Furious PSG fans demand Neymar exit - Paper Round
Paris Saint-Germain supporters unfurl anti-Neymar banners, Barcelona make their decision on Philippe Coutinho, Liverpool search for a goalkeeping fix and Steven Gerrard looks to sign another striker at Rangers. It's Monday's Paper Round...
PSG ultras want Neymar out
Furious fans of Paris Saint-Germain revealed their feelings towards Neymar during their side's first Ligue 1 match of the season. The supporters raised banners telling the Brazilian to "f**k off" and also shouted derogatory chants about him. The 27-year-old was left out of PSG's squad for their opening match, which they won 3-0 against Nimes, due to the fact that he has been linked with a move back to Spain all summer. Both Real Madrid and Barcelona are interested in signing Neymar and the bitter reaction from the PSG fans is likely to speed up an exit from the Parisian club. PSG are willing to sell Neymar but, according to the Sun, the main stumbling block is that they are waiting for "the right price".
Paper Round's view: Neymar's relationship with the fans in Paris has completely disintegrated. The PSG forward was signed in 2017 for a world-record transfer fee, but it would be fair to say that Neymar has failed to live up to the price tag. The former Barcelona forward suffered a string of injuries over the past two seasons and now looks likely to move back to Spain. PSG might even become more flexible with the transfer fee after seeing the supporters turn their back on the Brazilian superstar, especially as it now becomes difficult for Neymar to return to the first team.
Barca make Coutinho decision
Barcelona have reportedly made the decision to keep hold of Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho, according to the Mirror. Coutinho was linked with a loan move back to the Premier League before the English transfer window closed last Thursday. The Mirror state that both Arsenal and Tottenham pulled out of any deal to bring Coutinho to North London on a season-long loan due to a whopping £40 million loan fee demanded by Barcelona. The jaw-dropping fee leaves the 27-year-old stranded at Camp Nou where he has failed to make much of an impact since his £142 million move from Liverpool last year.
Paper Round's view: Coutinho is obviously a very gifted footballer, but his move to La Liga just hasn't worked out for him. The Brazilian international was a sensation at Anfield but has struggled to find the same form since transferring to Spain in January 2018. The Mirror has also reported that Barcelona chiefs aren't completely ruling out his departure, as he could be used in a makeshift swap deal for fellow countryman Neymar at PSG. A move to Paris would be a fresh start for Coutinho and the little Brazilian could thrive taking on a new challenge in the French league, still playing with top players like Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani.
Liverpool look to sign Lonergan
Jurgen Klopp is considering signing free-agent Andy Lonergan as a short-term solution to goalkeeper Alisson Becker's injury issue, according to the Guardian. The Liverpool stopper suffered a calf injury during the Premier League's curtain-raiser against Norwich on Friday evening and is reported to be sidelined for six to eight weeks. The Reds signed former West Ham goalkeeper Adrian on a free transfer last week and the Spaniard is set to deputise for Alisson. However, Klopp is looking to offer Lonergan a short-term deal at Anfield to ease the club's injury crisis, which has also seen third-choice keeper Caoimhin Kelleher suffer a broken wrist.
Paper Round's view: Lonergan has already linked up with the Liverpool squad since his release from Middlesbrough at the start of the summer. The 35-year-old joined the Merseyside outfit for their preseason tour of the United States, while Alisson featured in Brazil's successful Copa America run. Lonergan probably won't even start a match for the Reds, but it makes sense to add him to the squad. Klopp has confirmed that there is only one senior goalkeeper available for the upcoming Super Cup final on Wednesday and if Lonergan has already been part of the Liverpool squad in recent months, the short-term signing makes total sense.
Gerrard to add more firepower
Rangers boss Steven Gerrard refused to rule out adding another striker to his ranks following his side's 6-1 win over Hibernian on Sunday afternoon. The win saw a 'perfect' hat-trick from on-loan forward Jermain Defoe and a late brace from 23-year-old Alfredo Morelos, but Gerrard still insisted that the club could still use a third striker. The Scotsman believe that the Rangers manager feels his search for silverware is highly dependant on the firepower of his goalscorers and adding a third striker into the mix increases his side's options going forward.
Paper Round's view: Prioritising the signing of a striker is a strange decision when you've already got two very prolific goalscorers in your squad. Rangers play a system that only features one centre-forward and Defoe and Morelos are still yet to play alongside each other so far this season in the Scottish Premier League. Morelos was linked with a move away during the summer, so maybe Gerrard is thinking more long term, especially as Defoe's loan deal finishes at the end of the season and he turns 37 years old in October. If Rangers signed a striker during the current window, they will have adapted by January and would be ready to step up if Morelos decided to move on.