Klopp plans clear out
The Mirror reports that Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is planning to send three first-team players on their way in the summer, as he prepares to revitalise his squad. The manager is considering letting Divock Origi, Xherdan Shaqiri and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain go as the trio have found it difficult to get minutes on the pitch during Liverpool’s disappointing follow-up to winning the league.
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Paper Round’s view: Shaqiri has done well for a couple of years but it appears he is no longer able to contribute when he is brought off the bench, and Origi has continued to struggle to score when essential, while Oxlade-Chamberlain has been hampered by the significant injury he suffered. Klopp would benefit by letting them leave for minutes elsewhere and raise funds for younger alternatives.
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Marcelo hints at Ronaldo return
Spanish newspaper Marca reports that Real Madrid full-back Marcelo has hinted at a return for Cristiano Ronaldo. The 36-year-old striker left for Juventus a couple of seasons ago, but has recently been linked with a return to Spain as his time in Italy is likely to come to an end this summer. Marcelo replied ‘soon’ to an Instagram post celebrating the pair’s connection on the pitch.
Paper Round’s view: Marcelo and Ronaldo linked up well during some of Real Madrid’s best years and it seems as if they will get at least one more season together. Ronaldo is reportedly available for only £24 million at the end of the season, which would be an affordable sum given the impact of the coronavirus on the bottom line of Real, and help them refresh their squad.
Barca struggle to afford Haaland
The Sun reports that German side Borussia Dortmund will ask for £130 million for their striker Erling Haaland. The 20-year-old has a £66 million release clause but that does not kick in until the end of next season, meaning clubs such as Manchester City might be able to step in now. However Barcelona are reportedly £1 billion in debt, which means they must sell players and reduce wages.
Paper Round’s view: Haaland is probably the best player in the world right now and given he is only 20 it is likely that he will continue to improve for years yet. Indeed, he is so good that even if he costs the full £130 million, he could well prove to be a bargain. Barcelona have yet again got themselves into a financial mess so Haaland would do well to avoid them for a better run club.
Juve hunt for Morata replacement
The Daily Mail reports that Juventus are preparing for the exit of Alvaro Morata, if he does not stay on for another season on loan. One option is Arkadiusz Milik, who could move back from Marseille, another is Memphis Depay who is on a free transfer from Lyon at the end of the season, and the third consideration is Moise Kean. Erling Haaland is also a possibility.
Paper Round’s view: If Juventus are struggling to afford Morata,then Haaland is going to be an even bigger stretch. It seems inevitable right now that Ronaldo will leave to reduce the wage bill, so Milik, Depay and Kean are probably pragmatic replacements, while extending Morata’s stay for a season would probably be the cheapest option for the near term.
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