Pochettino ready to return

Ligue 1
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The Daily Mail is just one of a number of titles carrying a story about former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino. The Argentine and his staffing team are now free to take over at a new club without being obliged to negotiate with Spurs, and said: “It has been an amazing time to review everything, organise again our ideas, plan the future to try to compete better, try to learn from our experience and look forward for the next job. You need to be ready for the moment when the offer appears.”

Paper Round’s view: Pochettino had been linked with both Manchester United and Real Madrid but their decent late form and the interruption as a result of coronavirus means that his options are now limited. The takeover at Newcastle United means it could be the only option for his team to stay in England, and AC Milan are another potential option.

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Spurs face £850m stadium bill

The Sun reports that Tottenham Hotspur face an enormous bill to pay off the debt for their new stadium. The £637 million borrowed to finance the building of the ground will eventually grow to £852 million including the interest charged on the loan. The loans will run for roughly 30 years and will carry an interest rate of around 2.6 per cent.

Paper Round’s view: The cost of the debt is tiny in terms of its interest rate, and in the long term it seems that rates are likely to stay low. That will allow the club to refinance the debt into a cheaper burden as they pay down the principal. The problem though is that coronavirus could have a sustained impact on ticket sales, which could put Spurs under serious pressure.

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Pearson lashes out after covid hits squad

Watford boss Nigel Pearson has criticised the silence of ‘political animals’ after his squad took another hit due to the coronavirus pandemic. Troy Deeney is unwilling to come back to football, Adrian Mariappa has tested positive for the virus, and two other players are also in isolation. Pearson said: “We’ve had several players not available for different reasons. Hopefully that situation will change in time."

Paper Round’s view: Pearson had been overseeing an impressive rebound in the club’s fortunes since his appointment, but it appears that he will be fighting an uphill battle as his players suffer from the coronavirus pandemic. It is hard to see how there is much sporting integrity in the relegation battle given the disproportionate effect it is having on them.

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Barcelona offer up Umtiti for Martinez

Spanish newspaper Marca relays the details of the offer made to Inter Milan as Barcelona try to sign Lautaro Martinez. They want to meet the €111 million release clause in part with players, so they have to stump up only half the fee in cash. Inter Milan will consider taking Samuel Umtiti on loan, but the club would also let Ivan Rakitic, Arturo Vidal, Nelson Semedo, Junior Firpo and Jean-Clair Todibo go too.

Paper Round’s view: If the transfer fee is not met in cash then Inter should be able to drive a harder bargain, because there is likely no part of the release clause that would appraise the value of other players. Given Barcelona’s desperation to cut their wage bill, too, that would allow the Italian club to perhaps pick up a number of players on the cheap.

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