Manchester City favourite for Messi

Manchester City are the likely destination for Lionel Messi if he leaves Barcelona, reports Spanish newspaper Marca. The 33-year-old striker would be tempted by Paris Saint-Germain but they would find it hard to afford his wages, while Newell’s Old Boys, Inter Milan and Manchester United are far from offering Messi competitive football. That leaves Manchester City at the head of the pack.
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Paper Round’s view: Messi’s financial demands could dwarf any wage paid to a footballer elsewhere, and given Manchester City have a nation’s wealth, and its bank accounts, to aggressively take on the Financial Fair Play regulations, then it is obvious how they could afford him in ways that some other clubs would struggle with. A reunification with Pep Guardiola feels inevitable.
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Klopp unsure over transfer budget

The Daily Mail reports that Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is unsure of his club’s transfer budget, given the impact of the coronavirus. Thiago Alcantara will cost around £29 million should he join from Bayern Munich but the manager said: 'Now, in corona times, you have to think five times before making a transfer because nobody knows what will happen after corona.'
Paper Round’s view: Liverpool were fortunate to front-load their spending by bringing in Virgil van Dijk and Alisson, and with their youngsters coming through they might be able to avoid heavy spending this summer until they are in a stronger position in the winter or the following summer. All this does leave Chelsea looking far stronger in the market than anyone bar Manchester City.
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Maitland-Niles focuses on Community Shield despite Wolves bid

Ainsley Maitland-Niles will remain focused on the Community Shield as Arsenal prepare to face Liverpool this weekend. The 22-year-old midfielder was the subject of a £15 million bid from Wolves, and the Mirror believe that Nuno Espirito Santo’s side will be back with another offer as Arsenal hold out for closer to £20 million in order to raise funds for their own transfers.
Paper Round’s view: Maitland-Niles has plenty of potential and has done well in the Premier League to some extent. Now is the time for him to prove himself with more regular time on the pitch. He can’t get that under Mikel Arteta so a move to Wolves would give him the opportunity to establish himself in a single position rather than be used as a utility player.
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Leeds linked with triple signing

The Sun reports on three potential transfers for Leeds United. First up is Calum Chambers, who will step in after Brighton look set to keep hold of Ben White, and he may cost £12 million. He could also be joined by Arsenal colleague Rob Holding, and there is also a suggestion that Valencia striker Rodrigo could move for £35 million, which would be a record signing.
Paper Round’s view: Chambers has failed to make a mark at 25, and Holding has done little more at a year younger. Neither of them are dreadful but Marcelo Bielsa will need all of his coaching aptitude to turn them into consistent performers. Rodrigo has been effective at Valencia and now is a decent time to take advantage of that club’s financial problems.
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