Paper Round: Manchester City to offer Alexis Sanchez £400k a week
Manchester City will offer Alexis Sanchez £400,000 a week, Arsenal and Manchester United want Julian Draxler, Atletico Madrid offer £50m for Diego Costa, and Barcelona may need to pay £140m for Philippe Coutinho. It's Sunday's Paper Round.
City to offer Sanchez £400k a week
Manchester City are preparing a huge offer for Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez. Pep Guardiola wants to bring the 28-year-old Chilean forward to the Etihad Stadium, and will combine his huge contract offer with a £50m bid to Arsenal. In addition to that, City will offer Sanchez help with finding the best rental accommodation in and around Manchester, and also assist should he choose to buy in the area.
Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal looks on from the benchGetty Images
Paper Round's view: It is no doubt a tempting offer for Sanchez, who is earning less than £400,000 a week at Arsenal, and it offers the chance to win more league and European titles after a disappointing time in London. However, the biggest sticking point won't be Sanchez, but his club. £50m is a cut-price offer for one of the best players in the league, and it does not make sense that Arsenal accept it when they have the biggest cash reserves of any club. A bigger offer may be necessary.
Arsenal and United battle for Draxler
Paris Saint-Germain might only have signed Julian Draxler in January, but they are already prepared to let him leave. The French side want just £32m for a player who cost £40m from Wolfsburg at the turn of the year. Arsenal have a longstanding interest in Draxler, who can play on the wings or through the middle, and Jose Mourinho may consider a move having failed to add the more expensive Ivan Perisic and Thomas Lemar to his squad.
Julian Draxler von Paris Saint-GermainGetty Images
Paper Round's view: At 23, the German international is an attractive prospect for most European clubs. PSG's need to raise cash after buying Neymar means that United and Arsenal could get him on the cheap, and not because the player has underperformed. This is the kind of signing that should be common sense in a transfer market that has taken leave of its senses - but there is no guarantee anyone will be practical enough to take advantage.
Atletico offer £50m for Costa
Atletio Madrid are preparing a bid of £41m plus £9m in add-ons for Chelsea striker Diego Costa. The 28-year-old Spain striker is in Brazil and refusing to return to training with Chelsea's reserve side. Chelsea are holding out for £60m, but the Spanish team are hoping to negotiate a lower fee in the coming weeks. Real Betis and Deportivo La Coruna have offered to take the player on a short-term loan but he has so far refused.
Paper Round's view: £50m for a player who is headstrong enough to simply go on strike seems a reasonable fee. With the season underway and Antonio Conte desperate for more signings, it seems like a wise move to take a substantial fee to redeploy on players who do actually want to play for Chelsea.
Barcelona prepare new Coutinho bid
Barcelona failed with a £119m bid for Philippe Coutinho, but are preparing a new offer of £130m to prise the 25-year-old Brazilian away from Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp and FSG have been steadfast in their refusal to negotiate a transfer, but it is believed a fee of £140m would be enough to convince them to sell. Barcelona's recent offer failed partially because £80m would be spread over five years, with the rest of the fee also dependent on performance clauses being met by the player.
Paper Round's view: Liverpool are right to refuse any offers. They wish to keep Coutinho, so at the very least they can keep Barcelona waiting until the last minute on the assumption they can accept any offer should it exceed their valuation. They know Barcelona have £200m and need to assuage their fans, and Coutinho signed a five-year contract only last season, so the Merseyside club are in control of the situation.