Fernandes sends message to Sporting fans amid United speculation - Paper Round
Manchester United linked with Bruno Fernandes, Ashley Young in demand, Spurs close in on Gedson Fernandes and Barcelona want a new striker.
Fernandes sends message to Sporting fans
The Mirror reports that Bruno Fernandes may have sent a message to Sporting Lisbon fans on Saturday night. The 25-year-old Portuguese international scored for his current side and sent a kiss to the fans while covering his ears. The paper believes it means that Fernandes is ignoring speculation as he has been linked with a move to Manchester United in recent days.
Paper Round’s view: Fernandes was expected to leave last summer but he has remained at Sporting and continues to impress. A decent Euro 2020 would see him almost certainly move on for a big price, but with Sporting in financial difficulty, and Ed Woodward under pressure at Manchester United, a move could make sense for both clubs.
Competition hots up for Young
Ashley Young has four offers to continue his career, according to the Sun. The newspaper reports that Manchester United have offered their captain another 12-month deal when his current contract expires at the end of the season. However he also has offers from Crystal Palace, Lazio and Inter Milan, who would like to take him now until the end of next season.
Paper Round’s view: Young is a reliable back-up but he has very little pace left and his defensive positioning leaves a lot to be desired. However, if he were to be used as a wing-back or a winger then he would be a decent option for another season. United should be wary of keeping him on at his age though, because there is no guarantee that his fitness won’t desert him now he is 34.
Tottenham close to Fernandes deal
Another Fernandes could be close to a deal that takes him from Portugal to the Premier League, reports the Telegraph. Tottenham have jumped the queue for Gedson Fernandes, the 21-year-old Portuguese international, who was linked to Manchester United and then appeared to be on the cusp of a move to West Ham. He is expected to sign an 18-month loan deal to provide cover for the injured Moussa Sissoko.
Paper Round’s view: There were questions at Benfica over the attitude of Fernandes, which has seen him miss plenty of the season so far. If Jose Mourinho needs cover and can only operate on a budget, then he will get a talented player but won’t be on the hook to buy him if it turns out he can't get on with his approach to the game.
Barca to buy after Suarez surgery
Barcelona could be back in the market for a striker after Luis Suarez’s knee injury. The 32-year-old Uruguayan needs surgery which could see him out for six weeks, and Ousmane Dembele is also unavailable until some time in February. Spanish paper Marca is not clear on who will be targeted but mention that the club would not want to go into the second half of the season with just two forwards.
Paper Round’s view: Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann should be enough to defeat even the very best back lines in Europe, but it does leave them open to problems if either of them are injured. Now that Mario Mandzukic has gone to Qatar there is no obvious stopgap solution, but Eric Abidal pulled off a surprise with Kevin-Prince Boateng this time last season.