Barca anticipate Messi exit
The Telegraph reports that Barcelona believe Lionel Messi will leave for Manchester City. The 33-year-old forward has told the club that he wishes to leave and those at the Spanish club are expecting to start the season without him. They are reportedly keen on Lautaro Martinez, the Inter Milan striker, as a potential replacement.
Paper Round’s view: Martinez had been linked with Barcelona before the impact of coronavirus, but it is difficult to see how such a move could be pulled off. Manchester City clearly have the money to buy who they want, but Martinez would cost around £100 million and there is no guarantee that Barcelona could get together any money for transfers this summer.
Messi wants Man City switch – Euro Papers
United keen on double signing
The Daily Mail suggests that Manchester United, meanwhile, are lining up a double signing. They are continuing talks with Aston Villa for 24-year-old playmaker Jack Grealish, and are also in for Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek, who had been attracting attention from Spanish clubs Barcelona and Real Madrid, while Chris Smalling returns to the club.
Paper Round’s view: Smalling has proven himself unable to put in the required performances needed at the top end of the Premier League, so needs to be sold to raise funds. Van de Beek and Grealish would both improve United’s squad and look to be available for transfer, and would be a worthwhile pair to bring in if Jadon Sancho is too expensive for Ed Woodward.
Everton keen on Romero
Another transfer on the cards at Manchester United is the exit of back-up keeper Sergio Romero. The Argentina international is down the pecking order under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after Dean Henderson signed a new contract, and Carlo Ancelotti wants to bring in Romero to challenge the error-prone Jordan Pickford, according to the Mirror.
Paper Round’s view: Pickford’s place as England’s number one is under pressure after the emergence of Henderson at Sheffield United, and the good performances of Nick Pope at Burnley last season. Romero has never shown quite enough to displace David de Gea but he is a consistent performer, which could at least get Pickford to focus on his own efforts.
Depay would consider Barca switch
Lyon’s Memphis Depay would consider a move to Barcelona, who are now managed by his former Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman. The 26-year-old forward said: "I can dream about big clubs, we will see what will happen but for now I'm here." Spanish newspaper Marca believes he would entertain a move away from Lyon.
Paper Round’s view: Depay’s move to Manchester United came too early for him, but at Lyon he has grown into both his confidence and his ability. Barcelona might be too much for him this time around, too, but with the support of Koeman he might be a better option than the ageing Luis Suarez, who has been told he can leave the club by their new manager.