Premier League - Paper Round: Liverpool set to swoop for Barcelona star

Liverpool are set to shore up their defence with a move for a Barcelona star; Manchester City snap up a wonderkid; Manchester United have been given a boost in their pursuit of Toni Kroos; and Thibaut Courtois could extend his stay at Atletico Madrid.

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Liverpool set to swoop for Barcelona star: Brendan Rodgers is set to make a move for Barcelona full-back Adriano Correia, reports the Metro. With Jose Enrique and loan signing Aly Cissokho failing to nail down the left-back spot, Liverpool will offer £6 million for a player the paper refers to as a "Brazilian flyer". The paper adds that Liverpool had made the position a priority in January but failed to find an appropriate player.

Paper Round’s view: Signing a 29-year-old goes against Liverpool’s stated policy of signing young players with potential and high re-sale value but it would be sensible to make an exception here. Adriano has fallen behind Jordi Alba in the pecking order at Barcelona, suggesting that he would be open to a move - and he would bring both much needed quality and also a winning mentality.

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Man City beat Liverpool to land Dutch wonderkid: Liverpool have lost out in the race to sign the "new Patrick Vieira", reports the Daily Mirror. Feyenoord star Rodney Kongolo will instead move to Manchester City. Kongolo had been tracked by a host of clubs including Chelsea and PSG but will move to City having finally agreed terms with them.

Paper Round’s view: These moves tend not work out too well for the young prospect – take for example Gael Kakuta at Chelsea. Both player and club went to great lengths to ensure that the move went through in 2009 – Kakuta was at one point accused of breach of contract by former club Lens. Kakuta and Chelsea were sanctioned heavily by FIFA for the move (sanctions were later lifted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport). Since singing he has made just six appearances for the club. Paper Round hopes that this move works out for Kongolo, but history tends to suggest otherwise.

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Manchester United given Kroos boost: Manchester United’s hopes of signing Toni Kroos have been given a boost following the news that Real Madrid have pulled out of the race to sign the midfielder, reports the Daily Express. This follows on from the midfielder claiming that a move to the Premier League was “a possibility for me”.

Paper Round’s view: There is very little meat to this story, as the article gives no reason for Madrid’s apparent withdrawal. If Paper Round was to hazard a guess it would be that Madrid – canny operators in the transfer market – probably realise that Kroos is unlikely to leave Bayern. Expect Kroos to pen an extended deal at the Allianz Arena having used potential suitors as a bargaining chip in negotiations.

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Courtois could extend Atletico Madrid: Chelsea would consider letting Thibaut Courtois extend his stay at Atletico Madrid if he signs a new deal at Stamford Bridge, reports the Daily Star. Courtois’s current deal expires in June 2016 and it had been previously suggested that the Belgian star would run it down before moving to Real Madrid in two years’ time. However, Chelsea will only sanction another loan move if the keeper ties his long term future to the club.

Paper Round’s view: On first glance this is a bit of a non-story but delve a little deeper and there might be something to it. Chelsea could be using first team football as some form of bargaining tool to ensure that the highly-rated stopper extends his contract. The implication here is that if he doesn’t sign an extension the club will recall him from his loan at the end of the season, and then make him Petr Cech’s number two until his contract runs out. That’s two years on the bench - or, Courtois could extend his contract and go out on loan again before becoming Chelsea’s number one in a couple of years.

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