Football news - Paper Round: Bayern Munich close in on wantaway Hudson-Odoi
Bayern bid for Callum Hudson-Odoi, Spurs could sell both Vincent Janssen and Fernando Llorente, and Manchester United will keep Ander Herrera.
Bayern make another Hudson-Odoi bid
Chelsea look set to lose their teenage winger Callum Hudson-Odoi, according to a report in The Guardian. Hudson-Odoi has told the club that he wants to quit Stamford Bridge, and after failing with a bid of £30 million, they have returned to offer £35m for the 18-year-old forward. Maurizio Sarri wants to keep the player, saying: "I don’t think a move to Germany would be good for him. He is an English player, he is very young and I think he has a very good future here; with the England team and with Chelsea. I think he is a very important player."
Chelsea's English midfielder Callum Hudson-Odoi controls the ball during the English League Cup semi-final first-leg football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium in London, on January 8, 2019.Getty Images
Paper Round's view: It is hard to see how Chelsea can keep hold of Hudson-Odoi if the youngster has decided that he will definitely quit the club. For years, they have been unable to show players of a similar age that they can progress at the club and now they finally have one who seems to be on the cusp of greatness, another team is stepping in with an opportunity he cannot get in the Premier League. There seems little hope but maximising his value in the short term.
Bilbao consider Llorente move
Tottenham Hotspur are set to lose midfielder Mousa Dembele imminently, but they could also see Spanish striker Fernando Llorente quit the club. As one of the few players in top flight football eligible to join Athletic Bilbao due to his Basque heritage, they are open to taking him back to the club. Sporting director Rafa Alkorta is quoted in the Mirror as saying: "We are interested in Javi Martinez, Ibai [Gomez], Ander Herrera, Llorente. It's obvious that any player that can play for Athletic is of interest to us."
Fernando LlorenteGetty Images
Paper Round's view: Losing Dembele makes sense, given he featured relatively rarely for the club of late and there is cover in midfield. Selling Llorente is another matter. Harry Kane is clearly first choice for Spurs and the 33-year-old forward is not going to displace him, but there is no obvious way to secure experienced back-up going into the second half of the season as Spurs challenge for the top four and, perhaps, the title.
Herrera to stay at United
Another Basque player, Manchester United's Ander Herrera, is also wanted by Athletic. The 29-year-old midfielder's contract is running out at Old Trafford, and he is attracting attention. He can walk away for nothing at the end of the season and is free to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club now. However, United's interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has convinced the Spaniard that he has a future at the club, say The Sun.
Paper Round's view: Herrera is not good enough to hold down a regular spot in the first team having failed to improve at all at the club since his arrival. However, as a combative and snide third midfielder, at his best he can perform an important role in the middle of the pitch. If Herrera improves as much as the rest of the team has since Mourinho's departure, then he is worth tying down to a new deal.
Janssen could leave Spurs
One potential replacement for Fernando Llorente at Spurs is forgotten man, Vincent Janssen. The 24-year-old striker returned from loan at Fenerbahce last season, but a foot injury ended his chances of leaving Spurs in the summer. He is now on his way back to fitness, and the club believe that Llorente is easier to sell. If Janssen proves his fitness then he may be kept on in London instead of sold, according to the Mail..
Paper Round's view: Llorente has experience, but Janssen is young enough to develop and match his obvious potential. The problem for the Dutch striker is that to do that he will need regular time on the pitch in front of goal, and Kane's form gives him little chance to do so. If Spurs receive an offer for a player they cannot rely upon, then they may take the risk of leaving Heung-min Son as the only alternative to Kane.