‘United line up bid for new left-back’ – Sevilla’s Alberto Moreno is the latest candidate to replace Patrice Evra at Manchester United. Reports in Spain suggest that 21-year-old Moreno, who recently made his debut for the Spanish national team, is on United's radar as they look to replace the Frenchman. United are ready to compete with Real Madrid and Chelsea to sign Moreno, who has a £25m release clause, as they prepare for a move in January.
Paper Round’s view: With Evra fully expected to leave Old Trafford when his contract expires in the summer, United were expected to rekindle their interest in Everton's Leighton Baines, but as he 28-years-old the Englishman - whose value is likely to be very inflated - may not represent as good a value as Moreno. The Spaniard would fit nicely into the United side, but he is not going to come at all cheap either. One thing is for sure: United do need a new left-back and Baines may now not be their first choice.
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‘Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs told to pay £6m for Capel’ – Sporting Lisbon are willing to sell Spanish winger Diego Capel in January but only if someone meets their £6m valuation of the player. Reports in Portugal suggest that Sporting are ready to let Capel leave in January after resisting interest from Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham for the 25-year-old over the summer. Sporting insist they will not facilitate a cut-price deal for the former Sevilla star and are adamant that £6m is the price to lure Capel away from the Estadio Jose Alvalade.
Paper Round’s view: Capel reportedly remains one of the highest earners on the Sporting pay roll and the Portuguese club are understood to want to get his wages off their books. The player would obviously favour a move to a higher profile league, and it’s now up to the three Premier League clubs to battle it out. Arsenal and Liverpool? That makes sense. But do Spurs really need yet another midfielder? Absolutely not.
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‘Benitez to raid Chelsea for Spanish star’ – Former interim manager Rafael Benitez is reportedly eyeing up a raid of former club Chelsea for defender Cesar Azpilicueta. The Napoli manager is keen to add to his defensive options in January as he aims to mount a charge for the Serie A title and is understood to want to bring Azpilicueta to the club after being impressed by him at Stamford Bridge. The 24-year-old is apparently desperate to secure himself a place in the Spanish squad for the World Cup in Brazil next summer and Benitez will attempt to lure him to Italy with the guarantee of first-team football.
Paper Round’s view: January is going to see more high-profile moves than usual as players desperately vie for position ahead of the World Cup, and Azpilicueta may well be one of the more unsettled stars looking to grab attention. That being said, Jose Mourinho is not going to be remotely keen on losing a top defender at a key point in the season when his squad will be stretched due to a number of games. Simply put, this will have to wait until the summer and Azpilicueta may well remain frustrated for the remainder of the season.
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‘City to sign starlet dubbed the new Arjen Robben’ - Manchester City are looking at a Dutch-Serbian wonderkid dubbed the new Arjen Robben. Richairo Zivkovic has been impressing for Dutch club FC Groningen and has drawn comparisons with Bayern Munich's Holland international winger Robben. The 17-year-old also attracted summer interest from Liverpool and director Hans Nijland has admitted that “they are watching him closely and are very keen”.
Paper Round’s view: It is certainly true that Zivkovic is attracting a lot of interest from top European clubs and it would not be a surprise to hear that City are also keen on the winger. Liverpool are understood to have regularly sent scouts to watch him play and this move appears very likely come the summer. It certainly will not be one that needs to be pushed through in January, however, and a summer bidding war appears the most probable scenario.
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‘United, Arsenal and Southampton target Argentine’ - Manchester United, Arsenal and Southampton are poised to move for Valencia midfielder Ever Banega in the January transfer window. Banega has fallen out of favour under Mirosalv Djukic at the Mestalla but remains an important player at international level for Argentina. And with the World Cup on the horizon, Alejandro Sabella has reportedly encouraged Banega to seek first team football in January.
Paper Round’s view: Banega’s agent, Martcelo Simonian, has confirmed that his client has had contact with a number of clubs with a view to a possible move in January, and this one does look to be a possibility for January with United in desperate need of midfield reinforcements, while Arsenal could do with a competitor for Mathieu Flamini in a deep-lying position. Banega would fit in nicely with his tenacious style and could represent an excellent January signing.
- Sports & Recreation
- Manchester United
- Diego Capel
- Cesar Azpilicueta
- Rafael Benitez
- Patrice Evra