Rice to reject eye-watering West Ham contract
West Ham United have tabled an eye-watering eight-year contract extension to Declan Rice, worth £200,000 per week. The Sun report that the 23-year-old is ready to reject the big-money deal in favour of playing for a top-level club. Rice has already rejected four extension offers at the east London club after seeing the struggles that England team-mate Harry Kane publicly underwent last summer when he wanted to leave boyhood club Tottenham Hotspur. Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City are all interested in signing Rice, who wants to play in the Champions League on a regular basis.
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Paper Round’s view: Eight years. EIGHT YEARS! What is going on at the London Stadium? The club are clearly getting desperate to keep hold of Rice - but that contract offer is just silly. It’s good to see that money does not motivate him, but he is probably going to be offered a similar salary if he moves to a top club. Rice is likely to leave next summer due to his contract situation and the price tag that West Ham are likely to put on him. It would definitely be nice to see him stay for one more season and win a trophy. The Hammers came so close in the Europa League this year, but it would be good to see him captain his club to their first major trophy in a long time.
De Jong and Ten Hag set for Old Trafford reunion
Frenkie de Jong is set for a shock reunion with his former Ajax manager Erik ten Hag at Manchester United, according to the Express. The Dutch international has been “earmarked as a top target by United officials” and could become the first signing of the Ten Hag era at Old Trafford. Barcelona are happy to sell De Jong after a disappointing season at the Camp Nou left him out of Xavi’s long-term plans at the club. The transfer is reported to be valued at around £69 million and is “95 per cent” likely to be completed.
Paper Round’s view: On paper, this would be a sensational signing for Manchester United. De Jong has proven himself as a complete midfielder on the biggest stage in football: the Champions League. De Jong played the best football of his career so far under United’s new boss Ten Hag, so Old Trafford would be the best place for him to rediscover his form. It could also spell good news for United outcast Donny van de Beek, who was also part of that famous Ajax side. A Ten Hag-De Jong-Van de Beek reunion will definitely excite United fans ahead of next season.
Spurs plot summer swoop for Everton trio
Tottenham Hotspur are eyeing up an Everton triple-swoop in the summer transfer window, according to the Telegraph. The Toffees are still battling to avoid relegation from the Premier League and Spurs will look to take advantage of the situation at Goodison Park this summer. Antonio Conte is keen to refresh the Spurs squad this summer and has his eye on Everton trio Richarlison, Anthony Gordon and Ben Godfrey. Tottenham are also open to allowing Steven Bergwijn to leave – potentially in a swap deal – as well as Harry Winks and Lucas Moura.
Paper Round’s view: It’s clear that Conte is not happy with his current squad in north London. The Italian manager has very high standards and has already publicly criticised his resources. Tottenham’s summer spending will heavily depend on whether or not the club qualify for next season’s edition of the Champions League. If Spurs finish in the Premier League’s top four, they will have more funds and will be able to attract players of a higher calibre. If not, it may be a struggle and we could even see Conte leave his position at the club.
Which clubs passed up on Haaland and why
ESPN dig a little deeper into how Erling Haaland’s transfer from Borussia Dortmund to Manchester City unfolded. The report reveals which of the top clubs had reservations about the 21-year-old and the reasons behind their concerns. Chelsea questioned whether Haaland’s playing style would suit the Premier League, while Barcelona were unsure about his personality and character. Real Madrid ran Manchester City close but held reservations about the Norway international’s injury record. Haaland has missed 17 matches for Dortmund this season due to a variety of muscular problems.
Paper Round’s view: It’s interesting to see the behind-the-scenes aspects of top-level transfers. Haaland’s release clause was public knowledge for a while, so it was expected that every single one of Europe’s top clubs would be weighing up the possibility of signing him. There are always cons to making a decision, so it was fascinating to find out the thoughts of each club. Manchester City will be hoping that none of the “reservations” will become an issue. Haaland is clearly a world-class talent and he will be able to prove his doubters wrong on the pitch.
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