Mount set for massive pay rise at Chelsea as Blues plan contract extension talks

Mount set for massive pay rise at Chelsea as Blues plan contract extension talks | Goal.com

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Chelsea are preparing for contract talks with Mason Mount and are willing to make him among their top earners following his Player of the Year campaign in 2020-21, Goal can confirm.

The 22-year-old is currently one of the lowest-earning first-team players, making around £75,000 per week. He has just over two-and-a-half years left on his current deal.

There hasn’t been a formal contract offer made to Mount as things stand, with Chelsea first working on deals for defenders Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Trevoh Chalobah.

Chelsea ready to make Mount a top earner

Mount loves Chelsea and would be delighted to renew, but ultimately understands that he deserves to be valued alongside the likes of Kai Havertz and Timo Werner.

Indeed, within the dressing room, Mount has been nicknamed ‘star boy’ by his fellow professionals who have seen his performances and work rate in close quarters.

Alongside winning Chelsea’s Player of the Year award, which was voted for by the club’s fans, he also won the Premier League Academy Graduate award for 2020-21.

He assisted Chelsea’s Champions League winner and was a regular for England at Euro 2020.

In addition, a perhaps underrated aspect of Mount’s value this year is his ability to bring the best out of Romelu Lukaku – his five passes per 90 minutes to the Belgian are more than any other player in Chelsea’s squad.

It’s something that Thomas Tuchel has noted as he aims to work out how to resolve the issue of his £97.5 million ($136m) signing being isolated in attack.

“I think that football right now is about connections,” Tuchel has said. “Romelu, I feel, has a strong connection with Mason Mount and Mateo Kovacic.

“They look for each other and have an understanding. Everybody else maybe lacks it a bit, so they need to learn and understand and adapt.”

Will Mount be back to his best soon?

Despite his positive link up with Lukaku, Mount has appeared tired in his performances early on in the campaign, perhaps due to a lack of pre-season as he recovered from the Euros.

During the last international break, the 22-year-old acknowledged that he has had a lot to deal with in the last few months.

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“After what happened in the Euros and the experiences that we went through, it probably did take longer [to get over it than usual],” Mount said.

“You do reflect on how it went as a team and me personally on my game. It was such a heartbreak for us to go all the way and fall at the final hurdle. We now have to look at the next goal and challenge that is coming up.”

Further reading

Dembele over Mbappe? Former Barcelona president lays blame on others for ill-fated transfer choice

Dembele over Mbappe? Former Barcelona president blames others for fateful transfer choice | Goal.com

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Former Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu blamed others at the club for choosing to sign Ousmane Dembele instead of Kylian Mbappe in 2017.

Bartomeu, who resigned in disgrace last year amid legal investigation, says the coaching staff recommended Dembele because the winger could do a better job of opening up the field.

Since then, Mbappe has gone on to largely fulfil his potential while Dembele has seen his career stalled massively by injuries.

What has been said?

“[Mbappe’s] signing was on the table, but the coaches preferred Dembele because they wanted a player to open the field,” Bartomeu said, as reported by AS.

On the now-criticised moves for Dembele and Philippe Coutinho, he said: “Some of the transfers we have done have not met expectations, players who have cost a lot of money, but these things happen in football.

“When those two players were signed, they were applauded by everyone. Coutinho came because Iniesta was going. He was the best in the Premier League. Dembele came because of Neymar’s departure.”

Dembele injury latest

Dembele is currently out with a hamstring injury he picked up at Euro 2020. He started training last week but no date has been set for when he will rejoin the first team.

His contract with Barcelona will expire in the summer.

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Will Barcelona now watch Real Madrid sign Mbappe?

To make matters worse, it appears a side effect of missing out on Mbappe in 2017 will be the forward joining rivals Real Madrid.

Mbappe grew up idolising Cristiano Ronaldo and now seems set on moving to the Santiago Bernabeu next summer after efforts to force a transfer in August were unsuccessful.

