Lampard plans Chelsea clearout
With Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech on their way to Stamford Bridge next season, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard is now planning to balance the books by selling some of his existing squad. Pedro and Willian could both leave, as could Marcos Alonso, Jorginho, Kurt Zouma, Ross Barkley and Michy Batshuayi. Ben Chilwell and Jeremie Boga could also join.
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Paper Round’s view: Lampard has impressed in his first year in charge of Chelsea and it is time for the squad to be upgraded. Werner is an excellent buy at the price, and Chilwell and Boga will further bring the age of the squad down. By sacrificing so many players, though, there is a risk that Lampard could be taking on too many changes early on in his time.
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Barcelona consider Semedo and Sergi Roberto exits
Barcelona are another club focused on raising some cash, according to Spanish newspaper Marca. The paper reports that Nelson Semedo is on the transfer list, as is Sergi Roberto. Manchester City want Sergio Roberto but he is a key player for Barcelona’s future, while Semedo does not fit the characteristics of a perfect Pep Guardiola full-back.
Paper Round’s view: Barcelona are clearly positioning themselves as a selling club this summer given the financial impact of coronavirus, while Manchester City are unsure of their eligibility for the Champions League so probably can't spend too much. That makes it unlikely for the two clubs to strike a deal over players going in either direction between them.
Loan players blocked from Premier League return
The Daily Mail claims that players who are currently on loan at other sides will not be allowed to feature for their parent clubs for the rest of the season. Players like Alexis Sanchez and Chris Smalling will only be allowed to play for Manchester United if the club face an injury crisis, and Chelsea will not be able to flood their squad with 27 returning players.
Paper Round’s view: Most players who are on loan at other clubs will probably have their deals extended for a couple of months if they have a chance of featuring for the teams. It is also against the spirit of the league if players can come back before the season is completed and get back in action for sides who had otherwise planned to do without them for a year or longer.
Martinez hints at De Bruyne exit
The Sun reports on quotes from Belgium manager Roberto Martinez, who believes that Kevin De Bruyne may look to leave Manchester City because of their Champions League ban. He said: "But then you think, ‘what’s going to happen in the next four, five years?’ Nobody can give him good advice, the only advice is the one that you feel as a player. You’ve done what you had to do in your career without having progressed. The last thing you can afford to do is finish your career and say ‘I should have moved in that moment, or I should have stayed’”
Paper Round’s view: De Bruyne has done relatively little in Europe with Manchester City and he may be wondering if a move to Spain will get him closer to Champions League success. However City are probably capable of getting plenty of money to De Bruyne on a scale that Barcelona and Real Madrid probably can’t, so he may choose financial security instead.
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