Chelsea's Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi looks on during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on November 23, 2019. - Manchester City won the game 2-1. (Pho
Chelsea to sell Michy Batshuayi, Daniele Rugani infected with Coronavirus as Real Madrid protect their players, and Danny Drinkwater's future is in the balance.
Palace target Batshuayi
Crystal Palace remain keen on signing Michy Batshuayi, the Sun reports. The 26-year-old striker spent the second half of last season on loan at Selhurst Park, but when Roy Hodgson’s club were quoted £45 million for a permanent transfer the move broke down. This summer Chelsea could be prepared to offer him for less, given Olivier Giroud has moved ahead of him in the pecking order.
Paper Round’s view: Batshuayi has shown enough flashes of talent across Europe for the last couple of seasons to be worth a punt from a Premier League side. He has acclimatised to the league and if he does want to stay in London, then it is likely he will be able to adapt quickly to a move back to Crystal Palace, who desperately need more goals.
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Rugani tests positive for Coronavirus
There is worrying news from Italy, where Juventus central defender Daniele Rugani has tested positive for Coronavirus, reports the Mirror. The 25-year-old Italian international has no symptoms, but he has been quarantined in order to protect the rest of the squad. Rugani’s infection is perhaps the case of the highest profile sportsman being afflicted by the illness.
Paper Round’s view: Italy’s situation in general with the disease seems to be incredibly serious, and while Rugani is not in the demographic that appears to be most at risk, he needs to be kept away from others who are perhaps more vulnerable to any illness. He will likely be only one of the first to suffer from the disease, with the majority of the world expect to contract it.
The Telegraph believes that Aston Villa midfielder Danny Drinkwater could have time in the midlands cut short after allegedly headbutting a teammate during a six-a-side training game, with Jota believed to be the player. The 30-year-old Chelsea player is having half his £120,000-a-week wages paid by Villa, and they made instruct him to train away from the rest of the first-team squad after the incident.
Paper Round’s view: If Drinkwater has headbutted Jota, then understandably he will be unlikely to play for Villa again. It is easy to criticise Drinkwater at the moment, given his run of indiscretions, but there could be a man in need of some assistance more than judgement, and both his clubs and the sport’s governing and player associations could step in to give him some help.
Unsurprisingly there are more problems with Coronavirus for European football, and Spanish newspaper Marca reports on the lengths to which Real Madrid have gone to protect their players. The club will limit access to the training ground, and they will also make sure that there will only be small windows for the press to contact any of their players and staff.
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Paper Round’s view: Ordinarily such a move would seem draconian, and it is often easy to be suspicious when clubs cut down on access to the press, but right now it seems that not enough is being done not just to protect players, but club staff and fans. The more extensive the limits now, the less quick the virus can spread across Spain, Europe and the rest of the world.