Further reading

'Premier League not out of the question for Gauld' – Fellow Scot Russell backs Whitecaps star for big things

‘Premier League not out of the question for Gauld’ – Fellow Scot Russell backs Whitecaps star for big things | Goal.com

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Sporting KC’s Johnny Russell says that Scottish star Ryan Gauld could play at a Premier League level amid his recent surge in form with the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Gauld joined the Whitecaps this summer, having previously been nicknamed ‘the Scottish Messi’ during his time in Portugal with Sporting CP.

He’s shined since moving to MLS, helping push the Whitecaps towards a playoff place despite their early-season struggles.

What was said?

“I don’t think the Premier League is too far off. He’s still young enough,” Scottish international Russell told Football Scotland when asked about the 25-year-old Whitecaps star.

“I know what people will be thinking. ‘Oh he has come to the MLS, a dead league’, all that nonsense, but it’s an extremely competitive and tough league.

“It has shown with some of the guys who have done well here, they’ve gone to Europe and the Premier League so it’s definitely not out of the question for Gauld.

“Talent-wise he’s not lost anything, so to me it wouldn’t be a stretch to see him playing in the Premier League.”

Gauld and Russell’s relationship

Gauld’s rise from youth player to senior play at Dundee United overlapped with Russell’s stay with the club, with the latter representing the senior team from 2007-13 after rising through the youth ranks himself.

And Russell says that, from the start, Gauld looked like a different type of player that could do things many at the club couldn’t believe.

“Obviously [at Dundee Utd] I knew about him from the youths, you always heard about him,” Russell said.

“People were always raving about him and when I saw him it was like, ‘This kid’s got something different’. Then I got in the first-team and he was around training. Then when I left that’s when he broke into the team.

“I always kept an eye on United and he did well. He did so so well in Portugal as well and it was good to see him trying different things instead of sticking with the mould of Scotland then maybe England.

“You could always see there was something different, he saw the game in a different way to most people, especially with the age he was.

“He came in like a 14, 15-year old and dominated training, but you can only do that if you’ve got something. And he’s a really good boy with a nice family. He’s a good guy and I think that helped his time with us. He didn’t get carried away.”

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A playoff preview?

Russell’s Sporting KC are currently sitting second in the Western Conference and will be among the favorites out West when the playoffs begin next month.

Gauld’s Whitecaps, meanwhile, are pushing for their own spot in the postseason as they sit one point behind Minnesota United for the seventh and final playoff spot in the West.

Further reading

Chelsea take Wrexham wonderkid Davies on trial in bid to boost youth team

Chelsea take Wrexham wonderkid Dan Davies on trial in bid to boost youth team | Goal.com

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Chelsea have taken Wrexham’s 17-year-old left-back Daniel Davies on a week-long trial amid a six-month-long aim to fill a gap in their academy.

This summer’s youth exodus has left Chelsea searching for players from non-league teams, with several being considered or signed in recent weeks.

Davies has had trial offers from Liverpool, Brighton and Stoke City, with more clubs likely to come to the table – but the Blues are currently at the front of the queue. There would be no compensation due should Chelsea go ahead and offer him a contract.

Who is Davies?

He recently made his debut for Wales’ Under-18 team in a 1-1 draw with England and is being heavily scouted by Premier League and Championship clubs.

Due to his imposing physique, Davies has found himself compared to a young Gareth Bale, who began life as a left-back before moving further forward.

Davies is at National League club Wrexham, who are owned by Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.

Why do Chelsea keep looking at left-sided players?

The Blues lost wonderkid Samuel Iling-Junior 18 months ago and have had a lack of left-sided talent for the current generation that are playing U23s, UEFA Youth League and U18s football.

It has led to them signing Declan Frith after he spent time in non-league with both Welling and Sutton United, but the west London club released him and he joined Aston Villa.

Afterwards, Chelsea offered Kingstonian £50,000 for Bryant Akono Bilongo but withdrew the bid after changing their minds.

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Davies is the latest talent from below the top four leagues to try and get in the building at Cobham, with academy director Neil Bath keen to fill a long-term vacancy on the left.

It could see him follow in the footsteps of new signings Jayden Wareham and Bradley Ryan from non-league sides Woking and Welling United in recent months.

