Manchester target world-class strike trio
Manchester United are planning to bolster their attack with one of a trio of new additions, according to The Express. United have shortlisted Romelu Lukaku, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Antoine Griezmann as their top targets for the summer transfer window. Louis van Gaal's squad have been held back by a lack of firepower this season, scoring just 46 goals - their lowest ever tally in the Premier League. And the club are desperate to correct that flaw by adding a quality striker to the squad.
Borussia Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is reportedly one of three strikers on Manchester United's summer shortlist
Image credit: PA Photos
Paper Round’s view: It's hard to know where to start with Manchester United transfer rumours these days. The club need a striker, that is without question. And all three of Lukaku, Aubameyang and Griezmann would be superb additions. But will Ed Woodward manage to seal a deal for any of those three? That has to be in doubt. Aubameyang and Griezmann seem to be particularly unlikely, given the depth of competition that United would face for the pair's signatures this summer. However, Lukaku is a possibility. The Everton striker has dipped below his hight standards just enough that he will be off the radar of the very top European clubs, but he would bring the hold-up play and aerial threat that United so need to compliment an otherwise flimsy forward line.
Defoe and Rashford for England
Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe and Manchester United youngster Marcus Rashford are both set to be named in Roy Hodgson's England training squad ahead of the European Championships - according to The Mirror. Defoe's 15 goals in Sunderland's successful survival campaign have reportedly caught the eye of the England boss, who has a spare striker place on the plane after Danny Welbeck's injury heartbreak. United star Rashford is also set to be called up to train with the senior squad, but it is believed that Hodgson will leave the youngster at home when he comes to pick his final 23.
Paper Round’s view: If Defoe and Rashford haven't caught Hodgson's eye then something is very wrong. The pair have been superb at times this season, but that doesn't mean they should make the cut for the Euros. Harry Kane, Jamie Vardy, Daniel Sturridge and Wayne Rooney are the four likely picks up top for England, and to create a balanced squad it would make much more sense for Hodgson to bring along a winger or an additional midfield option than a fifth-choice striker who would likely spend the whole tournament twiddling his thumbs. This season has arguably been the best that Defoe has ever played, so he would be unfortunate to miss out, while Rashford's time will come. If Hodgson does have them both in training or on the standby list then he deserves great credit for rewarding form.
LVG to stay at Old Trafford
Louis van Gaal is happy at Manchester United and has no intention of moving on this summer, according to The Telegraph. However, the Dutch manager has also revealed that he has received no assurances about his future from the club's board. Ed Woodward and the Glazer family are believed to be delaying their decision until the end of the season to see whether Van Gaal can bring either a top four finish or an FA Cup trophy to Old Trafford. Jose Mourinho is waiting in the wings if United opt to replace their current manager.
Louis van Gaal of Manchester United
Image credit: AFP
Paper Round’s view: This story just won't go away. Van Gaal has stabilised United, to a point, and has brought through some exciting young talent in the process. But he's overseen some soul-destroying football and it's little surprise that many of the club's fans want him gone. Whether United's fortunes would improve under a different manager with the same hierarchy in place would certainly be questionable though - it is the club's transfer policy that is most to blame for getting them into this current mess.
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