The Mirror reports that Liverpool are working on a way to allow captain Jordan Henderson to lift the Premier League trophy. The 30-year-old England international is out injured for the rest of the season with a knee injury, but Jurgen Klopp said: “We will find a solution that shows the respect absolutely for what he did. It will be difficult for him to start the match but Hendo will be there and he will wear the match kit and everything will be fine.”
Paper Round’s view: With social distancing rules and the pressures of coronavirus one could see why it might be harder for Henderson to get his hands on the trophy this year. However, given the large squad numbers it would be easy for Liverpool to simply name him as a sub and not use to him, to allow him to be present when the trophy is presented.
Kai Havertz is ‘better than Cristiano Ronaldo’… and Chelsea are close to getting him – Euro Papers
Manchester City target Koulibaly
Manchester City could let some of their first-choice players go in order to afford Napoli central defender Kalidou Koulibaly according to the Sun. Oleksandr Zinchenko is one player who may be included as part of a swap deal for the 29-year-old Senegalese defender, and Nicolas Otamendi maybe offered to reduce the £80 million asking price.
Paper Round’s view: Otamendi has been a disappointment ever since his arrival in England and as he only has one year left on his contract, using him as a makeweight is a practical option. Zinchenko meanwhile is a talented prospect at just 23, but given the financial implications of coronavirus and City’s lack of a world class central defender to partner Aymeric Laporte, compromises are in order.
The Daily Mail suggests another transfer that might be lined up by Manchester City. City Football Group, their parent owner, have signed 18-year-old Algerian Ishak Boussouf on a five-year deal from Algerian side ES Setif. He has been loaned for a year to Belgian side KV Kortrijk, He could then move to Manchester City or Belgian second division side Lommel SK.
Paper Round’s view: The City Football Group is a practical way to establish a network of football clubs who can recruit and develop players around the group. But the opacity when it comes to finances and the scope it gives to work around financial restrictions put in place is clearly concerning for those in charge of the game from a regulatory point of view. The battle has probably already been lost on that front.
The Telegraph reports on a potential switch from the Bundesliga to the Premier League. Schalke’s season has been seriously underwhelming, and 21-year-old American player Weston McKennie is keen to move to England. He will miss out on Champions League football due to his current club’s mid-table finish.
Paper Round’s view: Schalke have much to consider over the close season, and while many clubs have financial problems due to the coronavirus, few have an asset like McKennie to sell in order to balance the books. Liverpool have already been linked but most of the league’s clubs would be improved by signing him.