Further reading

Ballon d'Or power rankings: Will Messi win again?

With the ceremony set for November 29, the first Ballon d’Or award in two years is set to recognise the best player of the past year – we look at the top contenders.

Lionel Messi – 4/7

At 34, Lionel Messi’s move to Paris Saint-Germain threatens to precipitate the end of his career. Shorn of his comfort zone at Barcelona and at only his second professional club, he has struggled to adjust. There is a sense that given all he achieved last season against the backdrop of Covid-19 and club strife, with 38 goals in 47 club appearances coupled with his 2021 Copa America win, there’s enough cover to give him a final Ballon d’Or ahead of his retirement.

La Liga

Barca gave ‘new leader’ Fati No. 10 too soon – Inside Europe

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Robert Lewandowski – 5/2

Lewandowski’s best finish in the Ballon d’Or is fourth place in 2015. He has scored more than 250 club goals since then, and has 15 goals in 11 appearances for Bayern Munich so far this season. Aged 33, he shows signs of becoming better, rather than entering decline caused by age. He is a ridiculous player who continues to win European and domestic trophies with Bayern, and for all their dominance, his club would struggle without him even if they brought in a replacement.

Jorginho – 7/1

Jorginho is perhaps the obvious choice outside of Messi and Lewandowski. Not many players win the Champions League and European Championships in the same season, but the Italian international held the respective teams together with his usual poise and incisive passing – and that is before mentioning his nerveless penalties. After struggling at times under Maurizio Sarri and then Frank Lampard, his emergence as an essential midfielder at Stamford Bridge is a huge achievement.

Mohamed Salah – 10/1

As Salah showed while discombobulating half of Vicarage Road to the extent they all cranially imploded and had to sit down to recover, there are few players with such technical ability linked to his quick wit. It is not the first time he has operated in such small confines and emerged not just with space, but with a goal, and it will probably not be the last. Aged 29, he could be worth the £500,000-a-week reported wages of a proposed new contract.

Salah is ‘the best in the world’, everything he touches ‘turns to gold’ – Klopp

Karim Benzema – 16/1

The Real Madrid striker has faced challenges from one player after another for his space, but nobody has been able to dislodge him from Gonzalo Higuain onwards. At 33, one would expect the arrival of Kylian Mbappe to trouble him, but as Didier Deschamps has shown, it appears many believe that there will be even greater reward by turning them into a partnership. After four Ligue 1 titles, four Ligas, three Champions Leagues and now the Nations League after years away from the French national side, his is a career that deserves recognition.

N’golo Kante – 20/1

Kante was also integral to Chelsea’s Champions League success, and after a year of relative underperformance, there was speculation that he might be moved on. Instead, Thomas Tuchel has got the Frenchman back to something like his best. If Jorginho had not also taken his country to success as well, then Kante would have a similar claim to the Ballon d’Or.

Cristiano Ronaldo – 25/1

Ronaldo has also left a major European club to go to relative strugglers, just as his peer and nemesis Messi did this summer. Already, he is cutting a frustrated figure, and who can blame him? He signed up for a season that would start with McFred in midfield and with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in charge on the bench. That hasn’t stopped him being typically excellent, just as he was at Juventus, but it might not be enough to win any more awards.

Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)

Image credit: Getty Images

Kylian Mbappe – 33/1

Mbappe is a long shot. He is a player who burst onto the scene almost fully formed, but if this is far as he comes, we might even be disappointed. Until the 22-year-old striker is tested regularly, and given the chance to play with a squad such as Real Madrid’s, observers will want to know if he can deliver more on the pitch. To become even more dangerous, and even more of a leader. He did nothing wrong at PSG last year – though this season promises to be more difficult – but others played better.

Lorenzo Insigne – 33/1

With two goals at Euro 2020, including a vital contribution against Belgium, Insigne was a key part of the Italian side under Roberto Mancini that brought back the trophy. He is 30 now, and until then he had little to show for a playing career that had mainly been spent with Napoli. There is perhaps little hope that he will get honours on the domestic front, so a sympathy vote this year for the Ballon d’Or has an outside chance.

