Arsenal line up move for 38-year-old as defensive cover: Arsene Wenger is set to offer a deal to Mario Yepes, reports the Daily Star. Arsenal are short at the back having let Thomas Vermaelen sign for Barcelona. Wenger was keen to add defensive reinforcements during the transfer window, but failed in moves for Daniel Agger and Kostas Manolas. The paper cites reports in the Colombian’s homeland as the source of this story.
Paper Round’s view: Having been unable to secure a defender during the transfer window, Arsenal do look short at the back with only Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and Calum Chambers their only recognised central defenders. Therefore it makes logical sense to scour the market for players available on a free – Yepes fits this criteria but, at near 40, is he all that suited to a move to a league as fast paced as the Premier League? Alongside the sluggish Mertesacker it could be a recipe for disaster. Only time will tell!
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Van Gaal to keep spending in January: Louis van Gaal is set to continue his transfer splurge in January, according to a report in the Times. Van Gaal spent in the region of £150 million on six new signings over the summer but the Old Trafford club are desperate not to miss out on Champions League football again and have given the Dutchman the green light to move for Roma’s Kevin Strootman – who would cost in the region of £30 million.
Paper Round’s view: Despite an unprecedented summer splurge of money, this United team still seems a touch unbalanced – particularly in the centre of midfield. Their summer pursuit of Arturo Vidal appears to have been put on the back burner so a move for a player that Van Gaal knows well makes complete sense. However, Roma coach Rudi Garcia has previously said that it take a bid of 100 million Euros to tempt them into parting with the player.
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Liverpool scout Norway wonderkid: Liverpool are set to make a January swoop for Norwegian wonderkid Martin Odegaard, reports the Metro. Odegaard, 15, has scored three times in 15 appearances for Stromsgodset and has already represented Norway at U21 level. Liverpool face competition for the player’s signature from old foes Manchester United.
Paper Round’s view: When was the last time a wonderkid moved abroad to an established European club and progressed as expected? Odegaard would be well served completing his apprenticeship at the Stromsgodsetn before moving abroad once his development has run its course there. However, if he is to make a move, then to Liverpool and the tutelage of Brendan Rodgers seems as good a place as anywhere to develop.
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Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Man Utd target PSV star: A host of Premier League clubs are on red alert after Zakaria Bakkali rejected a new contract at PSV, reports the Daily Express. Bakkali, 18, who has been termed the new ‘Eden Hazard’, only has 12 months left on his contract and looks set to run it down. PSV may be forced to cash in sooner and sell in January, with Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund also said to be interested.
Paper Round’s view: This is a win-win situation for whoever signs Bakkali. Sign a highly rated youngster with bags of potential for a knockdown fee. It would make most sense for the young Belgian to move to a side that nurtures youth so a Dortmund, Atletico or Arsenal move would benefit his career most but money talks.
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- Arsene Wenger
- Van Gaal
- Premier League
- Mario Yepes