Paper Talk: Sancho breakthrough, World Cup winners to United, and James Rodriguez at Everton
10/09/2020: Our take on three of the biggest football stories that everyone's talking about right now.
DISCUSSION: These are football's biggest stories right now.
Agents fees agreed for Sancho
PATIENCE: Manchester United have until October 5th to try and tie up the Sancho deal.
Manchester United have been handed encouragement in their attempts to sign Jadon Sancho in this transfer window as negotiations with Borussia Dortmund over a fee for the England forward continue. As reported in the Guardian at the start of August, Sancho has agreed personal terms with United and is keen on a move to Old Trafford, with the 20-year-old expected to earn around £250,000 a week. Potential agent fees have now also been agreed but a major stumbling block remains the structure of the deal, with Dortmund still insisting they want €120m (£108m).
Ed Aarons and Fabrizio Romano
Never had a problem with personal terms, he'd love to join United. It's up to the club, €120 million to Dortmund or nothing
This is a breakthrough that Manchester United fans have been pining for, but it's still not job done. Agents fees is a stumbling block that often holds up a transfer, so to get them sorted is a big step forward. It means nothing however if the two teams can't agree on a transfer fee. United are clearly reluctant to pay the big bucks for Jadon Sancho, but they seemed unwilling to fork out for Harry Maguire last summer. They also waited a very long time before finding a deal with Sporting Lisbon for Bruno Fernandes.
Verdict: Expect this one to rumble on, but eventually United will put their hand in their pocket.
Tobin Heath and Christen Press: Manchester United sign World Cup-winning United States international duo
ELITE: Christen Press and Tobin Heath were both part of the 2019 World Cup winning squad for the USA.
Manchester United have completed the signing of World Cup-winning United States international duo Tobin Heath and Christen Press. In a major coup for the Women's Super League club, Heath and Press have agreed one-year contracts and will join from Portland Thorns and Utah Royals respectively, subject to obtaining work permits. The pair have made a combined 306 appearances for the USWNT and were both members of the 2015 and 2019 World Cup-winning squads. Casey Stoney, the United manager, said: “We are all excited to have Tobin join the club. She is an outstanding player who brings a wealth of experience to the squad."
Christen is a world-class player and we are thrilled to have her on board at the club. She has a proven record and her stats speak for themselves.
This is yet another transfer story that suggests the Women's Super League is becoming the best league in the world. Tobin Heath and Christen Press are following the footsteps of their international teammates Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis who both joined Manchester City earlier this summer. In regard to Manchester United's season, these signings suggest they're really going for the title. An opening day 1-1 draw with current champions Chelsea suggests they can mix with the top teams.
Verdict: Expect more of the women's games elite players to come to the WSL soon.
How will James Rodriguez fair at Everton?
DANCER: James Rodriguez was the 7th most creative player in the Bundesliga during his time at Bayern Munich.
Rodriguez's role will be to add creativity and goals to Everton as Ancelotti rebuilds the front end of the team and injects fresh impetus into a midfield that simply was not fit for purpose last season, offering little support in attack and meager protection in defence. The Colombian is likely to play just behind Everton's strike pair of Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, adding potency and unpredictability to one area of the team that is a strength. In the wider context, it is an interesting deal because it suggests Ancelotti is wielding great power over transfer dealings, demanding his own men. Everton director of football Marcel Brands favours younger signings who can improve and increase in value - but the arrival of Rodriguez suggests he and the club accept the need to accede to Ancelotti's wish for experienced players for the here and now.
Everton's deal for Rodriguez is a significant moment not merely because of the global profile he will afford the Merseysiders but because it illustrates the pulling power and influence of Ancelotti.
James Rodriguez is a real statement signing from Everton. A player routinely linked to the likes of Manchester United and Bayern Munich could help Everton finally break back into those European places. Everton have got two very talented strikers in Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, but there has been no creative spark behind them for a couple of seasons now. Players like Gylfi Sigurdsson and Bernard have under-performed, but James could breathe new life into the Toffees attack. With the rigidity of fellow new midfield signings Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure behind him, James could be given total creative freedom by Ancelotti. Bare in mind, James' Real Madrid form only declined once Ancelotti had left the club.
Verdict: He may need time to settle, but expect a much more potent Everton side this season.
Will United get Sancho over the line? Is the WSL already the best league in the world? Will Everton break into the top six?