Premier League - Paper Round: Van Gaal's £25m deadline day gamble

Manchester United's spending could top £150m by the end of the day, while Liverpool are keen on a former Barcelona superstar, and Jermain Defoe could be back. Here are the biggest stories from the transfer deadline day papers.

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Premier League - Paper Round: Van Gaal's £25m deadline day gamble
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Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal applauds the fans as he leaves the pitch following their defeat to Burnley (Reuters)

Van Gaal wants £25m Strootman: Most of the papers predict a busy deadline day for Louis van Gaal, with up to 11 players set to be sent on their way by the end of Monday. Most eyecatching of the predicted signings, however, is Kevin Strootman of Roma. Currently injured until at least November, "Strootman has emerged as Van Gaal’s preferred target should the Holland midfielder make a successful recovery from [his] cruciate ligament injury, sustained in March." Should the deal go through, Van Gaal's spending this summer would hit the £150m mark.

Paper Round: Strootman is a brilliant player, but this seems a very unlikely deal. Roma are desperate not to sell one of their key players from last term, and the fitness issues surrounding the player mean that there's no way United should take a punt at the sort of money being discussed.

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Falcao up for grabs for City and Arsenal: The Guardian reports that Monaco are ready to offload misfit Colombian striker Radamel Falcao for £55 million. Arsenal are as ever reticent to spend so much - but just desperate enough that they may, given the injury to Olivier Giroud and the poor showing of Yaya Sanogo at the weekend. For City there is a different issue: "They are trying to make the deal happen within the constraints of Uefa’s financial fair play system. Manuel Pellegrini wants to sign Falcao but the sense at the club is that time could run out. City are allowed a net spend of £49m and have around £24m at the moment after Jack Rodwell, Javi García and Gareth Barry departed."

Paper Round's view: Falcao was electrifying at Atletico Madrid, but spent a year in the doldrums at Monaco last season - while his then-bargain basement replacement, Diego Costa, was electrifying for Atletico. Seems to us like the success of strikers in Diego Simeone's side is as much about the coach and the team-mates as the man up front - and with that being the case, £55m is a massive gamble on a player who is coming off poor form and a major injury.

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Deadline day newspapers

Welbeck loan to be charged at £5m-a-year: The Sun reports that Manchester United are happy to send England striker Danny Welbeck out on loan - but whoever wants him will have to shell out £5 million in wages and loan fees. Despite the hefty tag the paper reports that Sunderland are keen - particularly if they sell Connor Wickham to Crystal Palace.

Paper Round's view: Most of the eye-catching loan cost is actually Welbeck's wages £68,000 a week, which translates to around £3.5m. But it sounds like a decent move for both Welbeck - who really needs regular football - and the Black Cats, who can land a decent player. Flogging off 21-year-old Wickham, a hugely talented young player, seems the only bit of the picture that doesn't make much sense. As for Spurs?

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Tottenham offer Townsend for Rodriguez swap deal: The Independent claims that Spurs "will make a deadline day bid to sign Southampton’s injured striker Jay Rodriguez, offering Andros Townsend as part of a £14m deal." Southampton have rejected all overtures so far, but with less than two years on Rodriguez's contract they may be persuaded to move, the paper adds.

Paper Round's view: It's less than a year since Andros Townsend was hailed as the future of English football - but he's gone off the boil since then. Rodriguez, meanwhile, looked very good last season as part of a team with a real spring in its step, but has been injured since April and won't play again until October. Basically, if this happens, it's two managers with no idea how to handle unknown quantities in their squads - and willing to take a gamble.

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Liverpool in for former Barcelona goalie: Victor Valdes could be on his way to Anfield, according to the Daily Star. Valdes walked away from Barcelona at the end of his contract last season after a staggeringly successful spell with the Catalan club, and Brendan Rodgers is keen to be the man to pick up the 32-year-old to keep number one choice Simon Mignolet on his toes.

Paper Round says: A big-money move to a big club is what Valdes had in mind when he decided to leave Barcelona - somehow, sitting on the bench in Merseyside doesn't quite sound like what he had in mind.

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Defoe could be heading back to Premier League: Jermain Defoe appeared to have walked away from the English top flight for good when he left Spurs earlier this year, but the Guardian claims that he "is wanted by Queens Park Rangers after Ryan Nelsen, the manager who took him to the MLS, was sacked by Toronto." The price is £6.6m, and Toronto claim to have "several offers" on the table.

Paper Round's view: Harry Redknapp's presence at QPR is the key here. Redknapp got more out of Defoe while they were together at White Hart Lane than any other manager has managed. He's now 31, so could easily have another few seasons of Premier League football in him.

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Arsenal chew over deal for Bacca: The Metro claims that the Gunners will solve their striker problems with a £12.5m deal for Carlos Bacca of Sevilla. "Arsenal are preparing an offer for the 27-year-old, who scored 21 goals in 52 matches last season," the paper reports, adding, "he has a release clause set at £27.6 million but Sevilla would let him go for about £12.5 million and Arsenal would be happy to pay that."

Paper Round's view: The fact that Europa League champions Sevilla are prepared to offload one of their strikers for so much less than his release clause shows you exactly the esteem that they hold him in: in other words, he's not a key man for them. So what makes anyone think he could be a key man at The Emirates?

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