‘Beckham lining up move for Ronaldo’ - David Beckham is preparing a mega-money move to make Cristiano Ronaldo his first superstar signing for his new Miami soccer team, according to various papers. The former LA Galaxy midfielder is looking into a deal that will take Ronaldo from Real Madrid to Major League Soccer in three years’ time. An MLS source told The Sun: “Becks understands the need for a big, big name in the team when it gets going. And none come bigger than Ronaldo — the world’s greatest player.”
Paper Round’s view: This is classic Beckham-style publicity. Of course, Ronaldo would not even consider joining the MLS until his career is well and truly done – something Beckham himself should have resisted. Sure, when he's 36 then Ronaldo would probably fit right in to the Miami lifestyle. But putting this kind of rumour out there ensures that the new Miami team is suddenly regarded as a potential destination for top players, even when it really should not be seen as such. Beckham will certainly be aware of attracting at least one big name to the club soon, though.
‘City to have second chance on £30m Spain star’ – Manchester City will be given a second chance to sign Spain starlet Isco in the summer in a £30 million deal, that’s according to a report in the Daily Star. The 21-year-old is believed to be very unsettled at Real Madrid as he is not a first choice under Carlo Ancelotti. Real hijacked a deal over the summer – and City refused to get involved in an auction that was bloated by agent fees, and allegedly driven by Isco’s father. But now that could be about to change, so say the paper.
Paper Round’s view: City boss Manuel Pellegrini was believed to be upset when Isco’s potential move collapsed – and Isco himself must be annoyed at how his career at Real has started. City, who would reportedly face competition from AC Milan, would clearly not be prepared to include Real target Sergio Aguero in the deal, but a lucrative loan deal could fit the bill perfectly for both parties.
‘United prepare summer move for Barca duo’ - Manchester United boss David Moyes will reportedly attempt to lure Barcelona pair Alex Song and Cristian Tello to Old Trafford with the promise of regular first team football, something they do not currently enjoy at the Nou Camp. Moyes is particularly keen on bringing in Tello, who has seen even less first team action than Song. As for Song, he has had a very limited role under boss Gerardo Martino, and the Cameroon international could be the specialist defensive midfielder that the United boss is after.
Paper Round’s view: Former Arsenal man Song has failed to secure a regular first team starting spot since moving to Barcelona back in August 2012 and the 26-year-old has been unable to oust Sergio Busquets. He represents a realistic target for Moyes, but would he really be good enough to transform a lethargic and uninspired United midfield? Tello has started just two La Liga fixtures this season and despite signing a new long term contract with the Catalan club last August the adaptable forward may well be tempted by a move to United.
‘Why Arsenal’s bid to sign Draxler collapsed’ - Arsenal's attempts to sign Schalke's Julian Draxler failed in January because they did not meet the attacking midfielder's asking price, according to a report in the Daily Mirror. The 20-year-old had seemed certain to join the Gunners, who were in desperate need for a second striker, but inexplicably the deal did not get pushed through. Arsenal’s offer was simply not enough, reportedly, and there was not even competition for the club as they failed to make the deal happen.
Paper Round’s view: Even if Arsenal were required to pay 44.5 million euros for the striker it would surely have been worth it. Putting aside his long-term potential as one of Europe’s very best forwards, Arsenal desperately require an additional forward and such an urgent requirement would surely have justified investment in January. It may have been a lot of money, but Arsenal needed to splash the cash for a striker. If 2013-14 ends up as a ninth-straight trophyless season for the Gunners, they will know why the failed.