City offered chance to sign Koulibaly
The Mirror reports that Manchester City have been invited to sign Kalidou Koulibaly by his current club, Napoli. The 29-year-old Senegalese central defender is available for £60 million, as Napoli are keen to sign Gabriel for Lille. They are up against a deadline as Arsenal move in on the Brazilian defender, and City could also sign Diego Carlos instead.
Paper Round’s view: After a less impressive season than a couple of years ago, Koulibaly is a year older and worth less money to Napoli. He may already be in decline so it is in their interest to sell him for a big fee now and secure his replacement. For City, they can use the situation to their advantage to drive down the price of the player knowing they have alternatives.
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Semi-pro teams to have fans back
Semi-professional teams will be allowed to have fans back in their stadiums, though in limited numbers. The Telegraph states that they will be allowed to welcome back spectators because without the income from ticket sales, they would likely go out of business. MPs have stepped in to ask the government to relax the rules.
Paper Round’s view: Given the relatively poor attendance of football games lower down the leagues, one would expect that social distancing will hardly be difficult to enforce. Games are held in the open air too, so if fans are obliged to wear masks when in attendance, it is difficult to see events like this being responsible for many outbreaks of coronavirus.
Southampton bid for Nunez
Southampton have bid £10 million for Almeira striker Darwin Nunez, according to the Sun. Almeira are waiting to see if Brighton and Sheffield United come in with higher offers for the 21-year-old Uruguayan international after they failed to gain promotion to La Liga after losing in the end-of-season playoffs. Nunez cost just £4.5 million from Penarol last season.
Paper Round’s view: Goals are essential in the Premier League and if Nunez can hit the ground running in England then he will prove to be a bargain. Southampton can’t afford to assume Danny Ings carries over his exceptional form into another season. South American strikers are increasingly adapting well to British football as the quality increases to favour technical ability as well as physical attributes. Southampton
Chelsea prepare Gallagher talks
Premier League side are preparing to hold contract talks with youngster Connor Gallagher after he attracted interest from other sides in the league. The 20-year-old midfielder has a deal that runs until 2022, and impressed on loan at Swansea City. He’s wanted by Crystal Palace, Newcastle United, Leeds United and Aston Villa, and Chelsea are ready to send him out on another loan.
Paper Round’s view: Chelsea have amassed a huge amount of young talent and it is difficult for them to make sure they all gain enough first team minutes somewhere to continue their progression. If Gallagher can get regular appearances in the Premier League then that will serve them well in bringing him along, either to use him in a year or two or to sell him on at a profit.