Arsenal want Lokonga in midfied
Albert Sambi Lokonga is Arsenal’s target to reinforce their midfield, according to the Sun. The 21-year-old Anderlecht man could be available for around £13m-17m, and would be less than half the price wanted by Brighton for their midfielder Yves Bissouma. Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi and Granit Xhaka could all leave the club to raise funds for Mikel Arteta.
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Paper Round’s view: Arteta and Arsenal endured a disappointing season but there seems to be little better for them to try than to improve the squad and hope things turn around. If Lokonga has the talents to help Thomas Partey contribute at the level he did at Atletico Madrid, then it makes sense to bring him in and sell off the other disappointing midfielders on the books.
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Levy still keen on Pochettino
The Mirror reports that Tottenham chief Daniel Levy remains determined to secure PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino this summer. While PSG have - see below - extended his contract for another year, Levy has a list of potential recruits including Erik ten Hag and Antonio Conte, Pochettino remains his preferred target to replace Jose Mourinho.
Paper Round’s view: Levy can be ruthless but it would be interesting if he now changes his approach to supporting managers. Pochettino had the club improving and then had a reward of a transfer window without a single arrival, and the players he was left with had become fatigued and frustrated. Levy should make the most of the manager this time if he pulls off his return.
But... PSG extend Pochettino stay
Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly keen to keep Pochettino at the club. The Telegraph claims that PSG have now activated a one-year extension on his contract, which had been due to expire in 2022 but will now run into 2023. Pochettino failed to win the league in a disappointing season.
Paper Round’s view: Pochettino has, according to some sources, asked to be released from his deal in Paris, while some others suggest that he is expected back in July to oversee the transfer strategy with Leonardo. However it does seem that Pochettino will only be at the club for a year longer at most, despite any contractual obligation he may now have.
Ramos misses Real kit photos
Spanish newspaper Marca reports that Sergio Ramos was not part of the promotional photoshoots for Real Madrid’s new kit launch. The 35-year-old defender has yet to agree a new contract to stay in the capital and the newspaper suggests that a failure to attend the promotional work could indicate that he is likely to leave at the end of the season, with new manager Carlo Ancelotti on his way.
Paper Round’s view: Ramos is still one of the best defenders in Europe but Real Madrid’s lack of transfer activity has meant the first team is now a little stale. The best way to improve the side would be to give it fresh ideas and impetus, but while removing an older player like Ramos could be one route, they will miss his talent and desire to win.
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