Paper Round: Zidane to replace Courtois with £75 million De Gea
Real Madrid could replace Thibaut Courtois with Zinedine Zidane, Spurs prepare an offer for Ryan Sessegnon, and Arsenal could land Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Zidane wants De Gea at Real
Manchester United could finally lose goalkeeper David de Gea to Real Madrid despite the transfer of Thibaut Courtois to the club, says The Mirror. Zinedine Zidane has returned as boss and is a big admirer of the Spain international. Florentino Perez has earmarked £75 million to sign the 28-year-old player in the summer, who has a year left on his current contract, though United are in talks over extending the deal.
Kylian Mbappé and David De GeaGetty Images
Paper Round’s view: If Manchester United can get £75 million for De Gea then there is not really anyone available who can offer such exquisite ability. The only person who might be able to is Courtois, who would no longer be needed by Real. If United are sensible they might turn a profit on De Gea and be able to bring in the Belgium international at the same time - if he is willing to move away from his children again.
Zidane considers Courtois future
However, the Evening Standard does not believe that Zidane has made a choice over the future of his goalkeepers. Keylor Navas was brought back to the starting line-up for the match against Celta Vigo, but the French manager said he had not made any "final decision" about who was his first-choice stopper, and said he would give each of his goalkeepers a chance over the rest of the season.
Thibaut CourtoisGetty Images
Paper Round’s view: Given Courtois is unlikely to want to move away from his family having forced his way out of Chelsea, and because he is still settling into the club, it would probably be too much upheaval for both the player and the club to move him on after just one season. Courtois might have to decide, though, if he is willing to be back-up with the European Championships on the horizon.
Spurs pursue Sessegnon
Tottenham Hotspur are preparing a £50 million bid for Fulham winger Ryan Sessegnon. The 18-year-old player does not want to leave London, reports the Mirror, which means he is unlikely to join Manchester United or Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, and he has not agreed fresh terms with his current club. That leaves Spurs with a free run at the player, and they may be prepared to loan him back to Fulham for a season.
Ryan Sessegnon of Fulham reacts after a missed chance during the Premier League match between Fulham FC and Leicester City at Craven Cottage on December 5, 2018 in London, United Kingdom.Getty Images
Paper Round’s view: Sessegnon is one of the most promising young English players around, and as mentioned above the European Championships is just one year away. It seems unlikely that Sessegnon would be prepared to sit out another season away from the Premier League, so Spurs might have little option but to bring him to the club if they have a bid accepted by Fulham.
Arsenal prepare Wan-Bissaka offers
Arsenal are considering using players as part of any offer for Crystal Palace defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka. The South London club want £40 million for the 21-year-old defender, and Arsenal may offer Reiss Nelson to reduce the cash demands. Ashley Maitland-Niles is another player that Unai Emery may have to let go if they are to sign Wan-Bissaka, believes The Sun.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka of Crystal Palace looks on during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and West Ham United at Selhurst Park on February 9, 2019 in London, United Kingdom.Getty Images
Paper Round’s view: Wan-Bissaka is unusual for a modern defender in that he can actually defend, and his pace means that there is plenty of attacking threat that can be developed. Maitland-Niles has shown in the Europa League what a threat a pacey wing-back can offer, and Wan-Bissaka is probably a better player than he is. £40 million could end up being a bargain, player exchanges or not.