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Paper Round: Chelsea weigh up Luis Enrique as Antonio Conte replacement

Paper Round: Chelsea weigh up Enrique as Conte replacement

18/06/2017 at 06:11Updated 18/06/2017 at 07:42

Chelsea could replace Antonio Conte with Luis Enrique, Manchester United want Cristiano Ronaldo, City want Dani Alves, and there's war of words in New Zealand.

Chelsea make plans for Conte exit

Chelsea want to make Antonio Conte their highest paid manager, ever, with the offer of a new contract. However, the club are making contingency plans should Conte leave the club. There have been constant rumours that Conte is unhappy with the progress that the club has made over transfers, and there is disquiet over Conte telling Diego Costa that he is no longer wanted at the club. Luis Enrique has been suggested as the first option should a replacement be needed.

Paper Round's view: Luis Enrique's highly energetic approach to football would fit in well enough with the squad at Chelsea, and he would be available to start work right away, given his departure from Barcelona. However, Enrique's best success came with Lionel Messi's assistance, and a move to England might not be entirely smooth. There is also the problem that Enrique has said he wants a rest after an exhausting time managing Barcelona.

United plan for Ronaldo return

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho wants Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of any other strikers on offer in the transfer market, and United could buy the Real Madrid forward for around £100m to boost their appeal to sponsors, and their hopes of success in the Premier League and in Europe. The only other European club that could afford him is PSG, but there are also rumours of interest from the Chinese Super League.

Paper Round's view: From a financial point of view, it may not entirely make sense, but there would be an uplift in commercial revenue should Ronaldo join, as the most marketable player in the world. He also remains the best player in the world, and shows no signs of scoring any less goals despite his age. He would also raise standards at the club in the way Zlatan Ibrahimovic did, and would refuse to tolerate any failures by his teammates.

Manchester City close in on Dani Alves

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is continuing his squad overhaul at the Etihad, by targeting Juventus full-back Dani Alves. Alves recently described Guardiola, his former Barcelona manager, as a 'genius' and is ready to leave Juventus. City have offered the right-back a two-year deal, giving him greater financial security than were he to stay for another season in Italy. A transfer fee of £5m could be offered to Juventus.

Dani Alves of Juventus Turin

Dani Alves of Juventus TurinGetty Images

Paper Round's view: With Kyle Walker out of City's reach, it appears, Alves is an excellent alternative. He has shown in last year's Champions League campaign that he still has a superb level of performance, and could cope with the demands of the Premier League despite his age. With Gael Clichy, Jesus Navas, Pablo Zabaleta and Bacary Sagna leaving the club in the summer, City desperately need some quality defensive reinforcements.

Gatland: Now the All Blacks are scared

After a difficult start to the campaign in New Zealand, Warren Gatland's Lions impressed with a victory over the Maori All Blacks. However, he took the opportunity after the match to criticise All Blacks coach Steve Hansen, who had earlier suggested Gatland has just one style of play. Gatland said: "Saying these comments about us, things he knows about or doesn´t know about, that is normally a sign of a man that is a little bit worried."

Paper Round's view: Gatland and Hansen are both experienced coaches with some of the best players in the world available to them. As such, they are now looking to upset their opponents however they can, and so have inevitably turned to the press. The chances of either side being distracted by the comments are remote, but both sides will look for any advantage, however slim it may be.