Liverpool to launch bid for Pastore: Liverpool will launch a January bid for PSG’s Javier Pastore, according to the Metro. Pastore was PSG’s first big signing of the Qatar Investment Authority era when he arrived from Palermo in 2011, but has largely disappointed. The 24-year-old was heavily linked with a move away last summer but elected to stay to fight for his place. However, after a difficult start to the season, Pastore’s agent has intimated the Argentine is unhappy in Ligue 1 and may leave. The Argentine moved to PSG in a deal that was worth north of £30 million but the Metro reports that around £17 million would be enough to persuade PSG to part with Pastore.
Paper round’s view: Given his billing before he arrived, the former Palermo man has struggled in the French capital. Therefore a move – whether it be in January or over the summer – would not be a huge surprise. However, whether Liverpool are capable of attracting a player of his calibre remains open to question, particularly considering their travails with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Willian. Having said that, the almost guaranteed first team football at Anfield could prove attractive.
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Everton prepare January swoop for Guardado: Roberto Martinez is set to continue the reshaping of his Everton squad with the capture of Valencia’s Andres Guardado, according to the Star. Having already secured the signings of James McCarthy, Romelu Lukaku and Gareth Barry, Martinez looks set to continue the rebuilding with the capture of the Mexican left winger for a fee in the region of £6-7 million.
Paper round’s view: Having sold Marouane Fellaini for £27.5 million to Manchester United, Everton still have money to spend, so expect them to dip into those coffers come the January transfer window as they look to sustain a challenge for Europe. The league is, arguably, as open as it has ever been so expect clubs of Everton’s standing to spend as they look to take the opportunity to break into the top four.
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United to finally land Garay: Manchester United will finally land Ezequiel Garay in January, according to the Metro. Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera and the Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala are also targets, but Benfica centre-back Garay is the former Everton manager David Moyes's top target. United value the Argentine at £15 million but Benfica will hold out for a further five.
Paper round’s view: In the derby defeat against City last weekend United looked uncharacteristically shaky at the back which has hastened the need for reinforcement there. While Phil Jones and Chris Smalling had been billed as long term replacements for Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand, neither have progressed as expected. Jones’s development has been curtailed by injury while Smalling is not looking as assured as he once did. A move for a defender looks likely but whether the Woodward-Moyes axis gets it done is another matter, particularly considering that the clubs are £5 million apart in terms of valuation. Also, many feel a midfielder should be a priority.
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Reina to never play for Liverpool again: Pepe Reina has resigned himself to the fact that he will never play for Liverpool again, according to the Daily Mail. In an exclusive, the paper runs quotes where the Spanish international says that it was a surprise to be sent on loan and that it was a club decision. The fact that Brendan Rodgers “prefers” the younger Simon Mingolet means that he is unlikely to ever return to the club, adds the former Villarreal stopper.
Paper round’s view: Having seen an expected move to Barcelona fall through after Victor Valdes elected to see out the final year of his contract at Barcelona, Reina was shipped out on loan to Napoli after Liverpool signed a replacement in the shape of Simon Mingolet. Liverpool had planned for life without the stopper after he apparently informed the club of his desire to return to the club where he began his career. Whether the move to Barcelona will ever materialise remains to be seen but it looks as though Liverpool have moved on.
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Sunderland hold talks with Meulensteen: Sunderland owner Ellis Short has spoken to former Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen about replacing Paolo Di Canio, according to the Telegraph. Meulensteen, who briefly coached Anzhi Makhachkala this season, is seen as an alternative to preferred choice Gus Poyet.
Paper round’s view: While Poyet remains the bookies favourite, Meulensteen would be a very good choice. The reason, the player turnover at the Stadium of Light. Meulensteen is an exceptional coach able to generate the best out of a bloated squad that saw 14 players arrive over the summer. Both Poyet and Meulensteen fall under the banner of head coach rather than manager but Poyet’s experience of having been solely in charge of a club – albeit in the lower leagues – in England will see him most likely get the nod.