Kevin De Bruyne – 33/1

De Bruyne was Pep Guardiola’s most important player across the title-winning season, and if he were not for injury then perhaps he could have taken Belgium further. The midfielder is perhaps underrated because his brilliance is no longer remarkable – it is just what he does. Perhaps Belgium or City need to win a major international trophy before he will be given the pre-eminent individual award.

Premier League

Jarring scenes at Newcastle, is Solskjaer finished? – The Warm-Up

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Premier League

Opinion: Only a matter of time until Solskjaer is sacked as Man Utd boss

YESTERDAY AT 19:53

Sterling advised by De Bruyne amid Manchester City exit rumours

Sterling advised by De Bruyne amid Manchester City exit rumours | Goal.com

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Kevin De Bruyne can appreciate why Raheem Sterling may be asking questions of his future at Manchester City, but the Belgian midfielder has urged his team-mate to accept rotation and see the bigger picture.

Speculation regarding a move away from the Etihad Stadium for Sterling is starting to build heading towards the winter transfer window, with starting berths under Pep Guardiola proving hard to come by.

The England international has admitted that, amid talk of interest from Barcelona, he may be tempted to take on a new challenge outside of the Premier League, but De Bruyne is hoping to see the 26-year-old stay put.

What has been said?

Asked about Sterling’s frustration ahead of a Champions League clash with Club Brugge on Tuesday, De Bruyne told reporters: “Rotation is important. Playing four competitions and mostly going far is a tough ask.

“I understand the frustration, I’m a player and you have some players who need more rhythm and maybe Raz needs more, I need that also.

“It’s tough to play one game but it’s the manager who has to make choices and it’s hard. We have a group of 22, 23 internationals who are unbelievable. Whoever you pick will be right. Whenever the team plays good you can’t say much as a player. We try to help each other.”

Is De Bruyne ready for action?

Guardiola has taken to resting De Bruyne at times, despite the 30-year-old playmaker being a talismanic figure for City.

He has picked up unfortunate injuries on a regular basis in recent campaigns, for club and country, but claims to be clear of any fitness problems at present as he builds his way back up to full match sharpness.

De Bruyne said of his current condition: “In the Euros I was happy I could come back but the ankle injury happened. There’s nothing I can do, I got tackles and my ligament snapped.

“I try to get back as best as possible. It took some time, it was a bit painful but I feel much better now and I’m very happy about that.

“I feel much much better. There’s still things that can go up. Even the last two-to-three months of last season I didn’t train much.

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“The last six months have been up and down, not much training. I was in pain when I came back. It was good to take time off after the Spurs game. I feel much better, I feel stronger.”

De Bruyne has taken in eight appearances for City across all competitions this season, with three goals recorded, and minutes against Brugge in midweek will see him reach 500 outings in club football.

Further reading

Shakava: Police FC in advanced talks with Gor Mahia captain

Shakava: Police FC in advanced talks with Gor Mahia captain | Goal.com

Football Federation Premier League side Police FC are in advanced talks with Gor Mahia captain Harun Shakava, Goal can report.
 
Police are keen to sign the experienced centre-back in order to bolster their squad that got promoted to the top-tier. The Cops are winless after losing their first two games but are keen to get stabilised as soon as possible.

Fitting into Police setup

“We know the kind of a player Shakava is and we know he will fit into our setup,” a source at the club told Goal on Monday.

“We are aware and concerned about how we have performed in the last two games, and when you have a man like Shakava in your squad, you can be assured that things will get well.”
 
“We hope to build a team made up of very experienced stars, fairly experienced stars, and youngsters, because we know Police will be there today, tomorrow, and even in the distant future. That is why we have decided to set up a fit that will be in transition slowly without interruption.
 
“You can notice that we have also maintained the majority of the players that were together in the National Super League, but we know the Premier League’s terrain is different from the second tier’s terrain, and that is why we need to have players who have featured in the Premier League so that they can guide us because they understand it better.”

