Chelsea to hijack Man Utd’s De Jong deal?
Spanish media outlet Sport reveal that Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong is open to joining Chelsea this summer. The Netherlands international has reportedly already rejected Manchester United for multiple reasons. De Jong has no interest in living in Manchester, believes the Red Devils are an “erratic” club and – most importantly – wants to compete in the Champions League. The 25-year-old ideally wants to stay at Barcelona but if the club makes him leave, he would be open to living in London and competing for trophies with Chelsea.
'Of course I was going to say yes' - Lingard's Forest move motivated by 'love'
Paper Round’s view: Manchester United fans don’t want to hear this… but they are just not as desirable as they once were. The club have been a bit of a mess for nearly 10 years now and De Jong even recognises this as he reportedly views them as “erratic”. There’s no Champions League football, which is probably a huge factor for a player like De Jong. But realistically, there’s no silverware on the horizon. Let's be honest... if Manchester City wanted De Jong, he would suddenly have an interest in moving to Manchester. But only if it was for the club who are winning trophies - not the red half…
Chelsea line up Kounde alternative
Chelsea are ready with alternative transfer targets in case their move for Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde falls through. The Standard report that the west London club have identified RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol as a back-up option, should they fail to sign either Kounde or Paris Saint-Germain’s Presnel Kimpembe. Leipzig are currently unwilling to entertain any negotiations for Gvardiol, but the report states that the German club could be convinced by an “exceptional offer”. Chelsea are currently in “advanced talks” with Sevilla to sign their top transfer target, Kounde.
Paper Round’s view: Chelsea are aware that Barcelona are interested in the French defender and the Catalan club’s second lever is activated on Thursday morning. This could have a huge impact on the Blues’ pursuit of Kounde. The 23-year-old may wish to stay in Spain, despite already agreeing personal terms with Chelsea. It always helps to have a back-up plan due to the volatility of the transfer market. Whichever club eventually secures Kounde’s signature will have a star at centre-back for years to come.
Lingard set for Forest medical
Jesse Lingard is ready to complete a shock move to newly-promoted Nottingham Forest, according to the Mirror. The former Manchester United midfielder had been in negotiations to return to West Ham United, but Forest made a late approach for Lingard. The 29-year-old is set to undergo a medical this week ahead of his move to the City Ground. There was also reported interest from the likes of Everton, Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United, as well as a handful of Italian clubs and Wayne Rooney’s DC United.
Paper Round’s view: This move has really come out of nowhere. Lingard had finally said his goodbyes at his boyhood club and was ready to start a new chapter after leaving Manchester United. However, it was seeming more likely that he would return to West Ham, where he enjoyed a successful loan spell back in the 2020-21 season. Forest are building something promising with highly-rated manager Steve Cooper, but it’s going to be tough trying to make all the new signings gel. Lingard has plenty of Premier League experience, which could be vital in Forest’s bid to survive.
Man City ready to walk away from Cucurella
Manchester City could walk away from their attempts to sign Marc Cucurella, according to the Sun. The Premier League champions are keen to sign the Brighton defender as a replacement for Oleksandr Zinchenko, who is set to join Arsenal. However, Brighton have slapped a £50 million asking price on the 23-year-old, who was their player of the season last year. Manchester City value Cucurella at closer to £30 million, so could move on to Stuttgart left-back Borna Sosa – who is reportedly worth £21 million – as an alternative option.
Paper Round’s view: Brighton are just holding their own. They know they don’t need to sell Cucurella. The Spaniard only just joined them from Getafe last summer. If they sell to Manchester City, they will get a huge fee, but if not – they get to keep the left-back who was crowned as their player of the season. Cucurella is still just 23 years old, so probably won’t push for a move away just yet. It’s a win-win for Brighton really.
Lingard joins Nottingham Forest on free transfer after leaving Man Utd
Chelsea pip Barca to Kounde signing by sending duo to Camp Nou – Paper Round
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