Arsenal target Willian, Partey, Gabriel and Dani Ceballos
Chelsea winger Willian is close to a free transfer to fellow Premier League side Arsenal, according to the Sun. The 31-year-old Brazilian wanted a two-year deal but has been offered three by Mikel Arteta, with wages rumoured to be worth around £100,000 a week. He also is said to have turned down an offer from Inter Miami in MLS. Thomas Partey, Gabriel Magalhaes and Dani Ceballos are also set to join in a £100 million spree.
Paper Round’s view: Three years does seem an absolutely baffling deal for Arsenal. They are a side who have a reputation for promoting youth players and for all Willian’s qualities, it is hard to see how he won’t be standing in the way of younger options in two years, while on a contract that few other clubs would be willing to match when he is 33.
Manchester City make opening bid for Kalidou Koulibaly, agent working on deal – Euro Papers
Players face 12-game bans for racist messages
The Telegraph reports that a new set of rules could see players banned for 12 games if they like or share racist social media messages, and if they send private racist messages. The Football Association is issuing new guidelines to players after the Black Lives Matter movement strengthened this spring.
Paper Round’s view: There should be zero tolerance on messages sent by players if they are racist, and 12 games is a four-game increase on the previous guidelines. Football appears to have handled the BLM movement as well as most sports, but there is of course a way to go until affected athletes will feel they are properly supported.
Ferdinand wants Bale to speak out
Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has given his view on Wales and Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale, report the Daily Mail. The 31-year-old player did not travel to Manchester for his side’s Champions League tie, and Ferdinand said: “He's got to come out and give his point and either cut ties with Real Madrid or at least goal on loan, make a deal happen somewhere.”
Paper Round’s view: Bale was on the cusp of a huge move to China before Real Madrid reportedly cancelled the deal after it was already set up. If that’s true, perhaps Bale is tired of being ignored by the club despite his talent, and he is taking a stand on his treatment. In terms of his career, he has already won everything, perhaps that is enough for him for now.
United decide to keep all youngsters
The Mirror report that Manchester United have decided against releasing any players under the age of 19. United have decided that due to the emotional impact of coronavirus they will keep all their young players in order to serve their duty of care. United’s under-23 side were promoted to the top division this season.
Paper Round’s view: Being released as a youngster can have a brutal impact, and with coronavirus hammering the budgets of almost every company and football club, it could be a devastating time to be a footballer without a club. There is often plenty to criticise about United but they have taken a number of praiseworthy positions over the course of the pandemic.