Manchester City plan £200m spree
Manchester City could be ready to spend £200 million in the summer transfer market to back manager Pep Guardiola, reports the Telegraph. The club hope to find another striker, and a move for an extra forward is not dependent on Argentine striker Sergio Aguero signing a new deal. The player has been linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain when his deal expires.
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Paper Round’s view: Manchester City are clearly happy to spend vast amounts of money in order to secure success, but after spending so much money for Guardiola to rattle through one full-back after another, they might - at some point - consider if they are getting anything like value for money. Liverpool have been far more efficient, and other clubs are less profligate too.
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And they could sign... Manuel Locatelli
City have already been linked with a move for Sassuolo’s midfielder Manuel Locatelli, and the Sun report that the 23-year-old player’s agent has confirmed that the Premier League side are keen. The player has two years left on his contract and while he might not be available in January, he could move on in the summer for around £30 million, though City face competition from Juventus and AC Milan.
Paper Round’s view: Manchester City need to plan for the exit of Fernandinho. The veteran has been a useful utility player for the last few years, and the 35-year-old Brazilian is coming to the end of his time at the Etihad Stadium. A move for Locatelli would be an easy transfer to pull off given the relative size of the clubs, though Juventus and Milan would offer him a chance to stay in Serie A.
Villa make a move for Sanson
Aston Villa have begun talks with Marseille over a proposed transfer for midfielder Morgan Sanson. The 26-year-old former under-21 international is wanted by Villa, and has been linked with other clubs such as Burnley and Spurs, but £20 million could be enough for Villa to secure the player’s signature. Marseille are open to raising funds through a sale given the impact of the coronavirus.
Paper Round’s view: For clubs with enough cash in reserve to start making moves in the transfer window, the coronavirus can be a huge opportunity. While it is not edifying to see clubs take advantage of the misfortune of others, they have a responsibility to secure bargains when they arise. Villa have a decent financial foundation, and this could be a chance for them to build upon it.
Solskjaer prepares for exits
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could let more players go in the summer, according to a report in the Mirror. Sergio Romero and Marcos Rojo could both follow Timothy Fosu-Mensah out the door, while there could be loan exits for Dean Henderson, Daniel James and Brandon Williams, who all need more first team minutes.
Paper Round’s view: It’s difficult to see how Henderson and Romero could both leave the club, but the pragmatic solution could be to promote Romero back to first-choice reserve and let Henderson get back to Sheffield United or another Premier League club for the remaining half of the season. Realistically the club needs to cut some of the deadwood so as to be able to afford to move quickly next summer.
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