Ronaldo talks up possible United return: The Manchester Evening News reports that Cristiano Ronaldo "says he could move back to Old Trafford in the future". Adding that Ronaldo trained separately from his team-mates on Friday, the paper quotes Ronaldo saying, "I love Manchester, to be back, I never know, you never know, football you never know. I appreciate this club, for me it’s one of the best clubs in the world and I have passion for this club. Of course I’m happy at Real Madrid, it’s my home, it’s my club but Manchester treat me unbelievable so we never know."
Paper Round says: Only the most diehard Red Devils fan could believe that these quotes are anything other than Ronaldo being polite about the club who helped make him the player he is today. Next!
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Barcelona to poach top Man United target: Barcelona "look set to trump Manchester United in the race to sign Colombian midfielder Juan Cuadrado", reports the Daily Express. The paper claims that United had been in pole position to sign the £30m World Cup star from Fiorentina, but says that the "Spanish giants have long admired Cuadrado - his exuberant personality combined with an abundance of pace, power and agility made him one of the stand-out players."
Paper Round's view: Following the Ronaldo move above, this story is a return to reality. The arrival of Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford helped diminish the impact of missing out on a Champions League spot. But when it comes to signing the biggest players, it's an insurmountable hurdle. United have already seen it several times this summer and missing out on Cuadrado - who seems exactly the sort of dynamic midfielder United have been missing - will rub it in still further.
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Southampton lose yet another star, this time to Bayern Munich: The Daily Telegraph reports that goalkeeper Artur Boruc looks set to be the latest player to join the summer exodus - and he's heading to the German champions. "Bayern are looking at a host of options, as they seek a deputy to Germany international Manuel Neuer," the paper claioms. "Boruc is one of the surprise names on Bayern’s list and discreet inquiries have been made over whether the Pole would be interested."
Paper Round's view: Boruc is undoubtedly a fine keeper, but it's hard to see such a flamboyant character being happy to settle for a number two spot - especially one behind such a young, healthy and brilliant goalkeeper such as Neuer. That said, the chance to join one of the best clubs in the world would tempt anyone
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United to make a move for Arsenal skipper Vermaelen: The Guardian claims United "have been given the green light to move for Thomas Vermaelen" following Arsene Wenger indicating that he would be prepared to sell the Belgian defender. He's rated at £12m despite a string of injury and form problems over the last year or so, but the paper claims Van Gaal, "is an admirer of Vermaelen, who would play as the left-sided centre-back in a 3-5-2 formation."
Paper Round's view: Vermaelen will be desperate to get back to playing regularly once he's fully fit (he currently has a hamstring problem) and the Gunners have admitted that he'll remain a bit part player as things stand. Arsenal have never shown any fear of selling to rival clubs, so why not cash in on the 28-year-old and use the money to strengthen elsewhere?
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Liverpool's Lavezzi hopes hit rocks: The Reds chances of signing Argentina forward Ezequiel Lavezzi from Paris St Germain have been dashed as the Italian media report that the star will force a move to Juventus.
Paper Round's view: The 29-year-old has spent almost his entire career in Serie A, and if a move to Italy's top side is in the offing it'd be no surprise to see him jump at the chance. Liverpool, for all their potency last season, remain a major gamble for a player keen to pick up one last big role in the final few years of his career at the very top.
Full story (via the Express)
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Newcastle finally give up on Remy: Alan Pardew has reluctantly decided to walk away from his pursuit of Loic Remy, telling the Newcastle Chronicle that "he's had plenty of chances to come to us. We made it very clear that we would like to have him and it hasn’t really happened and therefore sometimes you have to say where’s the line drawn."
Paper Round's view: Is this a final throw of the dice by Pardew or an honest admission of defeat? It's hard to say, but Remy's summer is one of the strangest in recent transfer window history. Endless speculation, a failed medical at Liverpool, Harry Redknapp claiming that it would be "impossible" for him to fail a medical… and now he's back at QPR for pre-season training. We're believing nothing more we read about him until August 31st.
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- Cristiano Ronaldo
- Manchester United