Real ready to offer stars in swap deal for Pogba - Paper Round
Real Madrid plan Paul Pogba offer, Niko Kovac wants the Arsenal job, Aston Villa eye up cut-price Pedro deal and Antonio Conte aims for Marcos Alonso reunion at Inter Milan. It's Monday's Paper Round...
Real Madrid use superstars in swap deal for Pogba
Real Madrid are reportedly ready to offer Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez to Manchester United as part of a swap deal for Paul Pogba. The Mail state that the pair are "surplus to requirements" at the Spanish capital and could be used as "makeweights" as Los Blancos audaciously attempt to complete a deal for the World Cup winner. Pogba has constantly been linked with a move to the Bernabeu, especially with fellow Frenchman Zinedine Zidane in charge at Real Madrid. Manchester United are said to value the French midfielder at £150 million and would reject a straight-swap deal.
Paper Round's view: Real Madrid seem relentless in their pursuit of Paul Pogba. Los Blancos are in a never-ending battle to sign the Frenchman, but United won't let him leave for anything less than the fee they value him at. The Red Devils clearly don't think that Bale and James offer a combined value which matches their asking price of £150 million, so Real Madrid will have to chuck some cash on top of that offer if they want to grab the attention of the United bosses. Pogba will surely eventually leave Old Trafford for the Bernabeu, but the Spanish club will most likely have to accept the demands of United if they want their man.
Kovac wants Arsenal job
Former Bayern Munich boss Niko Kovac has reportedly expressed his interest in the vacancy at Arsenal, according to the Sun. The 48-year-old has been unemployed since being sacked by the Bundesliga club back in November, but Kovac is currently in England and is "expected to watch the Gunners" in their league match on Monday night against West Ham. The Sun also state that the Croatian's agents have already made contact with the north London club as he looks to make his next move in the management world.
Paper Round's view: It's unsurprising that Kovac holds interest in the vacancy at the Emirates. Plenty of managers will be eyeing up that position, despite the fact that the Gunners are in disarray. Freddie Ljungberg's caretaker reign has had a nightmare start with a draw and a loss against Norwich and Brighton, which probably means Arsenal are unlikely to take him up on a permanent basis. Kovac would be a left-field choice by the club but as he is currently out of work, he would be a cheap option compared to alternatives who are under contract elsewhere.
Villa chase cut-price Pedro in January
Aston Villa are looking to sign Chelsea winger Pedro in a cut-price January deal as he approaches the end of his contract at Stamford Bridge, according to the Telegraph. The 32-year-old has dropped down the pecking order in west London and his current deal is set to expire in June. Villa manager Dean Smith is ready to approach Chelsea in a bid to sign the Spanish forward to boost his attack with an experienced Premier League player. Blues boss Frank Lampard could be willing to negotiate, especially now Chelsea's transfer ban has been lifted and it would also allow the club to recoup a fee for a player they will eventually lose for free in the summer.
Paper Round's view: Pedro would be a great signing for Aston Villa. He might be 32 years old, but he still has so much to offer. The former Barcelona forward is the type of player who will always chip in with a decent number of goals and is always looking to create attacking opportunities. Villa are lurking around the relegation zone at the moment and will definitely need to try and strengthen their squad in January if they want to consolidate their status as a Premier League club next season. Pedro is a player who possess the quality which could make all the difference in a relegation battle.
Conte desperate for Alonso reunion
Antonio Conte is "desperate" to reunite with Chelsea full-back Marcos Alonso at Inter Milan, according to the Mail. The Italian club are currently top of the table in Serie A, but Conte is looking to "reinforce" his squad in January in order to improve Inter's title chances. Alonso has only featured seven times for the Stamford Bridge side this season and he has been told he can leave the London club in the winter window. The former Blues boss is looking to bring Alonso to the Italian capital on loan with no obligation to buy, but Chelsea want to sell him outright. Frank Lampard is looking to move for Leicester City's left-back Ben Chilwell as a replacement for Alonso.
Paper Round's view: The Italian boss signed the 28-year-old in 2016 when he was in charge at Stamford Bridge and he fast became one of the most consistent performers in the Premier League, thriving in Conte's 3-4-3 system as a wing-back. However, since Maurizio Sarri replaced Conte, the west London club reverted to a back four, which saw Alonso's form drop off. Lampard doesn't seem to fancy Alonso and the Spaniard would slot perfectly into Conte's system at San Siro, so it would be a completely logical transfer for both parties.