Summer shake-up coming to Old Trafford
A handful of first-team players at Manchester United are expected to leave this summer, according to the Mirror. There are six players who are out of contract at the end of the season, including the likes of Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard and Edinson Cavani, who will all depart Old Trafford. However, unhappy stars like Anthony Martial, Donny van de Beek, Dean Henderson, Phil Jones, Axel Tuanzebe and Eric Bailly will be forced to stay until a decision is made on their future by the club’s new head coach. It is expected to be Erik ten Hag, who will be open to allowing everyone to prove themselves before transfer decisions are made. The Mirror also state that Cristiano Ronaldo’s future at United will be “uncertain” if the club miss out on Champions League qualification.
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Paper Round’s view: It is expected that the new manager will want to come in and assess his squad before making any big decisions, but you cannot keep players who are unhappy and not playing. It is a different situation if Ten Hag comes in and takes his fancy to someone like Van de Beek, therefore changing the Dutch midfielder’s decision to request a transfer. But you cannot keep someone like Henderson, who cannot displace David De Gea and will simply just want to play first-team football. There will be big changes at Old Trafford this summer and this is normal when a new coach comes in. It might even be a good thing if Ronaldo leaves. The signing didn’t make too much sense at the time and it just piled more pressure on the side to perform.
Phillips linked with fierce rivals
The Manchester Evening News report that Manchester United are ready to make a move to sign Kalvin Phillips from fierce rivals Leeds United. The Premier League side have prioritised signing a defensive midfielder this summer and have England trio Phillips, Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham on their shortlist. However, Phillips seems to fit their ideal profile and the club are now “working on a deal” to sign the 26-year-old from Elland Road. Interim boss Ralf Rangnick and the expected new coach Erik ten Hag are both reported to be happy with the club’s interest in Phillips and would be keen to get a deal across the line.
Paper Round’s view: Phillips would be a superb signing for Manchester United, but he won’t come cheap. The transfer fee for an England international is one thing, but the fact that he would be coming from one of United’s biggest rivals won’t help. Phillips is a boyhood Leeds supporter, and this may affect his decision when United come knocking… but is it an opportunity that he can turn down? It won’t even be about the money. It will be the opportunity to play alongside some of the biggest names in football, while – hopefully – competing for trophies and playing in Europe. Otherwise, he could either stay at Leeds or join West Ham United or Aston Villa – two other clubs that are interested in Phillips.
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Man Utd keen to keep Rashford
Manchester United officials are hoping that Marcus Rashford will stay at Old Trafford this summer. The England international has struggled for form and game-time this season and there have been question marks over Rashford’s future at his boyhood club. The Sun state that European giants Paris Saint-Germain, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona are all interested in the possibility of signing the 24-year-old if he were to depart Manchester United. However, the Red Devils are hoping to keep Rashford. The Sun also report that Donny van de Beek will be given a "second chance" at United if Erik ten Hag takes the reins at Old Trafford.
Paper Round’s view: It seems a bit silly that Manchester United players could be making huge decisions on their future, despite the fact that a new manager will be taking charge in a few weeks. It’s obviously a tough period for players who have been struggling… and there are a lot of players who have been struggling at Old Trafford this season. But a new manager means a clean slate. Players like Rashford and Van de Beek will be given a chance to prove themselves and rightly so. They are top-class talents who are lacking fitness and form. A new coach could come in and want to build their team around them. Rashford should take some time before making a decision on his future.
Toffees to stick with Lampard
Everton’s board are backing manager Frank Lampard, despite the Merseyside club suffering a tough 3-2 defeat to relegation rivals on Wednesday evening. The Mail reveal that club officials are “not panicking” and are still “positive” that Everton can avoid relegation from the Premier League. The board believe that the home form of Lampard’s side can combine with the “raucous atmosphere” at Goodison Park to help play a part in survival. Everton sit just one point above the relegation zone and face Manchester United on Saturday.
Paper Round’s view: Everton are in free-fall under the management of Lampard. The former Chelsea and England midfielder has done nothing to prove himself as a Premier League-level coach and it was a huge risk for the Toffees to appoint him as the man to steer the club to safety in a tough relegation battle. Lampard’s appointment could massively backfire if Everton are relegated and then it becomes a question on whether he continues in his role into next season. Right now, the club have to back him and hope he does enough to secure their Premier League status. If not, they will judge him in June.
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