United axe seven players but Kagawa stays as third choice: Louis van Gaal has taken the first steps to streamline his Manchester United squad after holding talks with six players, including right-back Rafael, according to the Daily Mail. Marouane Fellaini, Wilfried Zaha, Nani, Shinji Kagawa and young striker Will Keane also had time alone with Van Gaal at United’s Carrington training complex on Saturday afternoon. The paper says the Dutch coach told Fellaini, Zaha, Nani and Keane that the club will listen to offers for them. Rafael, a surprise name on the list, could also find himself pushed out as United search for another right-back. Kagawa will have a role but is behind Ander Herrera and Juan Mata in the pecking order. Midfielder Anderson and striker Javier Hernandez already know that United will listen if bids come in.
Paper Round's view: None of the players on the list can be considered huge surprises as they simply have not cut it at Manchester United. Rafael maybe has a case to stay but he was exposed at times last year, not least in United's 3-0 humiliation at the hands of Liverpool when he gave away a penalty, played terribly and should have been sent-off. United need a better quality player at the club if they are to reassert themselves at the Premier League's top table but United fans are sure to be getting a little frustrated that with less than a week to go before the start of the season there are more solid rumours about players going out than coming in.
Cardiff City enter bidding to sign Ravel Morrison: Cardiff City have offered £3 million for Ravel Morrison, although West Ham United hope to persuade the midfielder to sign a new contract that would allow them to send him on loan this season, all this according to the Times. Morrison, 21, has entered the final year of his deal and the West Ham owners want to keep him. However, his manager has another opinion. West Ham rejected Fulham’s £4 million offer for Morrison in January.
Paper Round's view: This is the same Ravel Morrison who has been accused of threatened to throw acid in the face of his ex-girlfriend and have her killed. It is fair enough that West Ham will keep him (innocent until proven guilty and all) but surely they should at least wait until the dust settles on this investigation before giving him a new deal? As for Cardiff actively looking to buy him? Well I suppose results are the be-all and end-all in football but it leaves an unsavoury taste in the mouth. Morrison's football career is not the most important thing going on in his life right now.
Atletico target Spurs striker Soldado: Atletico Madrid are ready to turn back to Tottenham Roberto Soldado in their search for a striker, according to the Daily Mirror. The £26m marksman was a target earlier this summer but the Spanish champions shelved their interest after a Twitter campaign from supporters against him. Atletico fans – who resent the fact that Soldado came through the academy of their bitter rivals Real Madrid before making his name at Getafe and Valencia – began the hashtag ‘UnAtletiSinSoldado’ – translated as ‘An Atletico Madrid Without Soldado’.
Paper Round's view: Certain players are just suited to certain leagues and Soldado seems like a bad fit for the Premier League. He scored goals for fun in La Liga though and a move back there could be just what he needs. Tottenham you feel would be happy if they got back a large slice of the £26m they paid for him, but only if they identify an adequate replacement. Meanwhile, the Atletico fans will soon forget Soldado's past clubs if he starts banging the goals in.
Chelsea starlet to join Everton on loan: Everton expect to formally announce the signing of Christian Atsu from Chelsea on loan on Monday but their discussions with Anderlecht over teenage forward David Henen have hit an impasse, report the Daily Mail. The 22-year-old Atsu impressed on loan at Vitesse last year following his move to Chelsea from Porto.
Paper Round's view: Chelsea seem to be in the habit of picking up players with a view to sell, rather than play them in their first team. It worked for them with Romelu Lukaku, who they made a hefty profit on, and they will be hoping Atsu's value will similarly sky-rocket at Goodison Park. For the Toffees he could be a useful addition and replace Gerard Deulofeu whose gone back to Barcelona.
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- Manchester United
- Shinji Kagawa
- Ravel Morrison
- Atletico Madrid
- Premier League