Changes are needed at Old Trafford
Manchester United are desperate to bounce back from a disappointing season and interim manager Ralf Rangnick admitted that the club will target “six or eight new players” in the summer transfer window. Rangnick is going to stick with the Red Devils in a consultancy role, while Ajax boss Erik ten Hag takes charge. The Sun report that Ajax duo Sebastien Haller and Antony could follow their current coach to Old Trafford. The report also reveals that United’s transfer shortlist includes Declan Rice, Christopher Nkunku, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Frenkie de Jong.
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Paper Round’s view: Changes are needed at Manchester United this summer. Their recruitment over the past 10 years or so just has not worked. There are some very decent players in there, but a full squad refresh – similar to what Mikel Arteta is doing at Arsenal – is basically what needs to happen. It’s more about the personalities not gelling and the underperformers needing a new start elsewhere. The club need to start buying smart. Sign players who will fit Ten Hag’s system and playing style – then the results will come.
Raphinha ready to push for Barca move
Raphinha is planning to “force” a summer transfer to Barcelona, according to the Star. The Brazilian is reportedly wanted by the Catalan club as they continue to rebuild in the post-Lionel Messi era. Raphinha has continued to impress for Leeds United, despite their struggles in the Premier League and will demand to leave – even if the Yorkshire club manage to avoid relegation. Leeds currently sit in 18th place and are in the relegation zone after a disappointing defeat at Arsenal on Sunday.
Paper Round’s view: It’s not the best time for these stories to be coming out of the Leeds camp. Raphinha has been electric at times since moving to Elland Road in 2020, but the club needs to be fully concentrating on avoiding the drop. There are just three matches left to save their season and Premier League status. Wait until the summer then revisit the transfer talk. Despite all of that, Raphinha would be a great signing for Barcelona – and he could be available for a cut-price fee if Leeds do end up getting relegated.
Barca plan Chelsea raid
Barcelona are ready to raid Chelsea this summer as the Catalan club eye a trio of defensive signings from the west London club. The Mail report that Barca have already agreed to sign centre-back Andreas Christensen as a free agent this summer, while the club have made an offer to Chelsea’s club captain Cesar Azpilicueta. The report reveals that Blues left-back Marcos Alonso is hoping to return to Spain and join Barcelona too. The Blaugrana want the 31-year-old to improve their defensive options and he could be allowed to leave Stamford Bridge this summer.
Paper Round’s view: It seemed like Alonso’s time at Chelsea was up last summer, but he managed to get back into the starting team for the majority of this campaign due to a long-term injury for first-choice left-back Ben Chilwell. This summer could be the perfect time to leave Stamford Bridge and Barcelona could be a decent landing spot. The club need an alternative to Jordi Alba, and Alonso could be the person to bridge that gap before a new long-term option is signed. Alonso would add plenty of experience to the squad and even an attacking threat.
Liverpool look to add defensive depth
Liverpool are closing in on Aberdeen right-back Calvin Ramsay in a deal that is worth around £4 million, according to Goal. The 18-year-old is wanted by Leeds United too, but the Reds are hoping to “wrap up the signing as quickly as possible”. It is expected that Ramsay will join as an understudy for first-choice right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold as Neco Williams is linked with a summer exit after impressing out on loan at Fulham. Southampton, Burnley, Newcastle United and Fulham are all interested in signing Williams, who is valued at more than £10 million by Liverpool.
Paper Round’s view: Being a back-up full-back at Liverpool must be a tough gig. It’s unlikely that you will be given the opportunity to try and usurp Alexander-Arnold or Andy Robertson, but the club needs squad depth if they are competing to win four trophies. Ramsay is the perfect type of signing for Jurgen Klopp’s side. He is a promising youngster, who is still a teenager, and will be hoping to learn from Alexander-Arnold and other members of the squad. Ramsay won’t be expecting many starts or minutes, but could be a gem for the future.
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