‘Chelsea to splurge £50m on duo’ - Chelsea have planned a £50 million spending spree with Marseille midfielder Giannelli Imbula and FC Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala lined up for the January transfer window, according to Metro. Centre half Mangala was on Manchester United’s radar during the summer but the move never materialised, with the Premier League champions unwilling to meet a reported buyout clause of around £37m. Mourinho has not been deterred and will move for him and Imbula in advance of January.
Paper Round’s view: While usually cynical about such rumours emerging well in advance of the transfer window, this story could well be at least half true. Mangala would represent a classic Mourinho signing, and the price tag will be chump change for Roman Abramovich. Imbula could well join in the summer, but both players are believed to be on Mourinho’s ‘wish list’ – and yes, such a thing probably does actually exist.
'It's Rio v Roy, part two' - The FA tried to defuse the race row crisis last night by adding the unlikely double act of Rio Ferdinand and Roy Hodgson to beleaguered chairman Greg Dyke’s England commission. But the appointments to the panel that will investigate ways of improving the England team were made without the unanimous approval of the FA board, according to the Daily Mail. Independent director Heather Rabbatts, whose public complaints about the lack of diversity in the original eight members of the commission exposed deep divisions within the FA, has reportedly not given her support.
Paper Round's view: So one individual has reportedly not given their full support, but the remainder of the 12-strong FA board gave their backing when asked to endorse the two names added to the FA commission. It certainly represents a strange 'double act', but few believe that both Ferdinand and Hodgson do not have sufficient experience and valuable input to the group.
‘Newcastle to tie starlet down to new deal’ – Paul Dummett made a big impact over the weekend as the 22-year-old defender scored his first senior goal against Liverpool in an impressively composed display. Dummett is already attracting interest from other top Premier League clubs, according to The Sun, with Newcastle keen to ensure that he is signed up to a better deal at St James’ Park.
Paper Round’s view: Dummett was indeed very impressive after coming on for 10-man Newcastle against Liverpool and the goal was particularly well taken with a crisp half-volley. It is inevitable that other top clubs will look to see if the 22-year-old can be snatched away and Newcastle would be stupid not to tie him down to a better contract after such a high-profile performance.
‘West Ham to snap up Icelandic striker’ - West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is ready to shop at Iceland – and bid for hot-shot striker Alfred Finnbogason, so say the Daily Mirror. Allardyce sent his chief scout to watch the prolific marksman score again for Dutch side Heerenveen against Vitesse Arnhem on Saturday and he has now netted 11 times already for the club this season. The highly-rated forward has been linked with several moves but the Hammers hope to raise the funds to land him in January. Paper Round’s view: Icelandic players are all the rage at the moment after the tiny country reached the World Cup play-off stage, and Finnbogason would represent an ideal signing for West Ham given that the club are virtually strikerless at the moment in the prolonged absence of Andy Carroll. Finnbogason fits the traditional bill for a ‘Big Sam’ centre forward, but would he go on to be another player to thrive in the Eredivisie but flop in the Premier League?
‘Liverpool defender ready to head to the Championship’ – Liverpool are letting England U21 defender Andre Wisdom go to Steve McClaren’s Derby County on loan, according to the Daily Mirror. McClaren made an approach for highly-rated Wisdom - who can play at right back or centre half - despite his side’s big win at Watford. Wisdom has been available to go out for games for a few weeks and Brendan Rodgers is happy for him to go to the Rams for action.
Paper Round’s view: Despite having featured pretty regularly for Liverpool in the last campaign, Wisdom has barely played this season – this move, as a result, makes perfect sense for both parties. Derby have been buoyed by the appearance of the former England manager and Wisdom would represent quite a coup for the Championship club.
‘Steve Kean set for bizarre return to football’ – So, have you missed him? Former Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean is set for a return to management with Asian Singapore League club Brunei DPMM, according to The Sun. The Scot is finally ready to make a tentative return to football, but it’s not going to be exactly the move he probably hoped for.
Paper Round’s view: It’s so specific and strange that it must be true – well, that’s what PR thinks anyway. Kean was not exactly going to saunter back into a top club and he’s struggled to find any owners as barmy as the Venky’s to take a punt. This move sounds perfect for paying for the mortgage and keeping busy, but it’s unlikely to help Kean force his way back into managing a decent-sized British club. Still, the weather in South East Asia is likely to be nicer than it is in Lancashire.