Pep Guardiola is drawing up his list of signings for Manchester City, while Everton will have some money to spend. That and more from the Monday papers.
Pep wants Laporte to be first City signing
Pep Guardiola is hoping to sign Aymeric Laporte in an £80 million deal, according to The Sun. The Spaniard wants Laporte to be his first signing at Manchester City. Laporte has a release clause of £40m at Athletic Bilbao, while his wages and bonuses would double that cost to City. It will be difficult for City to sign the 21-year-old because Manchester United, Barelona and Paris Saint-Germain are all chasing the defender as well and are all prepared to spend big.
Paper Round's view: Spending £40m on just the transfer fee for a defender seems insane. It very well may be. But that is the market price for the best young players in Europe and Laporte is certainly one of them. He's a terrific young talent and he's already been tested in La Liga. Manchester City definitely need to upgrade their defence, and they need to get younger at the back, so Guardiola certainly knows where the team needs improvements. It's just a matter of price and competition for Laporte.
Everton have a new shareholder and with it comes money to spend. The Mirror understand that Farhad Moshiri's investment will be put back into the team with the Toffees set to spend up to £100m this summer. Everton's first priority will be to retain their own players, with John Stones and Ross Barkley of particular importance. They will both be handed giant new contracts, with several other players also due improved new deals. There is some concern that the Toffees may have to sell Romelu Lukaku, but if that is the case, Moshiri will bankroll the signing of a world class replacement.
Everton chairman Bill Kenwright has hailed new majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri as a "perfect partner" for the club
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Paper Round's view: Everton have needed to spend money for years and it looks like this new investment may finally allow them to do so. If they can pay their current players big wages, they will be able to keep most of them. They have to be aware that there will be times when a player wants to make the jump to a team in the Champions League, but if the Toffees can spend a bit more then maybe they can be in Europe's elite competition before long. That is clearly their goal and now it's more attainable than ever.
Manchester United are looking to the Championship to sort out their full-back problems. The Star claim that the Red Devils are watching Hull's Andrew Robertson and see him as a possible fix to their left-back woes. United tried to sign a left-back in January, but they were unable to secure him. They will have competition for Robertson, though. Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham are all interested in the 21-year-old as well.
Scotland's Andrew Robertson
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Paper Round's view - United are in a tricky place at left back because they theoretically have their man in Luke Shaw, but there is no telling how his return from injury will go and the Red Devils need to make sure they are covered. Robertson would be the right type of player to sign because he is young with potential, but not so proven that he'd expect to walk into the starting line-up. If Shaw isn't himself next season, Robertson can play, and if Shaw is, Robertson gives him good competition.
Rolando Aarons could be making his way to the Emirates. The Mirror report that he is nowhere near a new contract with Newcastle and appears set to leave the club in the summer, with Arsenal interested in signing him. Aarons has found it difficult to find playing time at St James' Park this season, but the 20-year-old is still highly rated and many think he will be a fine player. With him set to exit Newcastle, Arsenal have emerged as a possible landing spot.
Rolando Aarons (L)
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Paper Round's view - Arsenal don't need help on the wings so much, but Aarons wouldn't be a signing for next season. He would be a signing for the next decade and if their scouts believe he is going to be a quality player then they should absolutely look to sign him. It will be interesting to see if Aarons aims for a big club or one that he can get more playing time, though. He could land at a mid-table side and have a much better chance of playing regularly, but the allure of the top clubs is tough to ignore.
Newcastle have made Samuel Umtiti their top target for the summer, per The Sun. Steve McClaren has identified the defender as his No. 1 priority and will move to sign him if the Magpies can avoid relegation. Umtiti plans on leaving Lyon in the summer and is valued at £10m. He has made it clear that he wants to play in the Premier League, giving Newcastle optimism. The Magpies will try to upgrade their defence in the summer and have targeted several defenders to sign, although that list changes significantly if they go down.
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Paper Round's view - Umtiti is a fine defender and his ability to play centrally and on the right would be helpful to a team trying to rebuild its defence. It's good to see that they have recognised their deficiencies at the back and plan on addressing them this summer. Of course, that gets significantly more difficult to do if they are relegated. It's also worth wondering how effective they will be in upgrading their defence considering how many signings they made last summer, only to see several of them flop and the team fight to stay up.