Memphis set to make Barca switch
Memphis Depay has an agreement to join Barcelona, according to a report in Spanish newspaper Marca. The 27-year-old Dutch international has agreed to lower his wage demands in order to join the club, and is keen to get back together with his former Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman - which means that the deal still hinges on Koeman being kept on for next season. Memphis could join Sergio Aguero at Barcelona, who is set to join on a two-year deal.
Just give Chelsea the title now – The Warm-Up
Paper Round’s view: Koeman has done neither an awful or exceptional job at Barcelona but given the difficulties he has had to deal with, as the coronavirus pandemic has ravaged Spain and the club’s finances, and the Lionel Messi sideshow continues, he could consider the first year a relatively decent success. Adding reinforcements this summer could tee him up for a stronger Liga challenge.
Atletico rush to tie down United, PSG and Bayern target - Euro Papers
Lingard may be offered to Dortmund
Jesse Lingard’s £100,000-a-week salary could prevent him from joining West Ham, with the Sun saying that Manchester United currently value him at £20 million after his exceptional performances on loan at the Hammers. As such, with Borussia Dortmund impressed by the England international, he could be used as a makeweight to help United sign Jadon Sancho at the end of the season.
Paper Round’s view: Lingard is so inconsistent that United can't afford to take him back and earmark him for a place in the squad next season. Nor, really, should any side aiming for a top-four finish given how unreliable his form is. If they can somehow get £20 million knocked off the asking price for Sancho at the same time as getting rid of Lingard, they should be delighted - though that might not be enough to stop continued protests.
Bielsa set for new Leeds deal
Marcelo Bielsa is set to sign a new deal with current club Leeds United, and the Yorkshire side are not concerned by his habit of signing one-year contract extensions. The Telegraph says that the 65-year-old manager is committed to the side and is already preparing for next season. He would have told Leeds if he was intending to step down in the summer.
Paper Round’s view: Biesla has a track record of exhausting his players in a couple of years, but it appears that his Leeds players continue to play for him despite the exertions demanded. Perhaps he has adapted his approach since his arrival, or perhaps he has benefited from the coronavirus pandemic by allowing his players some unexpected time off when they could have become fatigued.
Wilshere future unclear
Jack Wilshere joined Bournemouth in January after leaving West Ham in the summer as he struggled to get minutes under manager David Moyes. The former midfielder is only 29 years old, and his deal on the south coast runs out in the summer. The Mirror reports that it is unclear if his wage demands will affect Jonathan Woodgate’s decision to keep him or not.
Paper Round’s view: Wilshere was an exceptional talent at 17 but he is merely a pedestrian one 12 years later. He does not have the physical attributes to impose himself on the game in the way he did when he broke onto the scene, and it is up to Woodgate to decide if he would like a more physically robust player at the heart of his side for a tilt at promotion to the Premier League.
'He said he was fine' - Poch defends decision to substitute Messi
Opinion: Lingard currently a better fit for Man Utd than Sancho