Football news - Paper Round: Manchester United linked to Romagnoli, Alba and Ramsey triple swoop
Manchester United and others are linked with Alessio Romagnoli, Jordi Alba and Aaron Ramsey, as AC Milan are poised to sign Lucas Paqueta.
Liverpool could make Ramsey move
Liverpool are considered favourites to make a January move for Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey. The 28-year-old is available on a free contract at the end of the season, and can negotiate with foreign clubs from January 1. However, Liverpool and Manchester United could both attempt a cut-price transfer in the winter transfer window for around £25 million.
Paper Round’s view: Ramsey has started the season in the kind of form that suggests he has started to fill out his potential, but there have been signs of this before, only for it to fall away into more inconsistency. £25 million is a reasonable figure in those circumstances, as long as he doesn’t want the kind of wages commanded by Mesut Ozil.
Chelsea chase Romagnoli
Chelsea are interested in AC Milan central defender Alessio Romagnoli. The 23-year-old has impressed Gennaro Gattuso and is first-choice at the Italian club, but he is now attracting attention from Chelsea. Maurizio Sarri is aware he will lose Gary Cahill either in January or at the end of the season so is looking for reinforcements. Manchester United have also been linked with Romagnoli.
Paper Round’s view: Chelsea are also potentially losing Andreas Christensen, who is desperate to get more first team football. That increases their need for another defender, and might even allow for a player swap. United, obviously, are crying out for talent in defence, but it all depends on whether Ed Woodward believes the player is good enough to warrant expenditure - and he believed even Toby Alderweireld did not meet the required standard.
United monitor Alba contract situation
Manchester United are also in the news over a potential bid for Barcelona left-back Jordi Alba. Alba has made little progress with the Spanish club over a new contract, which expires the summer after next. United have only Luke Shaw and Ashley Young as left-backs, which means they could take advantage of any situation that sees the 29-year-old leave Barcelona. The Catalans have been linked with Liverpool’s Alberto Moreno.
Paper Round’s view: Moreno has shown little at Liverpool to suggest he would deserve a place in the first team at Barcelona, and it might be an example of a story that is designed to hurry up Alba into a decision. Similarly, Alba might be leaking stories in order to get his current side to agree to whatever demands he may be making.
AC Milan to sign Paqueta
One player it appears that both Liverpool and Manchester United will not be signing is Flamengo midfielder Lucas Paqueta. The 21-year-old Brazilian has two caps at international level, and has already scored nine goals this season. That had alerted clubs to his potential but AC Milan figure Leonardo led the way to agree a January transfer for £30 million, subject to a medical.
Paper Round’s view: Paqueta is one of the most promising players in Brazil at the moment, and £30 million could ultimately be seen as a bargain in a few years. Premier League clubs only rarely make signings directly from Brazil as occasionally they can fail to adapt to life in England, whereas Milan have a history of Brazilians succeeding in their Serie A surroundings.