Barcelona target triple Chelsea swoop
Spanish newspaper Marca reports that Barcelona are planning three signings from Chelsea without breaking the bank. Both defenders Cesar Azpilicueta and Antonio Rudiger are wanted on free transfers at the end of the season, while there is also a plan to sign Christian Pulisic on loan in January, because there is no cash for a permanent deal.
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Paper Round’s view: Pulisic’s injury problems mean that Barcelona may be able to swoop in for an unsettled player and convince him to sign for them in the longer term when the summer comes around. As well as that, signing two of his current teammates to reinforce their defence might persuade him that the move to Spain would not be too difficult.
Aubameyang could replace Aguero
The Mirror believes that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could have a ready-made exit from Arsenal when the transfer window re-opens in January. Barcelona striker Sergio Aguero is set to leave after suffering heart problems, and with Aubameyang now dropped from the first team at Arsenal, only his £350,000 a week wages may be an obstacle.
Paper Round’s view: Arsenal presumably do not want to be stuck paying such a huge sum of money to a player who has outstayed his welcome, and Aubameyang must want somewhere else to play if he has breached the rules more than once at Arsenal recently. There is probably a compromise financial deal to leave all three parties content.
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City and United may battle for Ten Hag
Manchester United have reportedly clocked Ajax boss Erik ten Hag as a potential replacement for Ralf Rangnick this summer, but The Sun claims that City could also be interested. Ten Hag is joining the same agency as Pep Guardiola’s brother, Pere Guardiola, and the Spaniard has hinted that this might be his last season at the Etihad.
Paper Round’s view: The business dealings with Pere and Pep, such as the joint ownership of Girona, suggest there is a deep relationship between the three and there could be a constructive strategy for the longer term. Tapping up Ten Hag to replace Guardiola if they know that he is on his way would help smooth the transition.
Rangnick not desperate to keep Pogba or Martial
Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick is far from worried about the futures of Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial, reports the Mail. The interim manager spoke of the future of the French pair, both of whom reportedly want to leave, and said: “I wouldn't say [Pogba is] not worth keeping but, of course, players have to want to play and stay for a club and a big club like Manchester United. If a player does not want to play for a club like Manchester United medium or long-term, I don't think it makes sense to convince him to change his mind."
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Paper Round’s view: This kind of attitude would have been useful at the club a couple of seasons ago when the club refused to entertain the sale of Pogba when it was clear he was not going to produce his best stuff for the club, and also when Joel Glazer reportedly made sure that Martial was not sold. Neither player has been good enough since.
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