Barca tell De Jong: Take it or leave
Frenkie de Jong’s agents are in Barcelona ahead of a meeting with club officials to discuss the Dutch midfielder’s future at the Camp Nou. Spanish media outlet Sport reveal that Barca are going to inform the player’s representatives that he has two options: reduce his current salary or leave Barcelona for Chelsea. The club are “tired of waiting for De Jong to decide” so are handing him an ultimatum. Chelsea are currently negotiating a transfer fee for the 25-year-old with Barca, but he would need to agree personal terms with the Premier League club.
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Paper Round’s view: It’s all very harsh. How can Barcelona force De Jong to do this? It’s not like American sports where you can just be traded against your will. The club and player signed a contract – so surely both parties must abide by that agreement until they can mutually settle a way to end it. It just seems like De Jong wants to stay but the club cannot afford him on his current salary – so now they are just forcing him out to whoever can take his contract. Let’s be honest, whoever signs him would get a world-class midfielder for the next eight years or so.
Chelsea launch double swoop on Barca
Chelsea are ready to launch a double swoop on Barcelona pair Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Frenkie de Jong. The Sun report that the duo are currently in “crunch talks” with the Catalan club over their futures at the Camp Nou. Barcelona are desperate to balance their books in order to register their summer signings ahead of start of the Liga season and the club need to sell players to do this. The Blaugrana would prefer De Jong to stay and take a salary cut, but the player is refusing – which could lead to a sale to Chelsea. Aubameyang could return to London to work with Thomas Tuchel, who he was managed by at Borussia Dortmund.
Paper Round’s view: The ongoing Barcelona saga is one of the strangest transfer storylines we’ve had in recent years. The club have had an issue with registering players due to their limited finances – yet they continue to sign players. It would probably be a huge help if De Jong and Aubameyang’s wages were offloaded to Chelsea. It would be a bit of a nightmare to lose the Dutchman, but Aubameyang less so due to his age and the recent arrival of Robert Lewandowski. However, the former Arsenal captain could prove himself a vital asset for Chelsea this season as they lack a real striker.
Palace not giving up on Gallagher
Crystal Palace are continuing to monitor Conor Gallagher during the summer transfer window in a bid to convince their former loan star to return to south London. The 22-year-old spent last season on loan at Selhurst Park but returned to Chelsea and informed manager Thomas Tuchel that he was ready to play for his parent club this campaign. Crystal Palace believe Gallagher could change his mind if he fails to feature regularly before the transfer window closes. The England international knows his hopes to feature at the World Cup hinge on playing first-team football in the lead up to the tournament.
Paper Round’s view: It’s a very tough situation for Gallagher. Obviously he backed himself to feature for Chelsea this season. Why wouldn’t he? The youngster enjoyed a successful campaign at Crystal Palace last year and was ready to make the step up. However, it was always going to be tough to displace N’Golo Kante and Jorginho. Now Chelsea are linked with a move for Frenkie de Jong. If De Jong joins the Blues, it pretty much pushes Gallagher out of the door. Moving back to Palace on loan would definitely help his World Cup hopes.
Everton desperate for a striker
Everton have entered talks with Southampton over Che Adams, according to the Athletic. The Toffees are keen to strengthen their attacking options following the news that Dominic Calvert-Lewin would miss at least four weeks of the season with injury. Everton are attempting to sign the Saints striker in a loan-to-buy deal and Southampton are reportedly willing to let him leave. The south-coast club are already lining up a shortlist of strikers to replace Adams, should he depart this summer.
Paper Round’s view: Everton definitely need to sign a striker. Calvert-Lewin’s return date is currently unknown, and Frank Lampard was forced to start winger Antony Gordon as his striker as the Toffees lost 1-0 at home to Chelsea in their Premier League season opener. Adams would be a decent signing and a loan with an option-to-buy clause would be ideal. The Scotland international is quite good at bringing others into play and is Premier League-ready.
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