Manchester City to seal huge deal for 'last piece of the jigsaw': The Manchester Evening News reports that the Premier League champions are about to finalise the purchase of Porto's central defender Eliaquim Mangala for £32 million. "His switch from Porto is seen as the last piece of the City jigsaw, shoring up a back-line that has relied too heavily on skipper and Belgium star Vincent Kompany," the paper reports. "With Mangala in place, City feel they have a squad powerful enough to win the Champions League and compete strongly on four fronts."
Paper Round's view: The defence is absolutely the part of City's squad that looked most fallible last season - and this major new signing could be critical. Assuming that the re-emergence of Martin Demichelis as a defensive powerhouse at the World Cup continues into next season, City will start to look like true favourites to retain the title - despite the shrewd summer business done by their blue-clad rivals in west London. But will yet another new face just exacerbate their other problem - a lack of cohesion and unity in the squad? We'll only know the answer to that once the first few matches of the season are under our belts.
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West Ham to pounce for Zaha: The Daily Mail reports that "West Ham are keen to take Wilfried Zaha if Manchester United agree to let the 21-year-old leave." Louis van Gaal has said that he sees for the 21-year-old as a striker rather than a winger, and considering the presence of four well-established international strikers ahead of him in the pecking order he is expected to let him leave.
Paper Round's view: Zaha's insistence that he is trying to win Louis van Gaal around in the few weeks available to him rings hollow on several counts. Not only does it smack of desperation, but it is also accompanied by two facts: (a) Zaha being the sole United player to opt out of going to an optional training session at the weekend, which is absolutely NOT what you'd do if trying to impress a new manager; and (b) the story leaked, presumably by the player's agent, at the weekend suggesting that Zaha has three offers on the table from Premier League sides should Manchester United seem to offload him. The writing is on the wall - Zaha is off, and either West Ham or Crystal Palace would do well to pounce on a player with huge long-term potential.
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Tottenham close in on £17m deal for Musacchio: The Times reports that Spurs are on the verge of completing a move for Mateo Musacchio, the Villarreal and Argentina centre-back. Vlad Chiriches and Michael Dawson would be sold if the deal goes through, the paper adds.
Paper Round's view: Buying an Argentina defender makes perfect sense - their defensive line was second to none at the World Cup - but it's a surprise to see an almost uncapped Argentine (he has two appearances, dating back three years) go for such a huge amount.
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West Ham want Wickham: The Hammers are to turn to Sunderland striker Connor Wickham to fill the void left by Andy Carroll, who has had ankle surgery which will keep him out until nearly Christmas. Wickham - an England U21 star - is out of contract at the end of the season, and Gus Poyet "insists the player will be sold this summer unless he signs a new deal." Allardyce thinks former Ipswich striker Wickham's "power and direct style makes him a direct replacement for Carroll."
Paper Round's view: We've always believed that Wickham has huge potential that has been left largely untapped since he moved to the Black Cats, bar at hot spell at the end of last season. A change of place could help him turn that round - and he's likely to enjoy at least half a season as the number one choice if he moves to Upton Park.
Connor Wickham has been in great form since returning to Sunderland from Leeds
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Paper Round's view: Good to see that Southampton are finally holding out for decent deals before offloading their crown jewels. Surprising to see that the man they're playing hardball with is the manager who gave them their best finish in a generation.
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Everton target Chelsea winger: Roberto Martinez is hoping to sign Ghanaian winger Christian Atsu from Chelsea, according to the Daily Mail. "Everton have so far added Gareth Barry, Muhamed Besic and Romelu Lukaku to their first-team squad during the summer transfer window. And now the Everton manager is looking to further strengthen his options by recruiting a wide player."
Paper Round's view: If anyone knows what they're doing signing young players and bringing them through, it's Martinez. Chelsea's scouts saw enough in him to buy him last year, but Mourinho will never give him a chance to shine in the Premier League. The 22-year-old would be well advised to jump at this chance.
- Sports & Recreation
- Manchester City
- Wilfried Zaha
- Manchester United
- Eliaquim Mangala
- Premier League
- Vincent Kompany
- Connor Wickham