City to learn UEFA fate
The Daily Mail reveals what they believe will be the date that Manchester City will hear the results of their appeal against their European football ban. The ban of two years, plus a 30 million euro fine, is the subject of an appeal from City, and they will hear the results of their case from the Court of Arbitration for Sport on July 13.
Paper Round’s view: In just two weeks, City’s next season could be thrown into disarray. It is not impossible that Pep Guardiola would choose to stand down, and players like Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and others may move on as they attempt to win a Champions League medal somewhere else. However, they have thrown huge amounts of resources behind the appeal so success should not be ruled out.
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Sarabia causes upset at Barcelona
Barcelona’s season is under pressure as Real Madrid chase them down for the Liga title, and they have financial and transfer problems on the horizon after the coronavirus pandemic hit Spain heavily. Spanish newspaper Marca reports that Barca coach Eder Sarabia is disliked by much of the squad, who are not keen on the technical and tactical methods imposed upon them.
Paper Round’s view: Barcelona’s squad may well be right about Sarabia, but this kind of attitude has been reported ever since the departure of Pep Guardiola. Perhaps there is also an endemic stubbornness in the players who have not yet all been moved on from his time and, like Chelsea’s squad from the Jose Mourinho years, needs to be dismantled.
Arsenal extend Saliba deal
Arsenal defender William Saliba’s loan deal with St Etienne has been extended further. The 19-year-old central defender is expected to join up with his future teammates next season after spending another year with his former permanent club on loan, reports the Sun. However, his move to London is on hold after his club reached the final of the French Cup, which will be against Paris Saint-Germain.
Paper Round’s view: Saliba has a huge amount of potential but a number of injuries have held him back so far this season. By allowing him to compete in a cup final, Arsenal will give him the chance to experience playing under pressure, and could even give him a confidence boost if his team manage to pull off an upset against the best team in France.
Celtic to miss out on Fraser Forster
Celtic want to keep on-loan goalkeeper Fraser Forster at the club next season, but are almost resigned to losing him when his term at the club ends. The 32-year-old one-time England goalkeeper will be recalled to Southampton, but he will have to fight both Alex McCarthy and Angus Gunn for the number one spot under Ralph Hasenhuttl.
Paper Round’s view: Hasenhuttl seems to have done an excellent job at St Mary’s so far and if Forster can get back to the form that earned him England recognition then the Southampton manager will be able to trim his squad and focus his attention elsewhere. There is not too much obvious quality at the club so financial resources will be spread thinly.