Disaster for Arsenal with stars set for summer exit - Paper Round
It's bad news for Arsenal, Europe's top club chase Dean Henderson, Manchester United given Moussa Dembele 'green light' and Juventus want Willian. It's Friday's Paper Round...
Disaster for Arsenal with stars set for summer exit
Arsenal are heading towards a huge summer as potential exits for Alexandre Lacazette and club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could mean a major squad reshuffle for the Gunners. According to the Mirror, Mikel Arteta will be given a limited transfer budget and is currently eyeing up a move for Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser, who will be a free agent in the summer. However, the north London club could increase their transfer kitty by cashing in on players who are looking to leave. Aubameyang is heading into the final year of his contract and like Lacazette, he craves Champions League football... which most likely won't be at Arsenal next season. It's becoming increasingly likely that the pair will be sold, meaning there will have to be some incoming transfers. The club have also considered the possibility of selling 20-year-old wonderkid Matteo Guendouzi to raise funds.
Paper Round's view: On paper, this is a disaster for Arsenal. Losing the only two players who could arguably be labelled as 'world class' in the squad. But what do the club expect? The last time Arsenal played in the Champions League was in the 2016-17 season and they are in grave danger of not even making the Europa League next season. Despite the initial sense of disaster, this could actually become a positive for the Gunners. They can trim their wage bill and raise some transfer funds with the sale of Lacazette and Aubameyang. If the club are willing to spend that money properly on intelligent signings, an impressive rebuild under Arteta could take place - starting this summer. However, club officials need to make an early decision on their transfer plans so Arsenal can maximise their efficiency in the summer transfer market. Also... they shouldn't sell Guendouzi. He's clearly going to be a top, top player and his attitude and mentality is needed at the club.
PSG plan summer swoop for United keeper
French champions Paris Saint-Germain are ready to enter the chase for Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson, who has impressed on loan at Sheffield United over the past two seasons. According to the Mail, PSG will join Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Sheffield United in the battle for the 22-year-old. Henderson has kept nine clean sheets for Chris Wilder's side in his debut Premier League season, attracting the attention of Europe's top clubs and national team manager Gareth Southgate, who could hand him his debut England cap in next month's friendlies. PSG and Spurs see Henderson as a long-term successor to Keylor Navas and Hugo Lloris respectively, while Chelsea are looking to replace £71-million flop Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Paper Round's view: Dean Henderson would never have thought he would be chased by the likes of PSG, Chelsea and Spurs at the end of this season. Wilder's Sheffield United side have performed brilliantly in their debut Premier League season and the Blades have their eyes on the European qualification places. If Henderson were to return to Old Trafford, he has one of the world's best goalkeepers in David de Gea blocking his path to the first team. It makes sense for him to seek a move away and the Red Devils will be able to demand a decent fee for him after his performances at Bramall Lane. It's difficult to know whether he would start ahead of Lloris or Navas straight away, but replacing Kepa at Chelsea could be very interesting. Despite all the 'big club' interest, staying in Sheffield could be a nice stepping-stone transfer... especially if the Blades qualify for Europe!
United given 'green light' to complete Dembele deal
Paper Round's view: Manchester United are in desperately need of a forward and Dembele could be the answer to their problems. When Lukaku left, a replacement wasn't brought in, which meant Solskjaer had to rely on Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial - who don't look like natural number nines - and the 18-year-old Mason Greenwood. It was an awful decision from the United transfer team but now they have the opportunity to act quickly ahead of the summer window. Chelsea are also interested in signing Dembele and with the Blues looking more likely to qualify for next season's Champions League, United need to make the transfer for the Frenchman a priority. The 23-year-old has a proven goalscoring record and would be a superb addition to Solskjaer's squad.
Juve want Willian as the club eyes another free transfer
Italian champions Juventus are interested in bringing Chelsea winger Willian to Turin as his contract rapidly expires, according to the Express. The Brazilian will be a free agent at the end of the season and currently isn't interested in accepting the deal Chelsea have offered him. The Blues have presented a one-year extension to Willian, but he wants a deal lasting at least two years, meaning Juve are ready to pounce on a potential free signing. However, the 31-year-old reportedly isn't a fan of his former Blues boss Maurizio Sarri, who is currently in charge at the Bianconeri. Sarri seems to be struggling in his first season in Turin and is said to be facing the sack if he doesn't win the Serie A title... which would be good news for Juve in their pursuit of Willian.
Paper Round's view: Juventus are the kings of the free transfers. In the past, they've signed the likes of Fabio Cannavaro, Andrea Pirlo, Paul Pogba, Dani Alves and Aaron Ramsey - just to name a few - as free agents. The Old Lady will be hoping to add Willian to that list, but the Sarri situation could be problematic. The former Chelsea manager doesn't have a glowing reputation at Stamford Bridge, mainly due to his stubborn tactics. Barcelona have been buzzing around the Brazilian - which would probably be a more appealing move for Willian. However, the decision would be very interesting if Sarri were to be sacked in May.