Arsene Wenger is to lead a ‘£115 million shake-up’ at Arsenal over the summer, while Marcus Rashford is set for a new deal at Manchester United already – the top stories from today’s papers.
‘Wenger to lead £115m shake-up’
Arsene Wenger will have a £75m budget to spend on new players this summer with an extra £40m to throw at massive new contract offers for Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, according to an ‘exclusive’ report in the Daily Telegraph. Jeremy Wilson reports that “club scouts have already been told that central midfield and central defence will be the priorities, as well as Leicester City left-back Ben Chilwell and potentially a striker”. According to the paper, Kieran Gibbs, Mathieu Debuchy, Mathieu Flamini, Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky are all likely to leave.
Paper Round’s view: The report explains that Ozil and Sanchez will be offered contracts that would make them the highest paid players in Arsenal history with both commanding deals approaching £200,000 – this would appear likely. What seems unlikely, however, is Wenger spending the £75m he is reportedly set to be given. For a start, the shopping list sounds very vague indeed and Wenger is renowned for not plugging the gaps everyone assumes he needs to. This just sounds like another big-money promise to placate very concerned fans.
Marcus Rashford will be rewarded for his Manchester United heroics with a new £15,000-a-week deal, according to The Sun and the Daily Mail. The Sun reports that “this is a staggering 3,000 per cent pay rise for the 18-year-old, who is on just £500-a-week at the moment”. Rashford is to be rewarded following his debut brace in the Europa League win over FC Midtjylland and subsequent double against Arsenal at the weekend. The Mail simply screams "CASH FOR RASH", citing the same figures.
Paper Round’s view: Given the ‘set for staggering pay rise’ headline, £15,000-a-week does not seem that much, but if the reports of Rashford currently only being paid £500-a-week are true, it is quite a step up. The 18-year-old’s current contract is up in the summer and, given the amazing impact he has made since Louis van Gaal gave him his opportunity in the first team, it is perfectly understandable that United are looking to act swiftly to tie him down for the long-term.
Christian Benteke will be among the players turfed out of Anfield this summer as part of a mass clear-out by Jurgen Klopp, according to The Sun. The German will “ring mass changes as he aims to turn Liverpool back into serious Premier League players”, the paper reports. Benteke will be the “main casualty” with at least six new arrivals and as many departures on the cards, according to the paper.
Paper Round’s view: It has not been a successful stay at Anfield so far for Benteke, who cost £32.5 million when he was signed from Aston Villa over the summer. Only Andy Carroll has cost Liverpool more money and Benteke did not get off the bench against Augsburg on Thursday or in the League Cup final defeat to Manchester City over the weekend. Klopp may well have seen enough already.
Chelsea are close to confirming Italy boss Antonio Conte as their new manager, with the 46-year-old set to sign a three-year deal worth £18 million, according to the Daily Express. The club will reportedly announce Antonio Conte as their new manager after he holds a face-to-face meeting with Roman Abramovich in Monte Carlo. According to the paper, the Italian national team coach's representatives have been in London discussing a deal for him to take over at Stamford Bridge since Friday.
Paper Round’s view: This story was saved for last because it seems to be just dragging on and on at this stage. It appears certain that Chelsea will appoint Conte as their new manager and that it is only a matter of time until it is finally confirmed. £18m sounds a lot of money to spend on a coach, but if Conte is the man to bring success back to Stamford Bridge after a dismal campaign then it would be well worth it. It seems only fitting that the deal will reportedly be clinched on a yacht in Monte Carlo.