Balogun in demand
Folarin Balogun could be offered the chance to move on from Arsenal this summer, with 15 clubs linked with a move for the 19-year-old England youth international. The Sun reports that with Balogun’s contract running out at the end of the season, and Mikel Arteta’s decision that he is dispensable, clubs such as Swansea, Liverpool, RB Leipzig and many more could step in.
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Paper Round’s view: Balogun is highly rated by Arsenal fans, and evidently there is a lot of demand for his services from outside the club. Arteta seems to be taking a ruthless approach to the squad, and given the financial pressures at the Emirates, perhaps Balogun has not yet offered quite enough to impress. Two goals in five appearances this season offers a glimpse of promise, though.
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Barcelona target a left-back
Barcelona are in the hunt for a new left-back, according to Spanish newspaper Marca. Junior Firpo has failed to convince the club of his worth, and so they are looking elsewhere. Potential replacements are Valencia left-sided defender Jose Gaya, and Villarreal’s Alfonso Pedraza. Another player could be RB Leipzig’s Angelino, on loan from Manchester City, but they may ask for too much money.
Paper Round’s view: Angelino is enjoying a decent season at Leipzig and they may be in the market to make his transfer a permanent one. That might mean that Manchester City are keen to start a bidding war, which Barcelona can’t really afford at the moment. They may find that Pedraza and Gaya are more affordable, given how hard the coronavirus has hit the Spanish economy.
Barca plan twin free transfers
The Daily Mail reports that Barcelona have designs on signing at least three players over the next two transfer windows. The earliest arrival could be Manchester City’s Eric Garcia, with the youngster potentially joining Ronald Koeman’s side in January. Another two could arrive this summer, for nothing. Memphis Depay at Lyon and Georginio Wijnaldum of Liverpool could join when their respective contracts run out.
Paper Round’s view: Wijnaldum is a hugely talented player and he could be the man to add some experience and guile to Barcelona’s midfield that is still missing Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta, as well as Ivan Rakitic. Memphis meanwhile would be a similar type of player to Luis Suarez in some respects, and like Wijnaldum already has experience of working with Koeman in the Netherlands national side.
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Ozil ready to give up wages
Mesut Ozil is ready to give up £7 million in order to get away from Arsenal. According to the Mirror. The 32-year-old playmaker is negotiating to give up his £350,000-a-week salary in order to depart in January. The player could otherwise hold the London club to their agreement and leave in the summer for nothing if Arsenal are not prepared to strike a deal.
Paper Round’s view: This would be a strange outcome for Ozil, given he has refused to give up a pay cut during the coronavirus (though you can make a reasonable case that he was simply standing his ground out of principle, rather than selfishness). However that is a huge sum of money to give up, and it suggests that perhaps Fenerbahce or an MLS side will make sure he is properly compensated.
Barcelona complete Depay signing on free transfer from Lyon
Barcelona close to confirming Memphis free transfer deal - reports