Sampdoria set Damsgaard price tag
The Mirror reports that both Tottenham and Liverpool will have to pay up if they are to sign Mikkel Damsgaard from Sampdoria. The 21-year-old forward has been in exceptional form for Denmark this summer and scored for his side at the semi-final against England. Juventus and Barcelona are said to be interested, and the player would cost 40 million euros.
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Paper Round’s view: It is always difficult to tell which players are emerging as genuinely dangerous players at a tournament, and who is just having a brief moment of exceptional form. For Damsgaard he was playing with Sampdoria, a decent enough Serie A side, but clubs will need to go over his performances this past season to see if he was showing consistent ability before the summer.
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City contact Griezmann
The Sun relays a story that suggests that Antoine Griezmann could be on his way at Barcelona. The 30-year-old striker does not want to join Paris Saint-Germain, and both Juventus and Bayern Munich are biding their time over making a move. However Pep Guardiola needs a new striker, and with Harry Kane’s huge price tag, Griezmann might be a better bet.
Paper Round’s view: Barcelona need to get their wages down, but they presumably will want some kind of payment for the £108 million they spent getting Griezmann from Atletico Madrid a couple of years ago. If Guardiola wants a replacement for Sergio Aguero, then Griezmann offers both experience and pace, but is not quite the same ruthless finisher that the Argentine is.
West Ham make contact over Areola
West Ham hope to strengthen their goalkeeping options by bringing Paris Saint-Germain’s stopper Alphonse Areola to the club. The 28-year-old French international impressed last season on loan at Fulham, but PSG have now signed Gianluigi Donnarruma, meaning there is little chance for Areola to break back into the first team. David Moyes wants to add him to the squad on loan, reports the Mail.
Paper Round’s view: Areola was never a bad ‘keeper when he was playing regularly for PSG and while they have improved by bringing in both Keylor Navas and Donnarumma, they could miss out on the Frenchman’s consistency. As for West Ham, they would be gaining a player who could challenge Darren Randolph and Lukasz Fabianski for the first team spot.
Benzema to stay on at Real even if Mbappe arrives
Kylian Mbappe is known to be Real Madrid’s priority target this summer as they gear up to spend money for the first time in over 500 days. However they are likely to keep hold of resurgent French international Karim Benzema, and will offer the 33-year-old striker a two-year extension on his deal which could keep him at the club for 14 years after his move from Lyon.
Paper Round’s view: With a club as ruthless and disorganised as Real Madrid, it is perhaps a surprise that Benzema has been able to see off the presence of Gonzalo Higuain, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and more, all to stay as the first choice striker in the Spanish capital for more than a decade. With his return to the national side, he shows every sign of being able to play at the top at 35.
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