club back him in the transfer market and help recruit the “right players”. Lille may be unwilling to sell Botman mid-season but a bid of around £40 million could be enough to convince the French champions to open negotiations.
Paper Round’s view: Newcastle have won one match all season. It’s going to take more than two players to steer them to safety. Lingard and Botman are too good to be in a relegation battle, but it’s clear that Newcastle are prepared to aim high once their Premier League status is confirmed for next season. You might get any potential signings asking to have relegation release clauses in their contracts, but it could be worth the risk. The Magpies are going to invest big if they manage to stay up this season, so it wouldn’t really be bad moves for Lingard and Botman. Maybe Howe should add Dele Alli to his shortlist too.
Aubameyang’s captaincy reign coming to an end?
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is facing concerns over his role as Arsenal captain from fellow teammates and club staff after his latest disciplinary breach. The Mail reveal that there have been “long-standing concerns” over the 32-year-old’s suitability as club captain for the Gunners and last week’s incident seems to have exacerbated those worries. Figures within the club are doubting his position as captain, but the Mail also state that his influence in the dressing room as a whole means that any decision to take the armband from him could “cause major disruption”.
Paper Round’s view: Aubameyang was dropped by manager Mikel Arteta for Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Southampton after returning late from a trip to France. It’s not the first time he has been dropped by Arteta for tardiness either. It’s not a great example to set – especially due to the fact that Arsenal have an extremely young and inexperienced squad, who need a proper leader. Aubameyang is clearly a popular figure at the club, but that shouldn’t automatically make him captain. Arteta needs someone who leads by example, but the problem is that there is not a stand-out candidate at Arsenal. Granit Xhaka, Kieran Tierney or maybe Martin Odegaard could be potential options if Aubameyang were to be replaced.
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