Lautaro Martinez: Arsenal to rival Man Utd for Inter striker with Champions League a potential factor – Paper Round
Tuesday’s Paper Round leads on The Times’ report regarding Arsenal and their interest in Lautaro Martinez, the Inter striker who is also wanted by Manchester United. Elsewhere, Kalvin Phillips must wait for a new deal at Leeds, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic makes the gossip columns again, and a Derby youngster is wanted by a handful of Premier League clubs.
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Arsenal have renewed their interest in Inter’s Lautaro Martínez given their enhanced chances of reaching next season’s Champions League, the Times reports. In a battle for fourth with Tottenham, and with Chelsea not far behind in third, Arsenal are hoping a Champions League return will bolster their ability to attract big names in the transfer market. Along with Martinez, Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus and Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin are among the other forwards Mikel Arteta would like to sign. Martinez is also a target for Manchester United, who could offer Anthony Martial in a swap deal.
Paper Round’s view: If reaching the Champions League is to be a factor for Martinez, then you may as well rule United out. Both United and Arsenal need a world-class No.9 if they want to even begin to consider closing the gap on the current top two, but if Martinez really is available then more clubs could come calling.
Kalvin Phillips is waiting to find out whether will be offered a new deal at Leeds, the Daily Star reports. The England international is eager to sign an improved contract at Leeds, who rejected a £55m offer from West Ham in January, but an extension remains in the balance given Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani wants to wait until June – with relegation a potential factor as well.
Leeds player Kalvin Phillips reacts during the Carabao Cup Second Round match between Leeds United and Crewe Alexandra at Elland Road on August 24, 2021 in Leeds, England.
Image credit: Getty Images
Paper Round’s view: You get the impression relegation could be what determines if Phillips stays or goes, and is clearly why Radrizzani is waiting. If they up, it would be of paramount importance to convince him to stay, as he’s a player you build around, not willingly give up – but that depends on the amount.
Juve out of Milinkovic-Savic race
Juventus do not believe they can compete with Manchester United for the signature of Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, the Mirror reports. After seven years at Lazio, Milinkovic-Savic is expected to leave this summer, but a move to another Serie A club appears to be off the cards, with United favourites to land the Serbian given Paul Pogba is expected to leave the club at the end of the season. Juve cannot compete financially with the package United could offer.
Paper Round’s view: It’s déjà vu, and it’s also seemingly any excuse to mention Milinkovic-Savic to United, this time mentioning the fact Juve can’t afford the midfielder. It’s the angle of the week, so expect Milinkovic-Savic to get linked to United in another fashion next week.
Trio eye Derby star
Tottenham, Leeds and Fulham are all looking to sign Derby wonderkid Malcolm Ebiowei in the summer, The Sun reports. The 18-year-old winger’s contract expires at the end of the season, and his performances in the Championship have alerted a number of Premier League clubs, so too Germany outfit RB Leipzig. Ebiowei, who was on target in the weekend win over Blackpool, was on Arsenal’s books earlier in his career.
Paper Round’s view: Derby have impressed despite going down, given their points deduction, and the big test for Wayne Rooney will be convincing the squad to stay together in the third-tier, when there may well be tempting offers elsewhere. Ebiowei may be a difficult one to keep, though.