Barcelona make contact over Neymar
Spanish newspaper Marca claims that Barcelona have made contact with Paris Saint-Germain over their striker Neymar. The paper reports that the 29-year-old Brazilian would be willing to take a pay cut in order to make sure the move goes through, but PSG are reluctant to sell the player and have told Barcelona that they will not be selling this summer.
Paper Round’s view: To some extent this must be a point of principle for PSG, who want to show that they can’t be bullied by a traditionally huge side. It was Neymar’s arrival which demonstrated that PSG were a new force in European football, but if they can get decent money for Neymar as he approaches 30, they should definitely contemplate such a deal.
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Man Utd fans protest outside Old Trafford
Spurs target Varanda
Tottenham Hotspur are in negotiations for Brazilian forward Rodrigo Varanda. The 18-year-old Corinthians winger is out of contract in January, which means he can soon negotiate a transfer to another side and leave on a free. His club would like to tie him down to a new deal, if only to increase his value in the market. The Sun reports that he is valued at around £8.5 million.
Paper Round’s view: At just 18 it is hard to fathom quite how talented the forward is, but if he is as promising as his highlights reel suggests, then he has plenty of potential and could represent something of a bargain for Spurs. The club are adept at trading players for a profit regardless of their age, so the presence of Daniel Levy should allow them the chance to take a relatively riskless gamble.
Bailly contracts hints at defender exits
The Mail runs through Manchester United’s options at centre-back after 27-year-old Ivory Coast international Eric Bailly signed a new deal that could run until 2024. That means that Phil Jones is almost certain to leave, as is Axel Tuanzebe, but most worried about his future at the club will be Victor Lindelof, who is set to face competition from whomever United bring in next.
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Paper Round’s view: Bailly is too unreliable in terms of fitness to be counted on as a first-choice player, but if he is going to be back-up to the back-up, then he has enough talent to be a useful option when the club need to rest their first-choice players. Should he ever become more resilient, then he could start to push Harry Maguire for a first-team place.
United line up Pogba replacements
The Mirror suggests that Manchester United are still trying to tie Paul Pogba down to a new contract and will offer wages of £400,000 a week. However, should he depart this summer, they have three players on their shortlist. There is £100m-rated Declan Rice, West Ham’s 22-year-old midfielder, 24-year-old Wilfried Ndidi of Leicester, and Saul Niguez, 26, of Atletico Madrid.
Saul Niguez celebrates scoring for Atletico Madrid
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Paper Round’s view: Niguez might be the easiest player to sign as Atletico are often a selling club on the right terms, and he would offer the experience that would match that offered by Pogba. Ndidi might be the toughest player to get out of the three, given Leicester’s ability to drive a hard bargain, while Rice is the most promising and would fit in with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans, given his nationality.
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