Chelsea target Sterling if Lukaku moves
The Mirror reports that Chelsea hope to sign Raheem Sterling from Manchester City, as the Premier League champions hope to avoid losing him for nothing when his contract expires next season. However the transfer depends on Romelu Lukaku rejoining Inter Milan, which could be made easier if Inter sell Paris Saint-Germain their Slovakian defender Milan Skriniar for £70 million.
Lukaku completes loan move back to Inter from Chelsea
Paper Round’s view: Lukaku was ultimately a huge disappointment at Stamford Bridge and getting rid of him before he hits 30 and a likely decline is important. Given they spent almost £100m on bringing him back to England they may be disappointed in how much they can recoup this summer, but at least Sterling will prove to be a reasonable replacement with much more urgency.
Chelsea battle for Ait-Nouri
Rayan Ait-Nouri is a target for Premier League clubs Chelsea and Manchester City. The 21-year-old left-back has impressed for Wolves over the last season, and The Sun reports that he is considered a potential solution for both the top-four clubs. He would not come cheap, though, with Wolves valuing the youngster at around £45m, with PSG also reportedly keen.
Paper Round’s view: At just 21 Ait-Nouri has shown that he could probably do a better job than Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta, and new owner Todd Boehly will likely spend big in the first transfer window of his era to get fans on his side. As for City, Pep Guardiola has never seen a full-back he didn’t want to spend tens of millions of pounds on, so Wolves may do well from this.
Ten Hag wants De Jong
The Mail reports that Erik ten Hag is willing to prioritise the arrival of Frenkie De Jong from Barcelona for £69m ahead of any other signing. He is keen for Christian Eriksen to arrive on a free transfer, and also wants Feyenoord defender Tyrell Malacia, but he does not want United to pursue anyone else until De Jong’s signature is secured, so that the club are unable to claim they can’t afford the 25-year-old midfielder.
Paper Round’s view: If Ten Hag already has such a jaded impression of United’s money men, then at least he is nobody’s fool. However those worries suggest that things are yet to fundamentally alter at Old Trafford, and if a new manager can't get the signings he requested in his first transfer window, after last season’s disaster, then the club will continue to struggle.
Barca draw up shortlist
Spanish newspaper Marca reports on the shortlist that Barcelona have settled on ahead of their summer transfers, to add to Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie. They want Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, Leeds United winger Raphinha, Jules Kounde of Sevilla, and Chelsea duo Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta despite their money worries.
Paper Round’s view: That list does make it feel like the sale of De Jong is inevitable given the costs they will incur to get the players’ clubs do business this summer, but after a promising few months for Xavi Hernandez they could help establish Barcelona back at the top of La Liga. However the club should not risk falling even further into their pit of financial difficulty.
City set to let Sterling leave as Chelsea prepare £50m offer - Paper Round
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