Paper Round: United to make Pogba captain to keep him at Old Trafford
Manchester United will make Paul Pogba captain and sign Christian Eriksen, Arsenal will sign Toby Alderweireld, while Mauro Icardi will depart Inter Milan.
United to give Pogba captaincy
Manchester United are willing to give Paul Pogba the captaincy to keep him at the club, according to the Mirror. In order to keep him out of the clutches of Real Madrid, he will be given the armband after Antonio Valencia leaves in the summer when his contract runs out. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Pogba have enjoyed positive talks about his future, and the Norwegian hopes that changing his role at the club will keep him focused.
Paul Pogba of Manchester United celebrates as he scores his team's first goal from the penalty spot during the Premier League match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford on April 13, 2019 in Manchester, United KingdomGetty Images
Paper Round's view: Pogba showed against West Ham why he should be sold. He had the calm attitude to fire home two penalties and win the game, but otherwise he was as sloppy as he usually is. He can't keep the ball and he can't keep his mind on the game, either through inability or through lack of volition. United should not be making him captain, they should be biting the hands off Real, Barcelona, Juventus, or anyone willing to make an offer.
Eriksen could quit Spurs for United
One player who might be able to replace Pogba is Christian Eriksen, who the Mirror claim is a top target for Manchester United. If Eriksen were to join, and he is just two months away from entering the last year of his contract, then he would be able to triple his current £80,000-a-week wages. Pogba and Eden Hazard are priorities for Real Madrid, meaning Eriksen might miss out on his favoured move, giving United an advantage in signing the 27-year-old Denmark international.
Paper Round's view: The paper says that even if Eriksen was allowed to leave and with just one year of his contract left, he would still cost £95 million. There is no doubting Eriksen's talent, but he does not offer the pace that United want. He could be a replacement for Pogba should he leave, but otherwise Jadon Sancho fits the bill better for what Solskjaer appears to want out of his front three.
Arsenal enter race for Alderweireld
Arsenal could recreate the bitter atmosphere of the Sol Campbell transfer when they approach Toby Alderweireld in the summer. The Sun believes that Unai Emery, operating on a budget, could be interested in bringing the 30-year-old Belgium international to the Emirates for a cost of just £25 million. The paper says that Manchester Untied, Manchester City and Chelsea could all be rivals for his signature.
Toby AlderweireldGetty Images
Paper Round's view: Alderweireld has been off his game this season after problems with an injury, so he is not the sure thing he once was. But for £25 million they would get one of the best central defenders in the Premier League, as long as they did not count on him to be available for every game of the next few years.
Icardi to quit Inter
Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi is set to leave Inter Milan in the summer, according to Spanish newspaper AS. The 26-year-old striker has been stripped of the captaincy and the breakdown in relations between the club and player mean he could be available for as little as £60 million, with a contract that runs to 2021 unlikely to be extended. Real Madrid are his preferred destination, but they don't want him, making Juventus and Mancheter United the likeliest suitors.
Paper Round's view: For all his reputation, Icardi has in fact created little trouble at Inter despite living much of his personal life in the public. No other clubs seem to have been put off by that, and that is likely due to his brilliance on the football pitch. Both Juventus and United would be instantly improved by bringing in Icardi, especially if he really is available at a bargain price.