The Mirror reports that Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian striker Neymar is set to stay at the French club despite speculation linking him with a move back to Barcelona. The 28-year-old forward’s agent Wagner Ribeiro said: "I think Neymar will stay at PSG because the market is difficult. The economic world of football will change."
Paper Round’s view: The impact of the coronavirus has severely hampered the finances of every top level club, and they will be looking to strike bargains wherever they can. PSG had wanted to recoup much of their initial £198 million outlay if they were to give Neymar up, and now both parties may be forced to agree a new contract to make the most of the situation.
‘Worried’ PSG set to move for Haaland this summer – Euro Papers
Premier League players complain of sticky footballs
Sticky balls are proving to be a problem for Premier League footballs as they feel their way back into training. The Sun claims that heat and disinfectant is affecting the touch of the ball in training, and that players are concerned that social distancing and small groupings are making training ‘pointless’ as they attempt to get back to their best form.
Paper Round’s view: If players are happy to get back to training, and many of them are, then it seems churlish that they should complain about the efforts being taken to keep them safe. Of course there are inconveniences, but these are exceptional times and a sticky football or two, or rudimentary training sessions, should be tolerable for the next month if necessary.
Liverpool have agreed a deal with both Nike and New Balance that would see them lift the Premier League trophy in their current kit, rather than next season’s Nike outfit. Their New Balance deal runs out at the end of May, but an agreement has been reached which sees Nike receive compensation in order to start their deal at the beginning of the new season.
Paper Round’s view: The Daily Mail claims that the guiding principle for Liverpool here was that they felt a moral obligation to follow the spirit of their agreement with New Balance, and that is a reasonable path to take. Nike will receive a decent payoff too, and with Jurgen Klopp’s side on the cusp of a few years - perhaps - of dominance, they should get their money’s worth.
The global footballers’ union, FIFPro, has warned that ‘multiple’ players feel obliged to come back to action, reports the Daily Telegraph. General secretary Jonas Baer-Hoffmann also said that players should not agree to any waivers of responsibility for their clubs amid the coronavirus pandemic, though he did not make any specific allegations over clubs.
Paper Round’s view: The last week in Britain has been notable for the obvious coercion from the entitled to get their cleaners and teachers back to work for their own convenience, and there is no reason that the owners of football clubs would treat the labour available to them as any different. Troy Deeney and others are likely to be proved right in their reluctance.