Mourinho going all-out for Morata as Ronaldo cools off
Jose Mourinho will apparently go all-out to secure the signature of Real Madrid's Alvaro Morata this summer, according to a report in Thursday's Sun newspaper. With Ronaldo looking like an increasingly unlikely mover, apparently Manchester United will offer £60 million for his team mate 24-year-old Morata, hoping to seal the deal before their pre-season training camp in Los Angeles.
Zinédine Zidane mit Cristiano Ronaldo
Image credit: Getty Images
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Paper Round's view: Ronaldo was reported to have indicated a desire to leave Madrid last week, after the club initially failed to back him following allegations of tax fraud. Though since it was reported on Wednesday that Ronaldo had made a "goodwill gesture" of over €14m to the Spanish authorities, perhaps the issue will be put to bed. That said, £60m does seem like a big spend on a player such as Morata, who only made 14 starts in La Liga last season.
Costa holds tight for Atletico
The Daily Star reports on Thursday that estranged Chelsea striker Diego Costa will refuse to move on from West London until Atletico Madrid are ready to sign him in January. Costa hit the headlines earlier this month after he revealed Blues boss Antonio Conte had 'dumped' him via text, while he was on international duty – a revelation that will no doubt have caused further ill-will between the pair. Costa had been linked with a move to Atletico, but Los Colchoneros are subject to a transfer ban until January 2018.
Paper Round’s view: Costa’s big reveal earlier this month will have made a dent in his transfer value since other clubs now know Chelsea want to move him on, which puts him in a better position to bargain, as does the fact that he still has two years left on his contract. Five months on the bench ahead of a World Cup next year wouldn’t be the smartest move, but with an underwhelming international career so far, perhaps Costa has decided this is a less pressing concern.
Mbappe not fazed by Champions League
A "close relative" of Kylian Mbappe has apparently told French newspaper Le Parisien that the 18-year-old could join Arsenal this summer, despite a lack of Champions League football next season. The AS Monaco forward was apparently on Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger's radar last year, but the club missed out on the chance to sign him. Following a sterling display in Ligue 1 last season, Mbappe has become a target for any number of clubs and it had been thought that Arsenal would have dropped down the list thanks to their failure to qualify for next season's Champions League.
Paper Round's view: We don't know who this "close relative" of Mbappe's is, or if we trust their judgement that Mbappe could sign for Arsenal purely on the basis of Wenger's management credentials. Let's face it, he'd be in an ever dwindling group. We're inclined to think that Mbappe might feel a little frustrated by the limitations on Arsenal next season, but it is true that Wenger has been instrumental in launching the careers of a number of young French players, such as Thierry Henry and Nicolas Anelka. Does he still have it in him?
John Terry to swap Champions League for Championship?
The future of former Chelsea favourite John Terry was the subject of speculation again on Thursday as The Sun reported he could be set to join Championship side Aston Villa. According to the newspaper, Terry, who is without contract, has had a number of offers but may shun them for a £60,000-per week contract with the Villains, to help them gain promotion to the Premier League for the 2018/19 season.
Paper Round’s view: We’re sure Terry did have a lovely time with Steve Bruce playing golf in Portugal last month, but it would be really something if Bruce has convinced Terry to take a £40,000 per week pay cut. There is a school of thought that as a player coming from a winning team, Terry could be drawn to a lesser club for which he could make a tangible difference – unlikely to be the case at Bournemouth, who are in all probability not in with a shot of winning the league next season, with or without the 36-year-old defender. A stint at Villa would give him a good chance of ending his career as a hero.
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