RONALDO’S TEAM RUBBISH AL-NASSR REPORTS
Sources close to Cristiano Ronaldo have rubbished claims that the Portugal international is set to sign a contract with Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr on January 1, claim the Daily Mail. It has been widely reported that the 37-year-old is on the verge of agreeing a lucrative deal with the Middle East outfit, but the Mail say they have been informed by Ronaldo’s team that the report is ‘nonsense’.
Paper Round’s view: It is clear that Ronaldo is, currently, only focused on Portugal’s World Cup campaign with a last-16 tie with Switzerland now only around the corner. When the time comes for a decision to be made on his future, it is unlikely that Ronaldo will have many clubs prepared to match the reported £500,000-a-week salary he had at Manchester United. That could make a transfer to Al-Nassr very tempting. It appears to be a matter of ‘when’ and not ‘if’ he will sign for the Saudi club. At the moment, however, his mind is on the international scene.
TIELEMANS SET TO SIGN FOR ARSENAL
Leicester midfielder Youri Tielemans will turn down Barcelona to sign for Arsenal on a free this summer. That’s according to Marca (via the Mirror), who claim the Belgium international has already has “some kind of agreement in place” with Mikel Arteta’s side. Tielemans’ deal at Leicester expires in six months and it is widely expected that will he bid farewell to the King Power Stadium come the end of the season.
Paper Round’s view: Signing a 25-year-old international midfielder the calibre of Tielemans on a free transfer is a no-brainer. The only surprise is that there aren’t more teams being linked with him. Arsenal will be delighted if they can get their hands on him. The Gunners are enjoying a fine season and could well be crowned Premier League champions in May, but there’s no getting away from the fact that they need strength in depth. Tielemans would certainly provide that.
NEWCASTLE TO BATTLE BARCA FOR SANTOS
Barcelona could be landed another transfer blow if Newcastle have their way. The Tyneside club are reportedly hoping to beat the Catalan giants to the signing of 18-year-old Andrey Santos. The Northern Echo, via The Sun, claim that Santos – who plies his trade with Vasco da Gama in Brazil’s second-tier – has been on Newcastle’s radar for some time.
Andrey Santos, Vasco da Gama
Image credit: Imago
Paper Round’s view: The teenager has been attracting the attention of the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea, as well as Barcelona, if media reports are to be believed. So, Newcastle will have a battle on their hands if they are land the wonderkid, who operates in a deep midfield role. After recruiting hot prospect and Australia international, Garang Kuol, 18, Newcastle are clearly on the hunt for similar talents. Having watched how neatly compatriot Bruno Guimaraes has fitted in at St James’ Park, Santos could be tempted with a move to Tyneside.
REAL MADRID PRIORITISE ENDRICK OVER HAALAND
Real Madrid have placed Brazilian wonderkid Endrick at the top of their transfer wish list, report Marca, via the Daily Mail. The 16-year-old, who has been developed by Palmeiras, has been linked with several top clubs around Europe, including Los Blancos. Real Madrid’s desire to sign the teenager is so strong that they’re prepared to drop their interest in Manchester City’s Erling Haaland. The report states: “It’s said that one of the priorities for the Brazilian’s party is to a have a ‘clear path for the future’ – with Haaland seen as someone who could potentially get in his way if both strikers played at the Santiago Bernabeu in the future.”
Image credit: Getty Images
Paper Round’s view: It is thought that Endrick has a £51m release clause at Palmeiras, an eye-watering sum of money for a player as young as 16 – although he won’t be able to make a move until 2024. One would think that Endrick’s team would be desperate for the teenager to link up with the world’s best players, but – according to the article – they see Haaland as too similar to Endrick, and if the Norway international was to join the same club it would be detrimental to his career. Despite this report, it’s difficult to imagine the constant rumours linking Haaland to the Bernabeu will fade any time soon.
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