De Jong doesn’t want Man Utd move
Frenkie de Jong’s potential move to Manchester United is set to fall through, even though Barcelona have accepted a bid from the Premier League club. Spanish media outlet Sport reveal that the Dutch midfielder’s agent Ali Dursun met with Manchester United’s CEO Richard Arnold and the club’s director of football John Murtough and outright rejected their approach. The report states that De Jong is not refusing to leave Barcelona this summer, but “is firm in his refusal to go to Manchester United”. Barca are keen to sell the 25-year-old to raise transfer funds to sign Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich.
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Paper Round’s view: What a nightmare situation for all parties involved. United and Barcelona are going to miss out on their top transfer targets, while De Jong knows he is no longer wanted at the Camp Nou. You cannot blame him for not wanting to move to Old Trafford. United are a mess right now and have been for nearly 10 years. The Manchester club are not competing in the Champions League and are nowhere near being considered as Premier League title challengers. How does this situation find a resolution? Maybe De Jong could be offered to Bayern Munich as part of a swap package for Lewandowski? It’s not going to be an easy fix.
The next Galactico signing
Real Madrid are hoping to make Jude Bellingham their next Galactico signing in 2023. The Spanish club have been long-term admirers of the 19-year-old midfielder but know that Borussia Dortmund are going to be unwilling to entertain any bids for Bellingham this summer. Marca report that Real Madrid are eyeing up a move for the England international next year – as long as he does not decide to extend his contract with Dortmund during this coming season. Liverpool are also interested in Bellingham are ready to go head-to-head with Real Madrid to secure his signature.
Paper Round’s view: It’s difficult to believe that Bellingham is still just 19 years old. The England star is one of the leaders in the Borussia Dortmund dressing room and one of the most talented and consistent central midfielders in Europe’s top five leagues. Real Madrid know that adding Bellingham to a young midfield core of Federico Valverde, Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni would set them up for the next 10 years. It would be a ridiculous midfield. However, you’d think they face tough competition. Bellingham may want to return to England and Liverpool seems like a good fit. He’s got a year to make up his mind.
Chelsea hope to convince Kimpembe
Chelsea will need to convince Presnel Kimpembe to leave Paris Saint-Germain this summer, according to the Standard. The defender’s deep connection with his boyhood club is cited as the reason behind why he would need persuading to leave the French capital. Kimpembe joined PSG as a 10-year-old and made his debut back in 2014 at the age of 19. The Ligue 1 champions are reportedly willing to part with the centre-back but would demand around £50 million from Chelsea.
Paper Round’s view: Chelsea are keen to add some defensive depth to their squad this summer. The club lost Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen for free to Real Madrid and Barcelona, respectively. It seems like club captain Cesar Azpilicueta could be heading to Barcelona this summer as well. Kalidou Koulibaly is edging closer to joining the Blues and Thomas Tuchel’s side are also eyeing up Kimpembe and Nathan Ake. All would be smart – but expensive – signings. A strong defensive unit will be key as the London club push to win silverware this season after a disappointing campaign.
One Gabriel in, one Gabriel out?
Juventus have enquired for Arsenal centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes, according to the Independent. The Italian club are close to agreeing a deal to sell Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt to Bayern Munich this summer and are in the market for a replacement. Juve were initially interested in Kalidou Koulibaly, but Napoli are planning to sell to Chelsea instead of to a Serie A rival. Juventus believe Gabriel is a “viable option” and could open the bidding with an offer of around £50 million. However, the Independent reveal that a “player exchange could be an option” and Adrien Rabiot could be involved in such a deal.
Paper Round’s view: It would be disastrous for Arsenal if they lost Gabriel this summer. The Gunners are going through a pretty promising rebuild right now. It’s been needed for around 10 years and Mikel Arteta and Edu Gaspar seem to be doing a good job in north London. Trustworthy centre-backs are hard to come by these days. Chelsea are literally signing three this summer and they are all costing the club a fortune. Arsenal need to hold on to Gabriel if they want to get back into those Champions League positions – otherwise it will be a huge step back for them in their rebuild.
UEFA Nations League
Well at least England fans agree on Bellingham – The Warm-Up
Real Madrid confident on Bellingham, Barca want Firmino-Depay swap – Paper Round
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