‘Kane Wars’

The revelation that Harry Kane did not turn up to Tottenham training on Monday has naturally dominated the back pages, but a move to Manchester City will only materialise if the clubs can agree on a transfer fee for the England captain. Daily Star report the clubs are £40m apart, with City reluctant to go beyond £120m while Daniel Levy is after £160m. The Sun claim Spurs will not go below that price.
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Paper Round’s view: It’s been a while since we’ve had one of these stories, and the England captain no less. A wise point has been raised that perhaps training runs the risk of injury and therefore could affect Spurs’ chances of cashing in if Kane were to get injured. Given his glass ankles, that could be on the money.

Man Utd have 12 months to convince Haaland

According to Manchester Evening News, Manchester United have around 12 months to convince Erling Haaland they are the next club for him. The Borussia Dortmund striker is wanted by several clubs across Europe, with Chelsea among these interested in the Norwegian this summer. They could be priced out of a move, however, but a release clause which comes into effect next year will see Haaland available for €75m. MEN claims Haaland will only move to a club competing for domestic titles and the Champions League.
Paper Round’s view: All sensible, it would seem. It appears unlikely Haaland will move this summer unless Dortmund lower their asking price knowing he’ll go for even lower in 2022. For United, then, the mission is clear. Impress now and strengthen even further later down the line.

Messi deal – soon

Lionel Messi has finally agreed a contract extension with Barcelona and is set to stay at the Nou Camp by signing a new five-year deal in the coming days, Sport reports. The 34-year-old is technically a free agent, though no approaches from PSG and Manchester City have been reported this summer as it became apparent the Argentine would be remaining at Barca once terms were finally agreed.

Messi stays at Barcelona

Image credit: Getty Images

Paper Round’s view: No surprises here, but surely relief for Barca, and their fans, who must have feared the worst last season. They will of course need to improve their squad still if they are to have a chance of competing for the Champions League, and knowing Messi is there for the duration could help convince some players – if Barca then come up with the desired wage demands.

Villa up JWP bid

Aston Villa have made a renewed bid for Southampton's James Ward-Prowse after their £25m offer was rejected, the Daily Mail reports. Villa have been pursuing the Saints captain, but so far their Premier League rivals have not entertained the prospect of selling the midfielder. Villa want Ward-Prowse, as well as Norwich’s Todd Cantwell, as they look poised to make more signings if Jack Grealish does go to Manchester City for £100m.

James Ward-Prowse

Image credit: Getty Images

Paper Round’s view: Approaches are one thing, but the prospect of Southampton ever eventually accepting an offer is another entirely. The clubs are rivals in the sense of current aspirations, and so the Saints have no interest in selling one of their prize assets to Villa – that is unless the offer drastically increases.
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