Manchester City start life under Guardiola with Aymeric Laporte deal

The Times thinks that Pep Guardiola's first signing for Manchester City could be Athletic Bilbao central defender Aymeric Laporte. Laporte is one of many promising French central defenders, but will miss Euro 2016 because of a broken leg sustained recently. According to the story, Guardiola prefers Laporte, and to wait for his recovery, than to sign Everton's John Stones. City have told Athletic that they will meet the £39 million release clause in his contract.

Aymeric Laporte (l., gegen Lionel Messi) von Athletic Bilbao

Image credit: AFP

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Paper Round's view: Laporte is one of the best available central defenders, who has long been linked with clubs like Manchester United, Chelsea and Barcelona, so it is no surprise that Guardiola would like to bring him to the Etihad. While Manchester City's defence is obviously in urgent need of some additions, there's enough money at the club, and enough defenders there already to give Laporte the time needed to recover. Guardiola, after all, has almost certainly got three years to build his perfect side, so there is no need to sign another player if Guardiola feels he can get his preferred target.
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John Terry to celebrate denying Spurs the title with a new contract?

Terry returned from an achilles injury to spoil Spurs' chance of staying in the title race against Leicester, and there was a renewed vigour to their display to come back from 2-0 down to an impressive Spurs side. With Kurt Zouma out with a serious injury and Gary Cahill in a serious slump of form, the Mail wonders if Chelsea might decide to keep him on for another year.

Guus Hiddink and John Terry

Image credit: Reuters

Paper Round's view: Terry has a great deal of influence at the club. At times that has meant that serious transgressions have been treated relatively lightly when other players might have been turfed out. Chelsea might one to retain him for another season because of the lack of options they currently have in central defence, but the greater good is probably served by getting rid of him in these relatively muted circumstances, to give new manager Antonio Conte the best chance of establishing his own authority.
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World class striker Giroud to be sold to Wolfsburg

The Daily Mirror have suggested that Olivier Giroud might have what it takes to replace Nicklas Bendtner at Wolfsburg. Bendtner had his contract terminated by Wolfsburg earlier this year after failing to impress, and Giroud has been increasingly sidelined at Arsenal. While he has made plenty of appearances, his vital misses have seen Danny Welbeck, Alex Iwobi and Alexis Sanchez appear better options in attack.

Olivier Giroud sur le banc d'Arsenal - 2016

Image credit: AFP

Paper Round's view: Arsenal should take the money if it's offered. Giroud is a perfectly acceptable back-up striker to have in the Premier League, but he is evidently not, and never has been, of a sufficient calibre to win the title as the main man. Recently Arsenal have been linked with Robert Lewandowski at Bayern Munich, and he would be a huge step up. Youngsters like Iwobi and Joel Campbell, as well as Welbeck, could fill out the squad.
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Jose Mourinho to decide on Manchester United this week

According to the Telegraph, Jose Mourinho is running through the finer details of Old Trafford before he takes the job. He wants to know if they will provide him the right tools to succeed. He wants to take over at the end of the season so that he can properly organise pre-season and signing new players. There is no great concern over salary demands.

Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has admitted the Blues players let down former boss Jose Mourinho, pictured

Image credit: PA Sport

Paper Round's view: It does seem that Louis van Gaal is resigned to losing his job at the end of the season, with only the FA Cup extending his time beyond the league campaign. With there seemingly no other serious candidates for the job, now that Laurent Blanc appears to be staying at PSG for at least another season, it makes sense that the situation appears to be nearing an end, and few would expect Mourinho to be anything other than exacting about details.
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