Xavi to Barca deal possible
Spanish newspaper Marca gives an update on Xavi’s potential move to Barcelona as their new manager. There are a number of problems, including his new contract which runs until after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar with his current club Al Sadd. The more immediate problem is that Xavi respect’s Ronald Koeman’s place in Barcelona’s history, and he will not negotiate with the club with the Dutchman already in place.
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Paper Round’s view: Xavi has almost no coaching experience that merits a move to Barcelona, but Koeman did not either, really. The Catalan club appear to value links to the club more than they do demonstrable managerial ability. Having said that, Xavi was a remarkable player and through that he has earned more of a chance at Barcelona than many of his peers.
Everton ponder Aurier move
Serge Aurier left Spurs in the summer when he was released from his contract in North London, and the Mail reports that he could be a target for Premier League side Everton. The 28-year-old would be available for nothing and Rafael Benitez has seen James Rodriguez move to Qatar, freeing up £200,000-a-week in wages following the Colombian’s exit.
Paper Round’s view: Aurier was a reliable player for Spurs early on in his career in the Premier League but he appeared to lose his way a little. Benitez is a disciplined manager when it comes to the defensive side of the game, so either the defender will be reinvigorated by life under the Spaniard, or it will quickly become apparent that Aurier will not rediscover his form.
Barcelona target Lacazette
The Sun reports that Alexandre Lacazette is wanted byBarcelona and the Spanish side will compete with rivals Atletico Madrid for the 30-year-old French international’s signature. The striker has a year left on his contract and Barcelona know that they could move for him in the January transfer window and the player would be available relatively cheaply.
Paper Round’s view: Lacazette’s performance levels for Arsenal has dropped off each year and with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, there are two players who are on significant wages, but they are getting on in terms of age. Lacazette almost joined Atletico Madrid only to see his move cancelled due to a transfer embargo, and he may prefer to join Atletico as they are far better organised than Barcelona, if less disorganised.
Derby find six suitors
The Mirror reports that Derby County’s near-term future is unclear, as a 12-point deduction could be followed up with further punishments, which would make relegation almost certain. Mel Morris no longer supports the club financially, and administrators are looking for new owners. There are six parties that have already expressed interest in the club managed by Wayne Rooney.
Paper Round’s view: Derby’s huge losses and debts mean that there will be a difficult restructuring ahead, and there will be more player losses, wage cuts and other losses. However given the size of the club if they can keep fans coming back to watch, then perhaps they can come back up spending less money and taking fewer risks that depend on Premier League promotion
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