Football news - Paper Round: Barcelona want £200m Harry Kane
Barcelona will bid big for Harry Kane, Manchester United will do the same for Kalidou Koulibaly, PSG chase Eden Hazard, and City try to keep Brahim Diaz.
Barcelona target £200m Kane
Barcelona are preparing to replace striker Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan forward will soon be 32 and is struggling with persistent knee injuries, and Spurs striker Harry Kane is the man top of the shortlist. Any offer from Barcelona at £150 million or over would have to be considered because of the costs of the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium. Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Richarlison are also under consideration.
Tottenham Hotspur's South Korean striker Son Heung-Min (R) with Tottenham Hotspur's English striker Harry Kane celebrates scoring his team's third goal during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton at Wembley SGetty Images
Paper Round’s view: Kane is probably the best striker in the world right now but has become only a touch stale in North London. He has quality which should be winning trophies, and Barcelona will offer him the best chance of doing that. It seems unlikely that money would be a motivator, but Spurs have gone without a trophy for too long now.
United will have to fork out for Koulibaly
Manchester United have been quoted a price above £90 million for Napoli central defender Kalidou Koulibaly. The Senegalese international is wanted by Napoli’s chairman, and manager Carlo Ancelotti, and any deal may depend on whether or not the Italian side progress to the knockout stages of the Champions League. Youngster Eder Militao, at Porto, is being weighed up as a cheaper alternative.
Koulibaly - Napoli-Chievo - Serie A 2018/2019 - Getty ImagesGetty Images
Paper Round’s view: Manchester United desperately need more defenders, and Chris Smalling went off injured against Fulham, compounding an already poo situation. Whether Koulibaly arrives is a measure of Ed Woodward’s support of Jose Mourinho, who he undermined in the last transfer window by declaring Toby Alderweireld no better than Marcos Rojo.
PSG to rival Real for Hazard
Paris Saint-Germain are targeting Eden Hazard for a big-money summer move. The French champions want the 27-year-old Belgian international as their star signing, but will face competition from Real Madrid. Real and Hazard have been eyeing each other up for a couple of seasons, and with just 18 months left on his current deal, he could be available on the cheap in the summer.
Eden Hazard chases the ball during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Fulham at Stamford Bridge in London on December 2, 2018Getty Images
Paper Round’s view: If Chelsea can't tie Hazard down to a new deal, then they will welcome the interest from PSG. A year left on his contract means that they will struggle to get full value for the playmaker, so any competition could drive up the price and given them more money for any planned replacement.
City try to keep Diaz
Manchester City are preparing a desperate last round of talks for their young midfielder Brahim Diaz. The 19 year old is wanted by Real Madrid and his contract runs out at the end of the season, and has been promised more time on the pitch at the Bernabeu. If City fail to persuade him to sign a new deal then Real are ready to pay £8 million in order to secure his signature ahead of his contract expiring in the summer.
Brahim DiazGetty Images
Paper Round’s view: City lost Jadon Sancho in a similar scenario, and Phil Foden is also struggling for minutes on the pitch. While it does them no harm to raise funds consistently from their youth side, in the long term it would be better for the finances and fans if they can introduce more homegrown - of a sort - talent into the first team.