‘United tell star he can leave’ - Danny Welbeck has been told that he can leave Manchester United, that’s according to a report in The Times. The 23-year-old striker will be allowed to depart Old Trafford as Louis van Gaal is looking to rebuild the squad. Tottenham Hotspur are considering a move for the England forward and Sunderland may also make an approach for a player thought to be earning £50,000 per week.
Paper Round’s view: The fact that Van Gaal appears to have decided that Welbeck, who has scored 20 league goals in 90 appearances for United, is surplus to requirements despite having two years left on his contract is somewhat of a surprise. Since emerging from the club’s academy, Welbeck has been one of United’s brightest young talents, but the Dutchman obviously doesn’t see him fitting into his system. A move to Spurs could end up being the best thing for the England player.
‘Liverpool line up top new striker’ – And no, it’s not Mario Balotelli news again. Brendan Rodgers has lined up an amazing deal to sign Samuel Eto'o, that’s according to the Daily Mirror. Former Chelsea striker Eto'o, 33, reportedly underwent a medical in Paris on Friday and is hoping to fly to Liverpool this weekend to complete the move But the paper ‘reveals’ that Liverpool have taken the extraordinary step of putting Eto'o through a medical because of lingering doubts about bad boy Mario Balotelli.
Paper Round’s view: This potential move does seem rather absurd. Rodgers could end up signing both strikers, but it is more likely that only one will move to Anfield and the Eto'o back-up plan is a highly unusual step. Liverpool have reportedly offered Eto'o a one-year contract and the Cameroon striker is understood to prefer a move to Anfield than go to Everton, Ajax, Inter Milan and Queens Park Rangers. Quite where this would leave Rickie Lambert is anyone’s guess, but it does seem an unnecessarily chaotic situation.
Cameroonian striker Samuel Eto’o
‘Palace to make shock new approach’ - Crystal Palace are more likely to approach the Rangers manager, Ally McCoist, to become their new manager than the bookmakers’ favourite and his former rival, Neil Lennon, who stood down from Celtic this summer – that’s according to the Independent. Palace have reportedly held talks about the Rangers manager as they compile a new shortlist following a week of turmoil at the club, although they have yet to approach him or indeed Lennon.
Paper Round’s view: Well, this really would be bizarre. McCoist has hardly been tested in management with many considering his job at Rangers to have been under threat over unconvincing displays last season. But Palace really must be short of options with Tim Sherwood having now ruled himself out and Malky Mackay being forced out of the running. This could end up being a farcical situation for the London club.
‘No move to Liverpool, Arsenal for Begovic’ - Asmir Begovic is going nowhere this transfer window - and it would take an enormous offer from one of the big boys to part with him in the future, that’s according to the Daily Mirror. The Bosnian keeper has reportedly been tracked by Liverpool, Man City, Arsenal and Real Madrid – but all of that counts for nothing, reports the paper, with Stoke adamant that he will be staying and the goalkeeper himself not wishing to force a move away from the Britannia Stadium at this stage.
Paper Round’s view: Manchester City surely do not need Begovic with two top-class goalkeepers already vying for the number one shirt, but Begovic was a realistic target for the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool. The Bosnian would surely improve both Premier League sides if he were to force a move. However, if he is not willing to demand to leave Stoke then that should be commended. Or it could be that Mark Hughes’s comments count for something: “It’s hands off if anyone comes in.”
Asmir Begovic, Stoke (PA Photos)
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- Mario Balotelli
- Danny Welbeck