Chelsea's spending spree continues with £45m-rated Declan Rice - Paper Round
Frank Lampard's Chelsea revolution continues, Jadon Sancho is set to stay at Borussia Dortmund, Fraser Forster could extend his stay at Celtic and Aston Villa keep the faith with Dean Smith. It's Monday's Paper Round...
Mason Mount of Chelsea and Declan Rice of West Ham during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on November 30, 2019 in London, United Kingdom.
Frank Lampard's Stamford Bridge revolution is set to continue as the Sun report that Chelsea plan to sign West Ham's Declan Rice this summer. The 21-year-old was released from the Blues' academy when he was just 14 years old and Chelsea are keen to bring him back to the Bridge. Lampard wants to move Rice from his current defensive-midfield role into playing in the middle of a back three and the Sun state that the Hammers star would be "open to changing positions". Chelsea believe £45 million will be enough to lure Rice across to west London, but West Ham are said to value the youngster closer to £70 million.
Paper Round's view: Chelsea have been linked to Rice for a while - but the potential transfer fee has always been north of £50 million. Now the club seem to be trying to take advantage of the current financial climate and the fact that West Ham are in serious danger of being relegated from the Premier League. The Hammers are currently in 17th place - only avoiding a place in the bottom three because of their goal difference. If David Moyes' side are relegated, Rice will definitely be making a move to a top side. It will be interesting to see if he moves into central defence at Chelsea. The Blues have looked shaky at the back at times this season so it is probably an area that needs to be addressed.
Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has expressed his confidence in keeping Jadon Sancho at the club this summer due to the current financial situation following the coronavirus pandemic. Watzke believes that there isn't a single club that could afford to pay the fee they are demanding. Manchester United have constantly been linked with a move for Sancho this summer, but the Mail believe that they are happy to "bide their time" until the 20-year-old's asking price is reduced. The Bundesliga club are reported to be demanding a fee north of £100 million for Sancho.
Paper Round's view: It's the transfer we've all been waiting for. Sancho was supposed to complete a big-money move to Manchester United after an electrifying European Championship debut this summer for England. Unfortunately, both the tournament and transfer look likely to be delayed until the summer of 2021 due to the coronavirus crisis. Sancho has enjoyed another successful season in the Bundesliga on a personal level, but he is yet to win the league or German Cup with Dortmund. Maybe staying put for a season wouldn't be the worst thing for him as the youngster has plenty of time to return to England.
Juventus and Man City swap wonderkids – Euro Papers
Forster to extend Celtic stay
Fraser Forster is set to extend his stay at Celtic, with the Scottish champions keen on a permanent deal for the Southampton goalkeeper who returned to his former club on loan this season. According to the Scottish Sun, Celtic have made it a "number one priority" to hang onto Forster. The Bhoys were initially hoping to extend the loan deal, but now it is reported that the club are prepared to permanently sign the Southampton stopper. Fellow Saints star Mohamed Elyounoussi also spent the 2019-20 season on loan at Parkhead and the club are looking to keep the forward too. French midfielder Olivier Ntcham could be used as part of an exchange as Southampton have declared their interest in the 24-year-old.
Paper Round's view: Forster has enjoyed a return to form this season at Celtic. The Saints keeper fell down the pecking order at St Mary's Stadium before deciding to look elsewhere for first-team football and a return to Scotland seems like it has worked out for him. Now Celtic have made it a priority to keep Forster as they fight to claim their tenth consecutive Scottish league title. The Glasgow outfit might need to use Ntcham as part of the exchange, but if Forster and Elyounoussi end up staying, it could be worth it. Ntcham hasn't nailed down a spot as a starter in recent seasons so it wouldn't be the worst player to lose.
According to the Telegraph, Aston Villa are sticking with current manager Dean Smith for the remainder of the season, despite the fact that the Midlands outfit have suffered defeat in six of their last eight Premier League matches. Villa currently sit in 19th place with six matches remaining, but are just one point from safety. Their next two matches are against newly-crowned champions Liverpool and a top-four chasing Manchester United side, but the club's board have placed their confidence in Smith.
Paper Round's view: It would be an odd decision to bring in a new coach with just six matches of the season remaining. Dean Smith did a great job bringing Villa back to the Premier League last season, but the club have struggled on their return to England's top tier. After some heavy summer spending in 2019, the Villains haven't been able to find any consistent form. Smith hasn't really lit the league up so if Villa were to go back down to the Championship, it would be interesting to see if he sticks with his current role. Not too long ago Sean Dyche was relegated after one season in the Premier League with Burnley, but he stayed at the club and has been a hit since their return to the league in 2016.