Hodgson unconcerned by Zaha speculation
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson is unbothered by the current speculation regarding Wilfried Zaha, according to the Mail. The 28-year-old Ivory Coast international has been linked with a move to both Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan, but Hodgson said: “Wilf's good and it doesn't surprise me that there's clubs out there who would like to sign him, but a lot of things have to be put in place before a player leaves a club.”
Paper Round’s view: Zaha is evidently keen on a move to a new club before the end of his career, and he is by far Palace’s best player. His current contract ends in 2023 which means Palace have some time before they need to consider a switch. There are going to be fewer big clubs willing to splash out on him as he approaches, at least until he can move on a free transfer.
Arsenal look to Brandt signing to save their season - Euro Papers
Brandt tempted by Arsenal
The Mirror reports that Arsenal could have some success in their pursuit of German international midfielder Julian Brandt. The 24-year-old Borussia Dortmund playmaker has fallen out of favour at his current club, which means that he would be willing to entertain a switch to Arsenal, with Mikel Arteta hunting for some creativity in the midfield.
Paper Round’s view: Arsenal are struggling to find a player who is good enough to make a difference to their squad, who is willing to come to the club, and who is affordable. It appears that Isco would rather stay in Spain and Real may not even wish to sell, for example. Brandt however is a few years younger and has plenty of talent. He could be the ideal signing for Arsenal.
Arsenal still in hunt for Isco
However, the Sun claims that Arsenal are still in the hunt for Real Madrid midfielder Isco, with a number of other players under consideration for a move. There is a chance that they could come back in for Lyon’s playmaker Houssem Aouar. The French club were unwilling to sell in January but may change their minds after the collapse of the broadcast deal with Mediapro.
Paper Round’s view: Aouar looks to be the business and is perhaps best suited to occupying the attacking position that Arteta wants from a new midfielder. While it is tough on Lyon, being able to force them into a sale on something other than their terms is a rare opportunity and one that Arsenal should consider pushing through as they look to get business done quickly.
Ozil has chance of Arsenal return
In yet more Arsenal news, and even more Arsenal midfielder news, the Telegraph reports that Mikel Arteta has not completely closed the door on a return to first team action for German midfielder Mesut Ozil. If the club can sell other players to reduce their wage bill, then he could countenance bringing back the 32-year-old playmaker given his strong performances in training.
Paper Round’s view: Ozil has only six months left at the club so the time to take a stand to try to force him out has come and gone. Now the only question should be if it makes sense to bring him back to help out the team. He clearly believes he has something to prove to those who excommunicated him. He could hardly put in worse performances than some of his teammates.