A big week for Nwaneri
Arsenal’s record-breaking teenager Ethan Nwaneri is set to be the subject of a battle between agents and national teams. The Mirror report that the 15-year-old, who made his senior debut against Brentford on Sunday, has sparked a “huge scramble among agents” who are looking to represent the youngster. Additionally, there are reports that Nigeria are ready to attempt to lure Nwaneri to represent the Super Eagles, despite the fact that he currently plays for England’s under-16 side. Arsenal are hoping to sign Nwaneri down to a long-term contract when he is eligible to sign a senior deal.
Liverpool face fierce competition for €150m-rated Bellingham – Paper Round
Paper Round’s view: What a week for Ethan Nwaneri. His senior debut in the Premier League – at just 15 years and 181 days – has had a huge impact on football. Nwaneri now has multiple national teams trying to win his allegiance, while a host of football agents are trying to win the battle to represent him. The Arsenal teenager needs to stay grounded throughout this period and just keep his faith in the people who he trusts around him. Arsenal should help keep him out of the limelight off the field and do their best to protect him while he is still finding his feet.
Could Conte return to Juventus?
Juventus could attempt launch an ambitious move to lure Antonio Conte back to Turin to help save their season. Massimiliano Allegri is under pressure after an underwhelming start to the season in Serie A and the Champions League. The Star report that Juventus are targeting former boss Conte in a bid to get their campaign back on track. The 53-year-old is currently coaching at Tottenham Hotspur, who are unbeaten in the Premier League, but the report states that Conte could be “open to returning to Juventus”.
Paper Round’s view: This would be a complete disaster for Tottenham. The north London club have enjoyed a very promising start to the season. They might not be playing their best, but they are grinding out results and are unbeaten in the league. It would be shocking if Conte decided to leave Spurs mid-season to return to Juventus… but stranger things have happened in the past. Conte departed Inter Milan immediately after winning the league title with them back in 2021 – but leaving mid-season would be an odd choice. Surely it won’t happen.
Poch not interested in Nice
Mauricio Pochettino will reject any approach from Nice as the French club edge closer to sacking Lucien Favre. The Ligue 1 side have just two wins from their opening eight matches of the season and have identified Pochettino as a top managerial target. However, the Standard report that the 50-year-old has no interest in coaching in France following on from his disastrous spell at Paris Saint-Germain. The report states that Pochettino will attempt to return to management in the Premier League, La Liga or Serie A.
Paper Round’s view: Ligue 1 is a tough league for a highly-rated coach like Pochettino. He returned to Paris to manage a club where he spent over two years a player and it did not go well. The problem with PSG is that if you don’t win the Champions League, it’s a failure. Every other club in Ligue 1 aren’t bankrolled like PSG either. Pochettino will have one eye on the situation brewing at Juventus. Massimiliano Allegri is under intense pressure after a disappointing start and the Argentine could swoop in to help salvage Juve’s campaign.
Revealed: Man Utd’s jaw-dropping wage bill
Manchester United’s wage bill for last season has been revealed to be the highest in the history of the English top-flight. The Red Devils spent a whopping £384 million on player salaries in the 2021-22 campaign despite a disappointing sixth-placed finish in the Premier League. The club have cited the signings of Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane as the main factors behind the increase in wages. The second-highest wage bill belonged to United’s local rivals Manchester City, who spent £350 million.
Paper Round’s view: Manchester United had a very underwhelming campaign last season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was replaced by Ralf Rangnick on an interim basis, before the club decided to go with Erik ten Hag in the summer. There was plenty of promise around the return of Ronaldo, while Sancho and Varane were supposed to bring world-class qualities to the improving squad. Instead…