Man Utd keen on Kalvin Phillips transfer over Declan Rice as Juan Mata considers January exit – Paper Round


Ole keen on Kalvin

Manchester United are keen to sign Kalvin Phillips from Leeds, the Daily Star report, with the midfielder a cheaper alternative to Declan Rice, who has been valued at £90m by West Ham. Phillips and Rice formed an impressive partnership as England reached the Euro 2020 final, and United could focus on signing the former given the latter’s price-tag and the fact Liverpool are reportedly leading the race to sign Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham.

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Paper Round’s view: We go again with this one. A fortnight ago it was Manchester City ditching their interest in Rice for Phillips, and now United are said to be doing the same. Let’s face it, no one is paying £90m for Rice – that’s probably the point from West Ham, and who can blame them really given he is a prize asset for both club and country. What could have been a battle for Rice in 2022 may end up being one for Phillips instead.

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Mata considering Man Utd future

Juan Mata will consider leaving Manchester United in January after playing just 62 minutes so far this season and failing to make the squad to face Aston Villa on Saturday, the Manchester Evening News reports. The Spanish midfielder is out of contract at the end of the season, but the 33-year-old would be open to a mid-season move in a bid to play more regularly.

Paper Round’s view: It felt inevitable, particularly with the signings United made and the return of Jesse Lingard. Something had to give, and while Mata’s influence was already dwindling, it is virtually non-existent at Old Trafford now. A superbly talented player is entering the twilight of his career, and somewhere – perhaps back in Spain – there is a side calling out for his services, one that will value it far more than United do currently. Mainly because they don’t really need him.

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Chelsea battle Juve for Monaco star

Chelsea are still looking to sign Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni but face strong competition from Juventus, The Sun reports. The 21-year-old has been valued at £34m having joined Monaco in January 2020 after coming through Bordeaux’s academy, and with a contract running until 2024 the Ligue 1 club are not willing to let the holding midfielder go unless the price is right.

Paper Round’s view: One for the future, perhaps, to take the baton from N’Golo Kante, and you’d imagine while Tchouameni may learn a lot during training he would struggle to break into Chelsea’s starting XI in the near future. Nevertheless, these signings can often be about ensuring rivals don’t steal a march, so there could be more than just Chelsea and Juve showing an interest soon.

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Arsenal in for En-Nesyri

Arsenal will have to pay £38.5m to sign Sevilla’s Youssef En-Nesyri, the Daily Mail reports, with Alexandre Lacazette potentially going the other way. Moroccan En-Nesyri joined Sevilla for £20m in 2020, and has since scored 33 goals in 85 appearances. After 18 goals in La Liga last term, he has caught the eye of Arsenal, who are looking to offload Lacazette.

Paper Round’s view: Arsenal certainly need to freshen up their attack with Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang now over 30 and Willian’s stay short and not at all sweet. At 24 En-Nesyri is already posting decent numbers in Spain, and unsurprisingly that has turned heads at Arsenal given quality strikers are at a premium – or are out of their league.

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