Premier League - Paper Round: United ‘in pole position for £45m World Cup star’

Manchester United are in pole position to sign Angel Di Maria; Liverpool are set to battle Manchester City for Jay Rodriguez; Inter are to make a swoop for Southampton bad boy Dani Osvaldo; and Jan Vertonghen to reject Barcelona to sign new Tottenham contract – and the rest of the rumours from today’s papers.

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Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal (Reuters)

United in pole position for desperate Di Maria: Angel Di Maria has travelled to the United States in a desperate attempt to push through a move to Manchester United, according to the Daily Star. PSG had looked his most likely destination after the summer acquisitions of Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez appeared to make the Argentine surplus to requirements at the Bernabeu. However, Financial Fair Play restrictions on the French club appear to have put that move in danger, which has made United the new favourites to sign the forward. Di Maria is set to cost in the region of £45 million.

Paper Round’s view: While Di Maria is an exceptional player, and is clearly desperate to find a decent new club, United would be better served strengthening their defence and central midfield. They are currently well stocked in wide areas and this would be a luxury signing rather than one they desperately need to make.

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Liverpool set to battle Manchester City for Rodriguez: Liverpool are set to raid Southampton for Jay Rodriguez, according to talkSPORT. This comes after the Merseyside club had to pull out of a deal to sign Loic Remy after the France international failed a medical. The former Burnley man has been offered a new contract at St Mary’s but the 24-year-old is yet to pen to paper on the deal. Liverpool will have to be quick as Manchester City are also said to be monitoring Rodriguez’s situation.

Paper Round’s view: Southampton had a stand out season last year but finished eighth so Liverpool’s borderline obsession with signing Southampton players appears slightly odd. Having said that Rodriguez would be a fine addition to this Liverpool squad as his pace would offer something in behind, but he is currently recovering from a serious knee injury.

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Inter swoop for Dani Osvaldo: Inter Milan are set to send a delegation to Southampton in the hope of securing a deal for Italy international Dani Osvaldo, reports the Daily Mail. The 28-year-old managed just three goals in nine starts for the Saints last season before being shipped out on loan to Juventus. Inter are after a loan move rather than a permanent switch for the controversial forward.

Paper Round’s view: It is ironic that the one player Southampton actually want rid of has received very little interest while the rest of their squad has been asset stripped this summer. Osvaldo’s Southampton days were numbered as soon as the former Roma man got involved in a physical altercation with teammate Jose Fonte last season but a largely unsuccessful spell at Juventus last season has hardly increased his value, or interest in him. The best the Saints can hope for is a successful loan spell to increase interest in the player which will then hopefully result in a permanent move.

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Vertonghen to reject Barcelona to sign new Tottenham contract: Jan Vertonghen is set to sign a new contract at Tottenham despite interest from Barcelona, reports the Daily Mirror. Barcelona were said to be tracking the 27-year-old but the former Ajax man wants to extend his current deal at the London club. “It goes without saying that I would like to stay at Tottenham. I still had a four-year contract but I see that they have offered me a new five-year contract as a great sign of confidence,” said Vertonghen.

Paper Round’s view: This is quite the bizarre turn of events. Barcelona are in desperate need of defensive reinforcements so any new signing would likely be a starter. Therefore, it would make sense for the Belgian to make this move at this stage of his career. Maybe Barcelona’s interest in the defender cooled and these quotes are an attempt to flush out Barcelona’s interest – only time will tell.

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