Barcelona target Haaland over Messi
The Sun reports that Barcelona are prioritising the signing of Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland over getting their current star forward Lionel Messi to extend his deal, with the club focusing on the future. The 34-year-old Argentine is out of contract this summer, but club president Joan Laporta believes that this transfer window offers a rare opportunity to take a run at the Norwegian while other clubs are financially constrained, while Jadon Sancho looks set for Manchester United.
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Paper Round’s view: The paper claims that Barcelona are around £1 billion in debt, but if they are able to secure Haaland this summer and keep Messi, it would certainly keep the sponsors interested in the club, and would probably set them on the way back to challenging for La Liga and the Champions League. If they can cut the fat elsewhere in the squad, they may be able to justify the expenditure.
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Arsenal weigh up Luiz replacements
The Telegraph reports that Arsenal have told 34-year-old Brazilian central defender David Luiz that his contract will not be extended beyond the summer, meaning the former Chelsea man can sign for another club on a free transfer. Mikel Arteta could be interested in Joachim Andersen, the Lyon defender who is on loan at Premier League club Fulham, but Spurs are ahead of them in the race for the 24-year-old Dane.
Paper Round’s view: Luiz has hardly been a disaster for Arsenal but he did not exceed expectations: he made mistakes but he was also pretty capable over the course of two seasons. It makes sense though that Arteta wants to do better than Luiz, and Andersen has the promise and potential to become one of the best defenders in the league, Lyon are likely to be ready to sell.
Milan want Brahim stay
Serie A side AC Milan are looking to extend the stay of Brahim Diaz at the club. The 21-year-old Spanish playmaker has four goals and four assists with his loan club this season, and his parent side are unwilling to let him go out permanently, reports Spanish newspaper Marca. However Milan would also like to take him on a further loan for next season.
Paper Round’s view: Brahim has started his career with Real Madrid slowly since his arrival from Manchester City, but it seems he has found it hard to force his way through into the first team under Zinedine Zidane. He clearly has talent, so a compromise for player and both clubs would be to let him stay where he is for now and develop his talent so Zidane has little choice but to use him more regularly.
West Ham want next Michail Antonio
The Mirror reports that Premier League surprise package West Ham United are planning for the future as they look to sign a prospect for the future, 17-year-old Kesna Clarke. Clarke is a product of the Tooting & Mitcham United academy, the club where Michail Antonio also started his career. He is currently playing in the Isthmian League South Central Division.
Paper Round’s view: West Ham are fortunate to be in London and able to cast their net relatively wide to go through much of the best talent in the south east. If Clarke really is as good as Antonio, then he could help the club with a player who could contribute for a decade. David Moyes could well be given the chance to spend big this summer after an impressive showing.
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