Manchester City plot 'transfer offensive' with ban overturned - Euro Papers
Paper Round’s view: This decision was always going to have huge ramifications for both the Premier League and Champions League. Now City can plan for a 2020-21 where they will want to wrestle the Premier League back off Liverpool (and who knows maybe even defend a Champions League?), and they can do so with the freedom of knowing that players will not hesitate in joining the club.
City want three players
Meanwhile, The Times states Koulibaly is top of City’s wish list, although the club are also said to be monitoring Benfica’s Ruben Dias and Villarreal’s Pau Torres, both 23. There is also Ferran Torres, Valencia’s 20-year-old winger, who has been linked as Leroy Sane’s replacement.
Paper Round’s view: As a Eurosport podcast will cover later this week, while City are chasing a number of positions to strengthen, who they can actually sign for a reasonable amount is a different matter entirely. No doubt Napoli will play hardball over Koulibaly, same with Bayern and Alaba, so could City go after younger players instead of ready-made stars? The desire to win back the league means the answer could well be spend big and strengthen with obvious, immediate quality, but maybe a major overhaul is on the way...
New deal for Pep?
The Mirror is reporting City will offer Guardiola a lucrative new deal to stay on as head coach beyond next season. The Spaniard has entered the final year of his five-year contract, but the club hope he will be persuaded to sign a new contract following the positive news. He is currently on a reported £20m-a-year contract.
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Paper Round’s view: Now that this cloud has lifted, you imagine several contracts could be signed within the club, never mind the players they could go and chase this summer. With Guardiola, the only doubt will be his leaving Barcelona after four seasons and Bayern Munich after three. He is already entering his longest spell at one club as head coach, and it will likely be down to him just how long he wants to stay in Manchester.
Partial stadium openings next season?
Premier League clubs could allow fans to attend matches next season, the Daily Mail reports. Top-flight clubs are said to have started a period of consultation with supporters' groups as they await news from the UK government as to whether a partial opening of stadiums could be allowed. Talks are said to be at an advanced stage with a government announcement expected soon.
Players warms up ahead of the English Premier League football match between Southampton and Arsenal at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton
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Paper Round’s view: Slowly but surely, fans will make their way back into stadiums, and though a full capacity crowd seems far off, you can be sure Premier League clubs – as well as other divisions and sports across the world – are looking at how that can be possible. Partial openings make sense, but safety is paramount, and that will be the biggest barrier.