Ronaldo isn’t giving up
Cristiano Ronaldo has continued his attempts to move away from Manchester United this summer, according to the Mail. The Portugal captain has demanded to be released from the final year of his contract at Old Trafford and is therefore prepared to give up his eye-watering £360,000-per-week salary. Ronaldo is desperate to join a club competing in the Champions League but Manchester United have informed him that they “have no desire to sell him”. Ronaldo is refusing to change his mind but will reportedly remain professional during his time in Manchester.
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Paper Round’s view: This saga is just not going away. Obviously, Ronaldo wants to leave so he can continue playing in the Champions League. The 37-year-old has not played in the Europa League in his career and has no intention of starting now. Ronaldo probably feels like he has one more shot at winning the Champions League again and it is essentially a year wasted back at Old Trafford as the Red Devils are nowhere near the level needed to compete for silverware. However, there is one small problem. There are no clubs interested in signing Ronaldo with the money involved.
Barca mean business
Barcelona are looking to follow up the signing of Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde with a double swoop on their transfer rivals, Chelsea. Marca report that the Catalan club have identified the Blues’ defensive duo Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso as their final pieces of business in the summer transfer window. Xavi is “desperate” to add some defensive depth to his squad – especially at full-back. Azpilicueta would offer him some versatility at the back, while Alonso would provide competition with Jordi Alba.
Paper Round’s view: Barcelona are not slowing up in the transfer market as they look to continue with their squad rebuild following Lionel Messi’s exit last summer. Will Azpilicueta and Alonso join Robert Lewandowski and co. at the Camp Nou this summer? Well… it puts Chelsea in an awkward spot. Barca have just beaten them to the signings of Kounde and Raphinha, while Andreas Christensen just left Stamford Bridge for free to join Xavi’s side. Chelsea might still be annoyed about that and refuse to sell to them.
Hammer blow for West Ham’s Kostic pursuit
West Ham United have suffered a setback in their pursuit of Eintracht Frankfurt wing-back Filip Kostic. The Sun have reported that the Bundesliga club have rejected an opening bid from West Ham worth around £12.5 million for Kostic. The 29-year-old has just one year remaining on his current contract in Germany, so Frankfurt are willing to sell him this summer. However, the Europa League winners value Kostic closer to £16 million – and have set this price due to the fact that a number of clubs are interested in the Serbian.
Paper Round’s view: West Ham are doing some decent business this summer and are working on strengthening the depth of their squad. David Moyes would have had a unique opportunity to scout Kostic when Frankfurt dumped West Ham out of the Europa League in the semi-finals last season. It’s clear that the former Manchester United and Everton boss was impressed by Kostic. The 29-year-old would be a smart addition. He has won silverware and offers plenty of versatility down the wing.
Another addition for Everton
Everton are edging closer to completing the signing of Dwight McNeil from Burnley, according to the Guardian. The 22-year-old was expected to depart Turf Moor this summer following the club’s relegation from the Premier League and had been linked with Crystal Palace too. However, McNeil is expected to become Everton’s third signing of the summer, alongside his former Burnley team-mate James Tarkowski and Ruben Vinagre – who joined on loan from Sporting Lisbon. The deal for McNeil is expected to be worth around £20 million.
Paper Round’s view: McNeil has shown that he is of Premier League standard since breaking into the Burnley side back in the 2018-19 season. It’s no surprise seeing him head straight back to the English top-flight this summer, despite suffering relegation last season. Everton boss Frank Lampard now has a young English duo on the wings in McNeil and Anthony Gordon. It should be fun to watch two old-school wingers providing for Dominic Calvert-Lewin at Goodison Park throughout this coming campaign.
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