‘United to move for Dutch duo’ – Louis van Gaal is set to go ‘double Dutch’ before the transfer window closes with a swoop for Netherlands duo Nigel de Jong and Daley Blind, according to the Daily Star. The Manchester United boss wants to strengthen his squad by signing two members of his Dutch World Cup squad. Former Man City midfielder De Jong, 29, is a £10million target for Van Gaal. The AC Milan hardman is, the paper claims, the holding midfielder the United boss is seeking.
Paper Round’s view: There is no doubt that United desperately need considerable reinforcements and the only surprise is that it has taken this long for the club to move for two players who Van Gaal knows and trusts from his time as the Netherlands boss. De Jong would provide valuable steel in midfield while Blind is the versatile defender that the club so desperately craves. This would be a very logical double signing if United can pull it off.
‘Eto’o to join Liverpool's rivals after talks’ - Everton are talking to Samuel Eto’o about a move to Goodison Park - but they face stiff competition from the Middle East, according to the Sunday Mirror. Eto’o was demanding £100,000-a-week to join Liverpool and was angling for a two-year contract. That would make him the highest-paid player at Goodison should Martinez complete his deal. But incredibly, the paper reports, Eto’o has also received a mind-boggling £7m offer to play his football in Qatar next season.
Paper Round’s view: The Toffees are understood to be desperate to improve their striking options and now that Brendan Rodgers has apparently pulled out of a move for the veteran striker, it would make sense for Roberto Martinez to be interested in a player of the calibre of Eto’o. Everton have reportedly been in the market for a forward all summer and they must be all the more anxious to move for Eto’o as Romelu Lukaku picked up a knock this week. Quite whether Eto’o would have the hunger and desire that Martinez seeks, though, is not certain.
‘City drop interest in Barkley over demands’ - Manchester City ditched a plan to sign Ross Barkley after being told it would take a bid of more than £50 million to tempt Everton to sell, that’s according to the Sunday Mirror. Manuel Pellegrini reportedly had the England midfielder in his sights after a sensational performance against City towards the end of last season. But Etihad officials were apparently stunned to learn of Everton’s sky-high valuation of a player who has made less than 30 Premier League starts. City were understood to be willing to go to £30m – and were offering additional payments should Barkley realise his huge potential.
Paper Round’s view: The fee being reported here for Barkley would have smashed the record paid for an English player when Liverpool handed Newcastle £35m for Andy Carroll. He clearly has enormous potential and talent, but the fee does seem very excessive given what he has achieved at the highest level. The 20-year-old has now secured his Goodison future by signing a new four-year deal, but he has been sidelined for the first 10 weeks of the new season by torn knee ligaments.
‘Arsenal lining up move for Belgian star’ - After selling one Belgian defender, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger wants to replace him with another, that’s according to a report in the Sunday Star. He is reportedly showing serious interest in Atletico Madrid's Toby Alderweireld - as replacement for Thomas Vermaelen, recently sold to Barcelona. Also on his list is Kostas Manolas and Matija Nastasci, but Belgium international Alderweireld top his list.
Paper Round’s view: Sources in Belgium claim Atletico left him out of their recent squad that faced City rivals Real Madrid for the first leg of the Spanish Supercopa match which ended in a 1-1 draw because they suspect he is about to leave. Apart from Vermaelen, Arsenal have also lost defenders Carl Jenkinson, one loan to West Ham, and Johan Djourou, now at Hamburg and Wenger knows he must strengthen his defence, having only six senior team defenders in the squad. This move appears to make sense for both parties if a fee can be agreed.
Atletico Madrid's Toby Alderweireld
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