United line up Zidane
Manchester United are preparing for life without Jose Mourinho after a heated week of frustration from their current manager. There are fears that Mourinho won’t see out the final two years of his contract after he complained about a lack of signings in his squad, which is already reduced by those on their World Cup breaks. First in line to replace Mourinho is former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane.
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Paper Round’s view: Zidane has had a brilliant run of success at Real Madrid, winning three Champions League titles in a row and making the best start to a management career of all time. While it’s obvious that United would want someone like that, why Zidane would want to join a club that seems incapable of doing decent transfer business, after walking out of Real for disagreeing over the same issue, is unclear.
PSG won’t give up Kante hunt
Paris Saint-Germain are not giving up in their pursuit of N’Golo Kante. While Thomas Tuchel refused to comment on the player as he is at another club, PSG are known to be confident of having the financial resources to land their man. He won’t come cheap, as Chelsea are ready to offer the 27-year-old World Cup winner £290,000 a week to keep him at Stamford Bridge.
Paper Round’s view: Kante is perhaps the best midfielder on the planet, and at his age could go for four more years with the approach he has to the game. PSG have plenty of superstars but their midfield is perhaps their weakest area. With Kylian Mbappe and Neymar up front, adding Kante behind them would set up a challenge for the Champions League after a few years of underwhelming results.
Modric could be next to leave Real
Luka Modric might be the next superstar to leave Real Madrid. The Spanish club have already sold Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus for 100 million euros, and now Inter Milan have expressed an interest in the 32-year-old midfielder. However, any deal for Modric will be made difficult by his current club, who are reluctant to lose another star player in the same summer as Ronaldo.
Paper Round’s view: Modric has been an exceptional player for the best part of a decade, and because of his talents, he could remain world class for years to come. Having said that, at 32 he might enjoy a switch to Italy where the pace of the game is generally slower, and it would accommodate his ageing a little more gently. How Real would price him is open to question.
Chelsea battle Real for Lewandowski
Chelsea remain interested in bringing in Robert Lewandowski to Stamford Bridge. However, two things stand in their way. Bayern Munich do not want to sell the 29-year-old Poland international, and Real Madrid are interested should he become available. They also are frustrated in their pursuit of Jordan Pickford, so will turn their attention to Kevin Trapp of PSG and Atletico’s Jan Oblak.
Paper Round’s view: If Chelsea are really discounting Alvaro Morata after a single season, then Lewandowski would be a fine replacement for him. But given they also have Olivier Giroud, they should be focusing on problems with the goalkeeping position. With Thibaut Courtois set to leave, Oblak would be an adequate replacement, but Trapp has shown little at PSG to suggest he deserves more chances at the best clubs in Europe.
Opinion: Guardiola figured out Tuchel's Chelsea by beating them at their own game
‘Fun and offensive’ Mourinho to clash with ‘master tactician’ Sarri in Rome - Inside Europe