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Paper Round: Manchester City target Jorginho and Riyad Mahrez

Paper Round: City target Jorginho and Mahrez

22/04/2018 at 08:06Updated 22/04/2018 at 09:48

Manchester City want four midfielders, Manchester United battle for Clement Lenglet, Mauricio Pochettino sees an end at Spurs and PSG want Arsene Wenger.

City want four midfielders

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola could bring in four midfielders this summer. The first target they could land is Napoli's Jorginho, whose agent visited the North West recently, and is leaning towards joining Manchester City instead of Manchester United, who will be replacing Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini. They won't stop there, though, with Thiago at Bayern Munich, Fred at Shakhtar Donetsk, and Riyad Mahrez of Leicester City all on their list to bring in.

Italy's midfielder Jorginho (R) vies with England's midfielder Jesse Lingard

Italy's midfielder Jorginho (R) vies with England's midfielder Jesse LingardGetty Images

Paper Round's view: City can afford almost anything because they are backed by a wealthy nation who want to use City to make their country look respectable despite human rights abuses. As such, they won't be happy just finishing in the top four, but want to dominate Europe, too. With Fernandinho leaving, they need one replacement, and Jorginho would be an upgrade on the unreliable if unfortunate Ilkay Gundogan. Stopping United, their closest domestic challengers, getting their hands on a target would be no bad thing, either.

United battle Barcelona for Lenglet

Manchester United could face a rival not just for Fred and Jorginho, but also for defensive target Clement Lenglet. The 22-year-old French centre-back joined Sevilla from Nancy in 2017, and earned Mourinho's respect as the Spanish team defeated United in the Champions League this season. He's rated at £20m, and that price has attracted Spanish side Barcelona. United might be forced into upping their bid in order to secure the signature of the France Under-21 player.

Clément Lenglet

Clément LengletGetty Images

Paper Round's view: As they have done with Alexis Sanchez, United can push even the richest clubs to their limits when it comes to specific players. Lenglet would almost certainly prefer the chance to stay in Spain, and a move to Barcelona would represent the chance to join perhaps the biggest side in the world. However, United are hardly a small team themselves, and could offer more first-team football and a higher salary at the same time.

Pochettino hints at Spurs exit

After the disappointing defeat to Manchester United on Saturday in the FA Cup semi-final, Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino has hinted that he could move on from the side without winning a title. He said: "to create that [success] doesn’t take a few years, Tottenham needs more time - with me or another [manager]." Spurs had led the match before falling behind to goals from Alexis Sanchez and Ander Herrera.

Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio PochettinoGetty Images

Paper Round's view: It's not a certain declaration that he is heading for the exit door, but that admission is a shift in tone from Pochettino. He is usually bullish on his position at the club, but it seems he is acknowledging that his time at the club is nearer to the end than the beginning. That's not a huge surprise, as Pochettino will have been at Spurs for four years in the summer. It is natural to think that bringing the club to another level might be a task for someone ese.

Wenger set for PSG role?

Arsenal are considering who to replace Arsene Wenger with after it was announced he would be stepping down at the end of the season. Wenger was forced to resign after the board decided to look elsewhere for next season, meaning he is not yet set on retirement. Paris Saint-Germain will offer him the chance to stay in the game, but not as manager. With Thomas Tuchel on his way, the French team want him to join as president, using his contacts and experience to aid the club at a higher level.

Arsene Wenger

Arsene WengerGetty Images

Paper Round's view: Wenger is perhaps unique in football as a manager who is experienced at board level, and with knowledge of economics and finance too. When he started to lose his relevance in football he could have made the jump earlier, but it makes sense that he stays in the game in a way where a lack of cutting edge on the pitch doesn't matter. He could happily oversee an improvement of PSG's youth set up, or take charge of a scouting system across the world looking for talented young players.

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