Hodgson believes Zaha may leave
Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson thinks that star player Wilfried Zaha could leave in the summer. The 28-year-old Ivory Coast international has been linked with moves away for the past few transfer windows but remains at Selhurst Park. Hodgson said: 'I think when the market opens up again Wilf Zaha will again be a name on many managers and sporting directors' lips and Wilf will retain his ambition of playing Champions League football and doing things we have not been able to give him while he has been playing here.”
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Paper Round’s view: Zaha is approaching the time where big clubs will no longer be willing to pay up to secure his services given his age. He has a decent contract at Palace but it doesn’t expire until 2023. The only hope he has of a big move to a major club is if Palace are willing to compromise on the fee next summer in order to avoid losing him for nothing.
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Barcelona discuss triple Betis transfers
Spanish clubs Barcelona and Real Betis are set to discuss the future of three players ahead of the summer. Barcelona still owe Betis €9 million for Junior Firpo, and a portion of any fee received given he is expected to leave in the summer. Emerson is half-owned by Barcelona and they could exercise a clause to take full ownership with the payment of another nine million. And for Miranda, he will return to Barca in the summer with a year left on his current deal. There is also the matter of Cristian Tello, now at Betis, who have a sell-on clause with Barca.
Paper Round’s view: Barcelona appear to have run out of money for the transfers they need to pull off to compete properly with Real and Atletico Madrid. The mess they have with Betis is for four players, none of whom they appear to particularly want. If they can start streamlining their squad and clearing up obligations, they might soon be in a position to start a rebuild.
Saliba future unclear
Arsenal’s on-loan defender William Saliba is unsure about where his future lies. He found it hard to force his way into contention under Mikel Arteta, who felt the coronavirus stopped him properly adjusting to life in the Premier League. When asked about his future, Saliba who is currently at Nice, said: “As many matches as possible, as many titles as possible. I hope to play one day for the French national team.”
Paper Round’s view: The answer from Saliba suggests he has lost a little faith in what he will get out of his spell with Arsenal. If he is playing regularly for Nice and impresses, then he could be tempted to make his spell there permanent or attract the attention of some of the bigger French teams, like Lyon, Lille and Paris Saint-Germain. Arsenal are not so much of an attractive proposition to return to now.
Ramos United move in doubt
Manchester United could move for Real Madrid’s central defender Sergio Ramos, according to the Sun. The 34-year-old Spanish international is in talks with his current club over a new contract, but no agreement has been agreed. However, he has had surgery on his knee which could see him spend a lengthy amount of time on the sidelines. That could stop United offering him a deal.
Paper Round’s view: The Spanish international is one of the best players in the world still, and if United are able to secure his services for a year it would let them ease Harry Maguire out of the first-team picture and find a younger player to play alongside Ramos and learn from him. Given his excellent physical condition, United might even get a few years out of Ramos and help raise the professional standards of the squad.
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