Klopp backed by owners
Jurgen Klopp has the full backing of Liverpool’s owners, with the Telegraph reporting that questions over his future have been privately dismissed as absurd. Liverpool have lost six league matches in a row at Anfield, but Klopp’s position is not under threat, with the owners viewing the run as an anomaly that has disrupted five years of progress under the German. Klopp will be tasked with revitalising this squad over the summer, though what budget he may be given to bring in players remains to be seen.
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Paper Round’s view: Nothing like Chelsea’s hierarchy, who would argue their hire-and-fire approach has continued to bear fruit. Instead, Liverpool’s owners are sticking with Klopp. Not surprising, and few thought even this run would be the end of him. Which begs the question, just how bad would things have to get? Perhaps we’ll soon find out.
Cavani and Bailly want answers
Edinson Cavani and Eric Bailly want to know if they are part of Manchester United’s plans beyond this season, The Sun reports. Both players are keen to hear from manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with Cavani hopeful of staying next season, while out-of-favour Bailly wants an honest answer regarding his standing within the United first team. One source told The Sun that Bailly does not believe he is being treated fairly by Solskjaer.
Paper Round’s view: Bailly is right to seek assurances given he has started just two of their last 11 Premier League games. Mixed signals will have him confused where he stands, while it would be intriguing to see how the possible Cavani extension plays out with Boca Juniors said to be interested. As ever, plenty for United to sort out this summer, or ideally beforehand.
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Mbappe demands put off City
Manchester City will not pursue PSG striker Kylian Mbappe this summer amid reports he wants £600,000-a-week, the Daily Mail writes. City are said to be looking for a long-term replacement for Sergio Aguero, who could yet leave this summer, but Mbappe’s demands have City looking elsewhere. Real Madrid remain the favourites to sign the Frenchman whenever he does move on from PSG, but City will instead prioritise signing Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund.
Paper Round’s view: Beyond Lionel Messi potentially leaving this summer, the biggest transfer stories which are set to rumble on potentially beyond even the next window concern Mbappe and Haaland. The crown jewels of the next generation will be chasing titles and awards for years to come, and their agents will know that a certain number of clubs are desperate to be the ones to possess their magic. It will be some battle.
Laca on the way out?
Barcelona, Juventus and Atletico Madrid will be offered the chance to sign Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette this summer, the Daily Mail writes. The French forward will be entering the final 12 months of his Arsenal contract this summer, and he could well move on given he has failed to hold down a regular starting spot under Mikel Arteta.
Paper Round’s view: Lacazette is a curious one, but you get the sense while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is there as a maybe-central-maybe-out-wide option, then the former is never going to get a decent run in the side.
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