Real Madrid agree Alaba deal
Real Madrid have agreed personal terms with Bayern Munich defender David Alaba, according to Spanish newspaper Marca. The Austrian international will arrive in Spain in the summer and is wanted due to his versatility across the back line. Real want to bring in the player in part because of the uncertainty over the future of the current first-choice central defender Sergio Ramos.
Paper Round’s view: Alaba is one of the most reliable central defenders around in European football and at 28 he still has a few years left at the top of his game if he is able to stay fit into his thirties. Ramos looks closer to the exit at Real than he has in a few years, so bringing in another experienced centre-back gives them the cover to allow him to move on to another club.
Real slap low price tag on Varane – Euro Papers
Herrera doubts Messi arrival
Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Ander Herrera is unsure whether his club will be able to bring in Lionel Messi from Barcelona this summer. The Daily Mail reports that the former Manchester United player has discussed the financial restraints that could affect the arrival of the 33-year-old Argentine, saying: “Messi, Neymar and Mbappe together? I don't know how that would work with Financial Fair Play, but I don't think so.”
Paper Round’s view: If PSG are resigned to losing Kylian Mbappe in the summer then that will make huge space in their wage bill, and probably lead to a huge amount of money coming in from a transfer fee. That would free up funds for them to pay Messi’s wages for a couple of seasons, but Herrera is probably right that getting all three of them in the squad would be too expensive.
Real Madrid weigh up Haaland and Mbappe
Real Madrid are one of the teams looking to take advantage of Mbappe’s contract situation, reports the Sun. They claim that they could make a move in the summer to be the long-term replacement for 33-year-old Karim Benzema, with the 22-year-old Frenchman able to step up. Another option is Borussia Dortmund’s 20-year-old striker Erling Haaland, though they will face competition from Manchester City.
Paper Round’s view: Haaland seems like an exceptional talent and a ruthless one and that, but he does not seem the archetypal Pep Guardiola striker. That is not necessarily a problem, as Sergio Aguero showed that a more traditional number nine can work in City’s side if he is willing to work hard, and the Argentine player is now set to leave on a free transfer this summer. So Real could face substantial competition from Manchester City for Haaland. Mbappe’s desire to move to Madrid is well known.
Bayern chief would take Salah
Bayern Munich chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge admitted that he would be happy to take Liverpool’s striker Mohamed Salah to the Bundesliga, but thinks that there is no imminent chance of that happening. The Mirror reports him as saying: "At the moment we don’t plan on signing Salah, but certainly it would be an honour to have him.”
Paper Round’s view: Bayern rarely go in for big-money signings but more recently they have spent big to get Leroy Sane in from Manchester City. Salah seems most likely to head to Spain when he does finally move on from Liverpool, but Bayern would doubtless find room for one of the best strikers in European football.