Transfer news - Manchester United edge closer to Raphael Varane and Kieran Trippier signings - Paper Round
Manchester United are close to completing the signings of Madrid's defensive duo Raphael Varane and Kieran Trippier. Elsewhere, Paris Saint-Germain are preparing a 'mammoth' contract offer to tempt Kylian Mbappe to extend his stay, Chelsea and Manchester City rejected the opportunity to sign Antoine Griezmann from Barcelona and Rafa Benitez has begun his squad rebuild at Everton.
Raphael Varane of Real Madrid looks on during the La Liga Santander match between Real Madrid and Granada CF at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano on December 23, 2020 in Madrid, Spain.
Manchester United are set to raid Madrid for two defensive signings, with the Sun reporting that the Premier League side are close to completing the high-profile signings of Raphael Varane and Kieran Trippier from Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid respectively. Both deals are set to be announced at the end of next week and will follow the £73-million signing of Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund. Varane looks set to join for a £50-million transfer fee on a five-year deal, while Trippier's Premier League return will cost Manchester United £18 million.
Paper Round's view: Manchester United are building a squad that can challenge for the Premier League. Varane is so needed. Harry Maguire has spent the summer proving his doubters wrong, but Victor Lindelof isn't good enough to help United win silverware. If Varane is available for £50 million, it's a no-brainer for any top club. To be honest, it's surprising that Paris Saint-Germain went for Sergio Ramos over the Frenchman. Trippier enjoyed a superb season at Atleti and a solid Euro 2020 with England. He will offer an alternative approach to Aaron Wan-Bissaka at right-back and his versatility means Manchester United can easily shift their system if needed.
Paris Saint-Germain are preparing a "mammoth" contract offer in an attempt to keep Kylian Mbappe in the French capital. The 22-year-old has just one year remaining on his current deal and has attracted attention from Real Madrid, who have made Mbappe their "number one transfer priority". Marca believe that PSG's Qatari ownership are willing to increase the World Cup winner's wages to match Neymar's new contract. However, the report states that the money may not be enough, with Mbappe intent on moving on to fulfil his personal ambitions. PSG could make a shocking approach for Cristiano Ronaldo if Mbappe departed this summer.
Paper Round's view: Mbappe has one year left on his current contract - which means the power is completely in his hands. He can either choose to sign a new contract with PSG or run his deal down and leave for free next summer. The Parisians need to do all they can to convince Mbappe to sign this new deal, but his mind might have already been made up. Would Ronaldo be a good replacement? It would definitely bring a buzz back to the Parc des Princes if the PSG star were to leave this summer, but we have to remember that the five-time Ballon d'Or winner is 14 years older than Mbappe... and he won't come cheap.
The two conditions that will see Mbappe renew at PSG - Euro Papers
Griezmann rejected by Premier League clubs
The Star reveal that both Chelsea and Manchester City rejected the opportunity to sign Antoine Griezmann from Barcelona this summer. The 30-year-old has been offered out by the Catalan club after financial fair play rules in La Liga threatened Lionel Messi's ability to re-sign following the expiration of his contract. Barca are being forced to significantly reduce their wage bill, but failed to find takers in the Premier League. Chelsea shifted their focus to Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland, while Manchester City are eyeing up England duo Harry Kane and Jack Grealish. Griezmann now looks set to return to Atletico Madrid.
Paper Round's view: You have to feel for Griezmann. He worked his way up the Spanish leagues - from winning Segunda Division with Real Sociedad to joining Atletico Madrid, and then finally Barcelona... and now he is being used as a sacrifice for the club to keep itself from implosion. There's no doubting that Barcelona are one of the worst-run clubs in world football. They can try to blame the coronavirus pandemic and its financial impacts all they want - but before that, they had sanctioned some awful transfers. It's been a downward spiral ever since Neymar left for PSG - which saw the club massively overpay for Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho.
Rafa Benitez is already looking to make some changes at Everton, with the Telegraph reporting that the Merseyside manager is looking to rebuild his squad. The 61-year-old is ready to listen to offers for at least six first-team players in order to raise transfer funds. James Rodriguez, Andre Gomes, Bernard, Fabian Delph, Yerry Mina and Cenk Tosun are all being put in the shop window, while Moise Kean would be allowed to leave on a permanent deal. Benitez is eyeing up a new right-back with Denzel Dumfries and Max Aarons on his shortlist, while the former Napoli boss would love to reunite with Kalidou Koulibaly at Goodison Park.
Paper Round's view: Everton looked like they were moving up into the 'Leicester bracket' last season under Carlo Ancelotti... until you realise they ended up finishing 10th in the Premier League. Benitez needs to get rid of the deadwood and - apart from James Rodriguez - the list of players who are up for sale simply aren't good enough or consistent enough. There is a promising young core at Goodison Park and the club's recruitment has been decent in recent years. Benitez's aim needs to be: win a domestic trophy and try to break into the top six. Leicester have shown us how it's done, so now it's time for another club to do it.