United target Di Lorenzo
Manchester United are keen to bring in Giovanni Di Lorenzo from Serie A side Napoli. The 27-year-old Italian international plays at right-back and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may want to add him to the squad to offer competition to Aaron Wan-Bissaka. He would cost around £17 million, making him far more affordable than their preferred target, Atletico Madrid’s Kieran Trippier.
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Paper Round’s view: Given Trippier’s age, the sums demanded by Atletico - around £40 million - make little sense and will only solve the position for a year or two. Di Lorenzo might not be the answer but for less than half the price he would at least offer competition to stimulate Wan-Bissaka to focus on and improve his attacking contributions to the team.
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Moriba set for Barcelona departure
Spanish newspaper Marca suggests that Barcelona could lose their 18-year-old midfielder Ilaix Moriba. The Guinea-born player turned down a contract offer from Barca and has been moved to the B team until he changes his mind. However, Barcelona may prefer to sell him for 15-20 million euros to raise funds, while the player may attempt to leave for nothing in the summer.
Paper Round’s view: With the new season approaching, Barcelona still don’t have Lionel Messi tied down and the player sales they need to push through have not yet materialised. It is hard to see how they will raise the necessary funds if they do not start arranging deals, especially given they have signed Memphis Depay, Eric Garcia and Sergio Aguero.
Benitez considers Saint-Maximin transfer
The Mirror reports that Newcastle United winger Allan Saint-Maximin is a target for Everton’s Rafael Benitez, who used to manage the club himself. Saint-Maximin, 24, is Newcastle’s star player and could cost around £60 million, with Benitez interested in signing him should he need to replace Richarlison, who could follow Carlo Ancelotti to Real Madrid.
Paper Round’s view: Richarlison would be a fine back-up to Karim Benzema and should Gareth Bale move on, he would offer a similarly imposing physique from the wings. However, he is not yet quite consistent enough for Everton to miss him desperately if he moves on, and Saint-Maximin might end up being an improvement of a kind for Everton.
Ceballos to remain at Real
Dani Ceballos insists that he wants to stay at Real Madrid. The Mail reports that the 24-year-old Spaniard believes he is better after two years on loan at Arsenal, but now hopes to be a first-team regular under Carlo Ancelotti. Ceballos said: “I really want to win at Real Madrid, I'll fight to stay here. The experience with Arsenal in the Premier League made me stronger, now it's time to win at Real Madrid.”
Paper Round’s view: With Toni Kroos, Casemiro and Luka Modric still at the Bernabeu there are few obvious ways for Ceballos to find his way into the first eleven under Ancelotti. However now is the time for him to demonstrate that he can be a consistent contributor to the team, especially if one of the older players suffers an injury and gives up a place.
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