United ponder Allen swoop: Louis van Gaal is weighing up a shock £20 million move for Liverpool star Joe Allen, according to an exclusive in the Daily Star. The Manchester United boss is keen to bolster his midfield and had the Wales international watched against Manchester City on Monday night. The report states that United are "a club in crisis" and badly need midfield reinforcements with Michael Carrick, Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini all out injured. Van Gaal does not see Darren Fletcher and Tom Cleverley as the players to take United forward and has asked chief executive Ed Woodward to look at bringing in Allen.
Paper Round's view: United may well be desperate, but surely not this desperate. Allen's a decent enough player, but he's not the kind of player worth making the first to move directly between the clubs since Phil Chisnall in 1964 - and the first in 76 years to move from Liverpool to United (Allenby Chilton). United and Liverpool simply don't do business any more, and it's difficult to imagine Liverpool sanctioning a move to Old Trafford for Allen in what would be seen as a deal to help out their bitter rivals.
- - -
Di Maria loath to leave Madrid: The Sun has an interesting take on Angel Di Maria's quotes following his £59.7m transfer to United - the Argentina international never wanted to leave Real Madrid. Di Maria penned an open letter to Real fans, leading the paper to label the revelation a "bombshell" that "will have the Red Devils faithful raging".
Paper Round's view: This is hardly that scandalous and it's unlikely United fans are frothing at the mouth at Di Maria's honest words. Not wishing to leave the Bernabeu does not equate to Di Maria not wanting to join United, once it became clear his future did not lie in Madrid. Anyway, he has said he is "absolutely delighted" to join United, "the only club" he would have left Real Madrid for, and United fans will be just as pleased to hear those words. This smacks of trying to engineer a story out of nothing much.
The Sun back page
- - -
United to block Gunners' move for Welbeck: With Olivier Giroud ruled out of action for an extended period, Arsenal are set to explore a move for Danny Welbeck. But the Daily Mail reports that Manchester United may be reluctant to sell to Arsenal after the Gunners' refusal to allow Thomas Vermaelen to move to Old Trafford earlier this summer. The report adds that Welbeck would "give serious consideration" to the idea of a transfer to the Emirates.
Paper Round's view: Given that Arsenal flat refused to sell Vermaelen to one of their rivals, United would be perfectly entitled to do likewise over Welbeck. That, unfortunately, would be far from ideal for Welbeck, who would be deprived the chance to join a genuine title contender. At least Arsenal have other options, QPR's Loic Remy for example, or even Swansea's Wilfried Bony and Alessio Cerci of Torino.
- - -
Ferdinand set for QPR role: Former QPR striker Les Ferdinand is set for a shock return to the club in a senior role, possibly as director of football. The Sun reports that Ferdinand is wanted by Hoops owner Tony Fernandes to team up with Harry Redknapp, who he worked under during their time together at Tottenham.
Paper Round's view: This could be an interesting move, with Glenn Hoddle already having been brought on board to work behind the scenes at the club. How Ferdinand would work with Hoddle could be just as important as how he teams up with Redknapp if any move is to be considered a success. And the importance of a prudent move at the moment, given QPR's poor start to the season, should not be underestimated.
- - -
Milan in talks for Chelsea pair: The Daily Mail reports that AC Milan president Adriano Galliani is in talks with Chelsea over the transfer of Fernando Torres and Marco van Ginkel. The Serie A giants are willing to pay the Blues' asking price for Torres, but there is no agreement in place with the player, who currently commands a £150,000-a-week salary and would expect a big pay-off from Chelsea if he were to leave Stamford Bridge. Van Ginkel could be sent out on loan, as he needs to continue his recovery from a cruciate ligament injury with playing time.
Paper Round's view: If Torres wants to get some first team action, he really needs to lower his demands. Chelsea will be all too happy to hang on to him and use him as cover for Diego Costa and Didier Drogba this season, provided they can offload another non-home-grown player from elsewhere in their squad. There will be few clubs out there willing to match his current wages. As for Van Ginkel, his proposed loan move appears to be a much better bet, with Chelsea standing to benefit from him playing elsewhere before he heads back to London.
- - -
- Sports & Recreation
- Manchester United
- Angel Di Maria
- Manchester City