Paper Round: United make final offer for Griezmann
Manchester United will bid for Antoine Griezmann, Juventus want Maurizio Sarri, Frank Lampard may return to Chelsea and Arsenal are in talks for William Saliba.
United to make final Griezmann offer
The Sun believes that Manchesster United will make one more attempt to sign Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid. Barcelona are dragging their heels over a move and that means that Ed Woodward can move in with an offer of £95 million. There is also competition from Paris Saint-Germain, meaning United will have to hope that meeting the 28-year-old French international’s wage demands of £450,000 will have to be enough to compensate for their lack of Champions League football.
Paper Round’ view: Griezmann does appear to be set to join Barcelona, with Gil Martin of Atletico telling press that they have known since March that the transfer would go ahead, but there are so many reports about disquiet about Griezmann in the Barca transfer window that it is obviously worth retaining an interest. It would, however, make more sense for Griezmann to join PSG instead and remain in the Champions League.
Chelsea hold onto Sarri...
Chelsea are making life tough for Juventus, reports the Daily Mail, as they refuse to let Maurizio Sarri leave for nothing. The Italian has two years left on his current contract, but wants to leave to join the current Serie A champions. However, Chelsea are refusing to give him up without compensation, and are in no mood to roll over.
Paper Round’ view: Juventus want to appoint Sarri for nothing, but there is no reason to expect that to happen. Sarri has done well enough at Chelsea for it to be no disaster if he stays, but more importantly, Juventus are one of the richest clubs in the world . If they want to take a manager from another club then - no matter how convenient it might be for all parties - they logically should pay up.
... As Lampard lined up as replacement
The Telegraph carries a story that suggests that when the situation with Sarri is finally resolved then Chelsea will turn to Frank Lampard to be his replacement. Lampard has done an impressive job with Derby County this season, but there may not be the funds to convince him to stay in the Championship. Practical alternatives to Lampard are Wolves’ Nuno and Laurent Blanc, the former France manager.
Paper Round’ view: Lampard would fit in at Chelsea given his experience there, and would get the fans onside quickly. With a transfer bid looming, another advantage is that the former Chelsea midfielder does not have the clout to turn down the job and wait for another chance to apply for the job. That is probably the case for Blanc too, who has now been out of work for several years.
Arsenal in talks with Saliba
The Express believes that Arsenal are in advanced talks for St Etienne central defender William Saliba. There is a problem, though: the 18-year-old player is rated at £26 million, and his club would like to keep him on loan for a further season. If a move went through on those terms, then Unai Emery would have to wait another year for a player, and have just £14 million left for the rest of his transfer window.
William Saliba of Saint Etienne during the Ligue 1 match between Monaco and Saint Etienne at Louis II Stadium on May 5, 2019 in Monaco, MonacoGetty Images
Paper Round’ view: Stan Kroenke’s approach to transfers at Arsenal does seem excessively parsimonious. While they have missed out on the Champions League for another season, they remaining richer than mid-table clubs who will nonetheless outspend them. Emery has a difficult job shifting the deadwood inherited from Arsene Wenger, but he is being unreasonably handicapped as he does so.