Transfer news - Chelsea plan to hijack Manchester United's deal to sign Raphael Varane from Real Madrid - Paper Round
Chelsea plan to rival Manchester United in the battle to sign Raphael Varane from Real Madrid. Elsewhere, the Blues plot a player-swap deal with Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid issue a hands-off warning to Manchester United over Kieran Trippier and Rafa Benitez is set to complete his first three signings as Everton manager. It's Monday's Paper Round...
Timo Werner of Chelsea, Raphael Varane of Real Madrid during the UEFA Champions League match between Real Madrid v Chelsea at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano on April 27, 2021 in Madrid Spain
Manchester United's deal for Raphael Varane could be under threat, with the Star reporting that Chelsea are planning to launch a late bid for the French defender. Varane's move to Old Trafford had been all-but confirmed in Friday's papers, but now the Red Devils' Premier League rivals are entering the battle for his signature. Chelsea have emerged as a "late contender" to sign Varane, who is looking to leave Real Madrid this summer in search of a new challenge. The World Cup winner has less than a year remaining on his contract in the Spanish capital and has rejected the opportunity to extend his deal.
Paper Round's view: It has been surprising that only one club are interested in signing Varane. The 28-year-old has been the subject of plenty of transfer rumours over the past few months, but Manchester United are the only club that have been seriously linked with him. £50 million is a bargain fee for a player of his quality and experience too. Things will get interesting if Chelsea are really putting in a late bid for Varane, but it seems like a story that could be leaked to the media to force Manchester United into upping their bid. Real Madrid need all the money they can get and this story might help their case.
Chelsea are preparing to pounce for Bayern Munich winger Kingsley Coman and the Mail report that the Blues could offer the Bundesliga champions a sensational player-swap deal this summer. Contract talks between Bayern and Coman have stalled due to the Frenchman's excessive salary demands, which could lead to the 25-year-old leaving the Allianz Arena. Chelsea are planning to use Bayern's long-standing interest in Callum Hudson-Odoi to prepare a player-swap offer to bring Coman to London. The World Cup winner - who is valued at £77 million by his parent club - has also attracted attention from other Premier League clubs including Liverpool and Manchester City.
Paper Round's view: Could we see a high-profile player-swap deal this summer? Bayern have been sniffing around Hudson-Odoi for a few seasons now, but the England international has failed to push on since his early hype. The Mail report that Thomas Tuchel doesn't see him in his plans for the upcoming season, so why would Bayern accept a straight swap deal for a player of Coman's quality. Obviously Coman has his downside - mainly the fact that he seems injury prone - but he is a much better and more developed player at the moment.
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Trippier going nowhere
Atletico Madrid have reiterated that Kieran Trippier is "not for sale", despite his continued links with a return to the Premier League. The 30-year-old is wanted by Manchester United but AS report that Atleti boss Diego Simeone wants to keep his title-winning squad "more or less in tact" for the upcoming campaign. The Spanish champions will attempt to convince Trippier to stay, but will allow him to leave if he requests a transfer and if the club receive a "suitable offer". Atleti have identified Wolves' Nelson Semedo and Napoli's Euro 2020 champion Giovanni Di Lorenzo as potential replacements if Trippier were to depart.
Paper Round's view: It seems like that if Manchester United want to sign Trippier, they will have to meet Atletico Madrid's asking price. AS noted that there have been rumours of a £20-million bid from the Premier League club and that the England international is already house hunting in Manchester. It is unknown what exactly the Spanish club are demanding for Trippier to leave the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, but it will probably take a week or so of negotiations for a deal to be completed. Atleti will be gutted if Trippier were to leave, but he played a key part in their Liga title victory last season.
Rafa Benitez is closing in on his first signings as Everton manager, with the Telegraph reporting that a trio of new faces are expected to join up with the Merseyside club. Demarai Gray, Andros Townsend and Asmir Begovic are heading to Goodison Park, with Gray joining for £1.5 million from Bayer Leverkusen, while the latter two join on free transfers from Crystal Palace and Bournemouth respectively. Begovic and Townsend have agreed one-year deals with an option to extend for another year and Gray will join on a two-year contract with an extra year option.
Paper Round's view: Let's be honest here - none of these signings will excite Everton supporters. However, if you look beyond the names - the transfers start to make more sense. They're all low-risk, short-term contracts and no one is expecting any of these three to be starters for the Toffees. It's simply adding squad depth and all three are players with a solid level of Premier League experience. Begovic is a trusted option to deputise for starting goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, while Gray and Townsend add a bit of depth on the wings and both possess the ability to change a game with their direct playing styles.