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Premier League terrain

Police have already confirmed the signing of former Gor Mahia defender Musa Mohamed and winger Clifton Miheso. Duncan Otieno – former AFC Leopards, Nkana FC and Lusaka Dynamos midfielder – and John Makwatta who has played for Ulinzi Stars, Buildcon FC, AFC Leopards, and Zesco United, have also been confirmed as new signings.


 
“All these signings explain just what I have told you. We are not signing top stars to scare anyone or to brag to anyone. We know what we want from them and we know they can offer what we want,” the source added.
 
“We want to remain in the Premier League because I believe we deserve to compete against the best in the country. Competing with the best is good because your players get challenged and the players are exposed to top-level competition.
 
“The players are also on a bigger stage, and more opportunities will come their way when playing at the top level. The Premier League is where we belong and we want to be regular participants.”

'Don’t talk about Zambo Anguissa, leave him hidden' – Napoli manager Spalletti

‘Don’t talk about him Anguissa, leave him hidden’ – Napoli manager Spalletti | Goal.com

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Napoli manager Luciano Spalletti has hinted he is considering making midfielder Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa’s stay permanent after stating the player is “the right person for this dressing room.”

The 25-year-old Cameroon international extended his contract with Fulham until 2024, but was shipped to the Serie A outfit on loan for the 2021-22 campaign. 

So far this season, he has played in eight games in all competitions for Luciano Spalletti’s men, proving to be a key player.

“Don’t talk about him. Leave him hidden, Spalletti told DAZN as quoted by Football Italia

“He is a top player, he does everything, but he must improve his finishing and the final pass. You win games when you have the right players and serious professionals, he is the right person for this dressing room.”

On Sunday, the midfielder played a great role in helping the Naples-based charges maintain their perfect start in Serie A this season.

This after Nigeria international Victor Osimhen scored the lone goal in the 81st minute to seal the win at the Armando Diego Maradona Stadium.

The Super Eagle rose highest to head Elif Elmas’ cross past goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic in the Torino goal to send the fans into a frenzy.

The goal also saved captain Lorenzo Insigne’s blushes, after he missed a first-half penalty. Giovanni Di Lorenzo was fouled in the danger zone in the 27th minute and the skipper stepped up.

However, Milinkovic-Savic guessed the right direction to deny the Italian. It was the second penalty in succession Insigne missed after failing to convert the last one against Fiorentina.

But Spalletti confirmed the responsibilities will not be taken away from him. 

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“Lorenzo has a strong bond, especially with his teammates who are helping him. He was sorry for not giving his contribution,” Spalletti added.

“For me, Insigne will take the next one, then it will be Lorenzo’s turn and then the captain’s.”

Napoli have 24 points from the eight games played this season. They have scored 19 goals and conceded just three making them the best defensive team in the Italian top tier.

Ronaldo will never 'tarnish history' at Manchester City or Barcelona, claims former Man Utd team-mate Fabio

Ronaldo will never ‘tarnish history’ at Manchester City or Barcelona, claims former Man Utd team-mate Fabio | Goal.com

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Cristiano Ronaldo has worked hard to establish a reputation as an all-time great and would never “tarnish that history” by making a controversial move to Manchester City or Barcelona, claims former Manchester United team-mate Fabio.

A switch to Etihad Stadium for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner was mooted over the summer once it became clear he would leave Juventus.

Fabio believes that speculation was sparked by agent Jorge Mendes, and there was no way the Man Utd and Real Madrid icon was going to consider a transfer that would damage his reputation.

What has been said?

Former United defender Fabio, who played alongside Ronaldo at Old Trafford between 2007 and 2009, told ESPN: “I couldn’t imagine it. When they told me, I couldn’t believe it.

“It was Pedro, who plays here [FC Nantes] with me, who said: ‘Manchester City are almost done with Cristiano’. I said: ‘It’s not possible’. I didn’t believe it at any point.

“I don’t know if it was a move made by Jorge Mendes, his manager, to create something because that’s what happens nowadays. I’m just saying that because I don’t have any idea.

