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John Stones may join Everton, Arsenal or Spurs - Paper Round

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ByAlexander Netherton
07/07/2020 at 21:49 | Updated 08/07/2020 at 07:39

Manchester City may sell John Stones, Antoine Griezmann to stay at Barcelona, Celtic want Marcus Bettinelli and James Rodriguez to leave Real Madrid.

Guardiola refuses to clarify Stones future

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Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has refused to commit to giving a steer on John Stones’ future at the Etihad. The Spanish manager said that he will speak to the 26-year-old England international at the end of the season, but with two years remaining on his deal, he could be set for a return to Everton, though both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur could be interested too, reports the Telegraph.

Paper Round's view: Stones has lost his way at City, and it is unfortunate that injuries and a lack of squad depth at the back has been a hindrance for all the club’s defenders this season. But, at 26, more should be expected from him than he has been able to deliver, and City might reason that raising funds from a sale could be the most practical way forward if they are on a reduced budget.

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Celtic target Fulham ‘keeper Bettinelli

The Mail claims that Celtic have turned their attention elsewhere after failing in their attempt to keep Fraser Forster after his loan spell from Southampton ends. Fulham’s 28-year-old Marcus Bettinelli had started to break into the England set-up last season, and he could be available for as little as £1 million from the Championship club.

Paper Round's view: Bettinelli is a sturdy ‘keeper but the Premier League is a demanding place, so he may feel like a move to Scotland is the best way to stay at the forefront of Gareth Southgate’s attention while also getting European football. At 28 he has the best part of a decade ahead of his career if it goes well, so it may not be the last move of his career either.

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Griezmann to stay at Barcelona

French newspaper L’Equipe believes that Antoine Griezmann will play a more prominent role at Barcelona after a struggle throughout his first season with the Spanish champions. The former Atletico Madrid man will be involved more heavily in the side despite having featured less than was expected when he made his big-money move.

Paper Round's view: Griezmann is clearly an excellent player but there was no obvious way for him to play while Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi were the main men. Now that Suarez looks to be towards the end of his time at Barca - and perhaps the same could be said for Messi - moving Griezmann to a central position might let Barcelona make the most of his talents.

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00:01:40

James set to miss rest of season

James Rodriguez looks set to miss the rest of the season for Real Madrid, after asking Zinedine Zidane to sit out their most recent game. The 28-year-old Colombian does not fit Zidane’s preferred style of football, according to Spanish newspaper Marca, and will be moved on to a new side next season if possible. Both Napoli and Atletico Madrid tried to sign him last time.

Paper Round's view: Rodriguez is only 28, and given he was never an explosive midfielder he could be useful for another team that is willing to keep him heavily involved. There might be some concern, though, that football’s intensity has moved on so quickly in terms of pace and strength, that he won’t ever have the influence he used to before moving to Spain.

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