Can we start again?
Chelsea boss Frank James Lampard has the knives out, according to the Sun newspaper, which predicts that Lampard may choose to bin up to EIGHT (8) players in the summer as he pursues a summer rebuild. Goalkeeper Kepa and midfielder Jorginho are marked for the exit, along with Ross Barkley, Willian, Pedro and defender Kurt Zouma, as Chelsea prepare to overhaul the squad.
Paper Round’s view: It is always tempting to make huge changes at the time of trouble, but this Chelsea side is one that is on course for Champions League qualification despite the transfer ban of the summer and the failure of the January transfer window. Selling talented players for one season of underperformance - if that - seems an overreaction.
'United chief scout busted watching Swedish star' - Euro Papers
Despite those problems, Frank Lampard is planning to make some changes to the Chelsea first team squad. Regardless of the sales, the Chelsea manager wants to bring in defender Dayot Upamecano from RB Leipzig, and Ben Chilwell could arrive from Leicester City, reports the Mirror. The Chelsea manager is reassessing his options after a home defeat to Bayern Munich.
Paper Round’s view: Lampard could be feeling the pressure from Manchester United, Tottenham and Sheffield United as the three clubs close in on the top four. The ban for Manchester City makes things even more fraught, but things are tight at the top and there is little that can be done about it beyond making sure Chelsea are best equipped for next season.
A marriage made in heaven
Manchester United are pursuing Real Madrid forward Marten Odegaard, according to the Daily Mail. The newspaper claims that the 21-year-old Danish international has impressed for Real Sociedad this season, and has attracted attention from United. The Spanish club can extend the loan period for another season, but he could make the switch to Old Trafford.
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Paper Round’s view: Odegaard has done well at Sociedad and has rightly attracted attention from other European clubs this season. However, Real Madrid bought him for the long term and they will be interested in keeping him as a first team option. It would take a huge effort from a top side to convince Real that they need to let him go - a big offer would be required
Don’t even go there
Spanish newspaper Marca has revealed that Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan almost joined Real Madrid. The German international midfielder was approached by Real, but Borussia Dortmund informed him that they were not willing to let him go in the transfer window that saw the exit of both Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowksi.
Paper Round’s view: Reportedly Gundogan was happy to join the Spanish side but was not given the chance, and given his injury problems perhaps he was kept away from such relentless press focus. However, in future Real could be interested in Gundogan given the European ban City face, and the likely exit off Luka Modric this summer.