The Mirror reports that Manchester United are ready to shelve their interest in Borussia Dortmund forward Jadon Sancho. The German club want around £100 million but he would cost around double that with wages and agent fees, meaning that United are content to sit out the bidding when Sancho is not willing to force through a move by going on strike.
Paper Round’s view: Giving up on Sancho due to the exorbitant cost is perfectly reasonable, as is deciding to give up because he will not force his current club’s hands. What is not acceptable is waiting to come to his conclusion after three weeks of the same evidence - Ed Woodward should have some alternatives ready to go or he has once again been a fool.
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AC Milan beat Leeds to Ibrahimovic
Leeds United’s hopes of signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic seem unlikely to be rewarded, according to a story in the Sun newspaper. They believe that the 38-year-old Swedish striker is likely to extend his stay at AC Milan after his current deal ran out at the end of the season. Leeds may now have a chance to sign Edinson Cavani, whose move to Benfica has fallen through.
Paper Round’s view: Ibrahimovic is an exceptional force of will at times but there is no way he could fit in with Marcelo Bielsa - at least as a starting player. Cavani meanwhile is a more straightforward player and harder runner than the Swede, and could be a sensible option to at least bring off the bench or start for some of the games in a demanding season.
AC Milan may not just beat one Premier League team to a player this summer, but could upset Arsenal’s planning. Dani Ceballos is still expected to sign for Arsenal on a permanent deal from Real Madrid if they can find the cash, but the 24-year-old midfielder is attracting attention from Milan, who want to take advantage of Mikel Arteta’s side’s disarray.
Paper Round’s view: Freddie Ljungberg is the latest big name to head out of the Emirates Stadium and there is a sense that Arteta is gaining control of the club. That is only worth awarding if he can build on his success this summer. How he can manage that on a tight budget and losing the improving Ceballos is a puzzle, and one that is only getting harder to solve.
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Arsenal consider Thiago swoop
The Mail link Premier League side Arsenal with another midfielder, this time Bayern Munich’s Thiago Alcantara. Liverpool are unwilling to stretch to £23 million for the 29-year-old Brazilian on top of his wages, because he is available for nothing next summer. Arsenal would have to sell Mohamed Elneny and Lucas Torreira to have a chance of affording him.
Paper Round’s view: In any other season, Thiago would be a bargain and a host of European clubs would be chasing Jadon Sancho. It remains to be seen if it is a mistake from those clubs who are willing to take risks whether they will be rewarded or punished for their financial bravery. Few seem ready to take the plunge when the economic impacts are unclear but potentially devastating.