Chelsea face Dembele battle
The Sun reports that Premier League side Chelsea have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele. The 25-year-old French international is out of contract in Spain at the end of the month and can move on a free transfer, with Thomas Tuchel keen on his former Borussia Dortmund player. However it is claimed in Spain that Dembele wants to remain with Xavi Hernandez.
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Paper Round’s view: Dembele’s form dramatically improved over the course of the second half of the season and that suggests that he could have finally cracked his problems both with consistency and with injury. Given Barcelona must sign him to a new contract before his current one expires, or face the same financial fair play problems they did with Lionel Messi, there is little time to sort the deal.
Martial valued at £20m
Manchester United are reportedly willing to let Anthony Martial leave the club for just £20 million, a little over half what they paid for him when he arrived from Monaco, claims The Mirror. The 26-year-old French striker has struggled over the last few years to perform to the best of his ability, and a six-month loan spell at Sevilla saw him score just one goal in 12 games, meaning he was not kept on.
Paper Round’s view: Wages of £240,000 a week show that, once again, Ed Woodward was unable to run a football club sensibly. It will cost United a decent wedge to get him to leave in the event an offer comes in, and with two years left on his contract, he might conclude that he can wait out the next two seasons before cashing in on a free transfer and high wages elsewhere.
Everton in talks for Winks
The Daily Mail suggests that Harry Winks could be on his way out of his boyhood club, Tottenham. The 26-year-old midfielder is well down the pecking order under Antonio Conte, and Frank Lampard needs midfield reinforcements after the departures of Fabian Delph and Donny van der Beek. Winks could be used in a deal that would see Richarlison move to Tottenham.
Paper Round’s view: Winks is far from a special talent, but with Premier League experience and what seems to be a positive and professional attitude, he would probably suit Everton under Lampard, who seems unhappy with the approach in his current squad. With just two years left on his current deal it makes sense that Spurs try to extract some value out of him this summer.
PSG willing to sell Neymar
Paris Saint-Germain would be willing to sell striker Neymar, according to a story in Spanish newspaper Marca. The club wants to have more committed, younger players, and the 30-year-old Brazilian is no longer seen as the answer to the club’s problems. With the French side open to his exit, they will be unlikely to recoup half of the 222 million euros they paid for him in 2017.
Paper Round’s view: After a difficult first year, Neymar was one of PSG’s most important players, but as the club failed to kick on to become a European force, it seems the striker was unable to bring a positive influence on the club’s direction. Given his wages of almost 50 million euros it is hard to see if there is any club that would want to risk a move for him.
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