15 players were offered to Man Utd in a single week
The Sun reveal that Manchester United were offered 15 different players in a single week of the summer transfer window. The Premier League club were desperate to sign a central midfielder after their well-documented pursuit of Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong came to an end. United were offered Adrien Rabiot, Leonardo Paredes and Weston McKennie, while an approach for Moises Caicedo was rejected by Brighton. The club also wanted a winger and a right-back so were offered Sergino Dest, Thomas Meunier, Christian Pulisic, Yannick Carrasco and Hirving Lozano. Eventually they signed Real Madrid’s Casemiro and Antony from Ajax, while they did not sign a right-back.
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Paper Round’s view: Every club in world football knew Manchester United were struggling in the transfer market. Rival clubs probably saw it as an opportunity to try and offload their unwanted players to the Premier League club. The list of players mentioned in the Sun report were all at relatively big clubs and you’d imagine they are stuck on big contracts. United didn’t panic and sign any unwanted star names, but actually signed their top targets in Casemiro and Antony. Rabiot was probably the closest to moving to Old Trafford, but that deal eventually fell through.
Griezmann saga causes friction
Atletico Madrid have caused fury at Barcelona with their management of on-loan forward Antoine Griezmann. The World Cup winner returned to his former club on loan and reportedly has a clause in his deal that would force Atleti to pay a €40-million transfer fee for Griezmann if he plays over 50% of their matches. The French forward has been featuring for Diego Simeone’s side but has consistently been introduced off the bench after the 60th minute. Spanish media outlet Sport state that Atletico Madrid have ignited a “total war” with Barcelona with their “provocative plan” involving Griezmann.
Paper Round’s view: Atletico Madrid can deny that they are playing a game with the transfer clause, but it is just too much of a coincidence now. The club clearly don’t value Griezmann at €40 million so are happy for the 31-year-old to return to Barcelona at the end of the season. Realistically, the Catalan club will immediately put him up for sale if he does return, so he could end up at Atletico Madrid… just for a much lower transfer fee. It’s a bold play from Atleti, but you have to respect the genius.
Man Utd duo set to return for England
Manchester United pair Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho are set to be recalled by England manager Gareth Southgate in his upcoming squad for the UEFA Nations League. The Three Lions travel to Milan to face Italy before hosting Germany at Wembley Stadium in their final two matches before the World Cup in November. The attacking duo have enjoyed an upturn in form at Manchester United and will be hoping to be part of the squad, which is being announced on Thursday. Rashford has not been called up since Euro 2020, while Sancho has not been involved with England since last October.
Paper Round’s view: Southgate is not lacking options in attack, but it does make sense to recall Rashford and Sancho. The pair have rediscovered their form under Erik ten Hag at Manchester United and are electric when they are playing at their peak levels. There was a clear lack of confidence in their play last season, but it’s a new start under a new manager at Old Trafford. Hopefully they will perform well for England in the Nations League and book their places on the plane to Qatar. The duo could be very important options at the World Cup later this year.
Potential Premier League postponements this weekend
Football is set to return to Britain this week with the return of the EFL from Tuesday. Premier League officials are yet to confirm this weekend’s fixture will go ahead, but they are expected to be given the green light. However, the Mirror report that Premier League fixtures may still be impacted this weekend as fixtures in London could be at risk due to lack of policing. The Queen’s state funeral next Monday could mean Chelsea vs Liverpool, Brentford vs Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur vs Leicester City could be impacted.
Paper Round’s view: If there are not enough police, then it will definitely impact the fixtures in London. The Premier League will probably be working all week to find a solution as the current campaign is already going to be tricky. The winter World Cup in Qatar means that it could be a struggle to schedule in any rearrangements, but it will be tricky to find an easy solution if there are not enough police to go ahead with the matches.
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