“I didn’t believe at any point that he was going to City. From his history at United, from what I know a bit from the two years I played with him. It would have been difficult for him to have the courage to play for City because he preserves that history so much. Equally, I’m sure he wouldn’t play at Barcelona.

“He greatly values the history he has made wherever he has been. Cristiano Ronaldo played at the clubs he wanted that he had the dream of. Manchester, Real Madrid and Juventus. That’s why I don’t think he would tarnish that history.”

Does Ronaldo have another move in him?

As the City rumours blew over, Ronaldo completed an emotional return to United in August. He has committed to an initial two-year contract with the Red Devils, with that deal set to take him beyond his 38th birthday.

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There has been no sign of him slowing down, with five goals scored since heading back to English football, and Ronaldo has stated on a regular basis that he intends to play on into his 40s.

The expectation is that the final chapters in his remarkable career will be written outside Europe, potentially in MLS or Asia, but there is also a chance that Ronaldo will look to go full circle by retiring on the books at Sporting.

Further reading

Mbappe hints at PSG stay after Angers win – Paper Round

Mbappe hints at PSG stay

After a couple of weeks where Real Madrid have appeared to be less confident of signing Kylian Mbappe, with the French international striker appearing to warm to the concept of staying on at Paris Saint-Germain at least for a year or two more. On Instagram he posted, “Always hungry for more. Thanks, PSG,” while posing with club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi.

Transfers

Salah set for £500k-a-week deal – Paper Round

18 HOURS AGO

Paper Round’s view: PSG are logically happy to keep Mbappe for as long as they can. Alongside Erling Haaland there is not a more exciting young striker in world football. There is no downside to trying everything they can to make him feel wanted and increase any pressure he may feel about potentially staying on.

Read the full story

Salah is ‘the best in the world’, everything he touches ‘turns to gold’ – Klopp

Odegaard open to Sociedad return

Martin Odegaard would return back to Real Sociedad, according to Arsenal’s former goalkeeper Mat Ryan. The Sun reports the ‘keeper as saying: “Before I knew Real were interested in me, [Odegaard] told me that Real, because of his experience here, was a great team. A ten out of ten in everything: the team, the life here, the public…everything. And now I agree with him. He’s comfortable at Arsenal, but he’s open to coming back one day, for sure.”

Paper Round’s view: Odegaard is only 22 and it appears that he is beginning to settle in at Arsenal after turning his loan deal into a permanent one. Just as importantly, Arsenal are beginning to turn things around under Mikel Arteta, and they could start to move up the table to secure Champions League football.

Read the full story

Fati contract hits problems

Ansu Fati’s Barcelona contract ends next summer, and the Daily Mail reports on some problems facing the club when it comes to the 18-year-old forward. Barcelona want to tie him down to a long-term contract with a £1 billion release clause, while Fati’s agent, Jorge Mendes, does not want such a high figure and would prefer a two-year deal.

Paper Round’s view: With Fati looking like the club’s best bet on replacing Lionel Messi with a home-grown player, Barcelona cannot afford to lose him in the next few years. Given the circumstances, expect a healthy amount of money be offered to persuade Fati to fall into line with Barca’s wishes.

Read the full story

Bruce wants clarity

The Telegraph reports that Newcastle manager Steve Bruce wants clarity over the future. Bruce watched his side lose 3-2 to Spurs on Sunday and said after the game: “Ever since I have walked into this club of ours it is difficult. I knew how difficult was going to be with the frustrations. I will carry on as best I can until I hear otherwise. The owners have conducted themselves respectfully since they came in. As long as I hear otherwise, I will go into work tomorrow.”

Paper Round’s view: Bruce is due £8 million if the club sack him, so even if he feels like he has been mistreated by Newcastle and is unable to properly do his job, he has to stick it out for the payoff. It seems unlikely that there will be long left for Bruce at Newcastle.

Read the full story

Transfers

Man Utd identify £50m Tchouameni as Pogba replacement – Paper Round

15/10/2021 AT 23:08

Transfers

No sentiment for Sterling, Silva and Mahrez could also leave – Inside Football

15/10/2021 AT 09:01