City and United to battle for Serge Gnabry
Manchester City and their cross-town rivals Manchester United could face off for Bayern Munich’s Serge Gnabry this summer. The 26-year-old versatile midfielder is out of contract at the end of next season and contract talks are at an impasse. That has led the German side to consider letting him go to avoid losing him for nothing next year, with The Sun saying £35 million may be enough.
'Made fun of, not loved' – Man Utd target Rabiot 'very inconsistent'
Paper Round’s view: City are reportedly focusing on securing a left-back for next season after signing two strikers and a midfielder already this season, so their priority is in defence before they concentrate on other areas of the pitch. United look like they could be losing Cristiano Ronaldo in the next week or two so they may have to look at an out-and-out striker.
Ten Hag considers Ronaldo replacement
While it is clear that Manchester United do not want to sell Cristiano Ronaldo, and there are limited options available to the 37-year-old Portuguese international striker in terms of clubs who could afford him, United’s manager Erik ten Hag is considering a replacement. According to The Mirror, he has instructed the club to step up the hunt for Ajax winger Antony.
Paper Round’s view: Ronaldo is not necessarily suited to Ten Hag’s ideal tactical approach but he remains a brilliant goalscorer, and one who is worth compromising a system for if he is in the squad. Antony seems to favour playing on the flanks so the Dutch manager may have to go back to the drawing board and consider which of his players could lead the line instead.
Barcelona await Leeds decision for Raphinha
Barcelona have made a £55m offer for Leeds United winger Raphinha, with the payments to be broken up into three instalments totalling £51m, with a further £4m in potential add-ons. Chelsea are consdering waiting for their chance at signing the Brazilian wideman, but for now the Mail on Sunday reports they are focused on Raheem Sterling and Ousmane Dembele.
Paper Round’s view: While Sterling could play through the middle, he is also more than capable of playing on the flanks. French winger Dembele is more suited to that role and would require no upfront payment to Barcelona, however he could still stay at the Spanish club and then that may open up a way through for Thomas Tuchel to sign Raphinha instead.
Laporta denies De Jong sale
Barcelona president has contradicted recent reports that Manchester United and the Catalan club were close to reaching an agreement for their Dutch midfielder Frenkie De Jong, according to Spanish newspaper Marca. The president said at a tribute to Johan Cruyff that: "We have no intention of selling him and he wants to stay. Manchester United are not the only ones who want him.”
Paper Round’s view: Laporta may well be negotiating hard and using his public appearance as a chance to hurry the buying club along, but they have been here before, according to previous transfer rumours. United were given the first chance to sign Pedro when he left Barcelona, but failed to heed warnings that there was another club that was ready to pay up - and so he joined Chelsea.
Man Utd 'working on' Rabiot deal as De Jong pursuit continues
Man Utd chase Arnautovic and Sesko in bid to boost attacking options – Paper Round
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