Football news - Paper Round: Barcelona want Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany on a free
Barcelona want Vincent Kompany for nothing, Newcastle eye a bargain, Liverpool could bid for Pascal Gross and Paul Pogba is unhappy at Manchester United.
Barcelona target Kompany switch
Spanish champions Barcelona are looking to target Vincent Kompany, and could sign him on a free transfer. Kompany’s current deal with Manchester City expires in July, and talks are not seriously under way over a renewal. He has also only made seven appearances for City this season, but Barcelona need cover for the injured Samuel Umtiti.
Paper Round’s view: Kompany is an excellent player when he is fit, but at 32 there are not many years left in his career. He could be a handy reserve if he is able to stay fit with minimal exertion, and an experienced head in any dressing room. However, if he cannot be relied upon to play more than a handful of games then it seems silly for any club to offer him the chance to prolong his career.
Newcastle weigh up Samaris offer
Newcastle United could be active in the January transfer window as they weigh up another offer for Greece international Andreas Samaris. They offered Benfica £10 million for the midfielder in the summer, an offer that was rejected, but now the 29 year old’s contract has just six months left to run, he could be available much more cheaply, perhaps even on a free transfer.
Paper Round’s view: Newcastle need plenty more bodies if they are to sustain a survival bid in the Premier League. Other teams will also strengthen if they are desperate to stay up. The problem for Rafael Benitez is that Mike Ashley could be reluctant to splash out on talent while he could be closer to a sale of the club than ever before. Samaris is something of a bargain, though, which may help the move.
Benfica's Andreas Samaris celebrates his team's first goal against Atletico Madrid scored by Nicolas Gaitan (10) during their Champions League group C soccer match at Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid.Reuters
Klopp considers Gross offer
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp could bid for Brighton midfielder Pascal Gross. Gross has struggled with injury this season and the Liverpool boss thinks that he could be a cheaper alternative to Nabil Fekir, with a fee of £15 million mentioned. The 27 year old knows Klopp from the time in Germany and said about the player last year: “I have known him since he was a kid. He is a fantastic player that has made another big step physical wise. He has a nice right foot, is good at set-pieces and a nice shooter. He is a smart player and I like him.”
Paper Round’s view: Following their qualification into the knockout stages of the Champions League, Klopp may now have both the budget and the need to bring in more players for the second half of the season. As the fixture list piles up, having a talented midfielder with experience of the Premier League could help them over the line on several fronts.
Pascal Gross (Brighton)Getty Images
Pogba shocked by Mourinho treatment
Paul Pogba is shocked by his recent treatment at Manchester United by boss Jose Mourinho. He has been on the bench for the last two matches, identified as lacking spirit by his boss, and is set to feature in the dead rubber Champions League match against Valencia. Pogba featured for just 15 minutes against Arsenal and did not play at all against Fulham.
Paper Round’s view: Pogba can only be surprised about his lack of minutes because of his ego and nothing else, because the midfielder has been one of the worst players for United for the last two months. If he wants to win his place back, he should consider actually working out how to pass to colleagues and stop losing the ball every other time he ends up in control of it.