Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is set to stay at Arsenal, Ainsley Maitland-Niles could leave for Newcastle, Luis Suarez will be paid off and five subs could return.
Aubameyang set for Arsenal stay
The Mirror reports that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is on the verge of signing a three-year, £250,000-a-week contract deal with Arsenal to put paid to any transfer rumours. Arsenal could also tie down Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Emiliano Martinez, despite interest in both players from clubs in the Premier League and abroad.
Paper Round’s view: Martinez might be challenging Sergio Romero as the best back-up ‘keeper in the league, and could be the number one by the end of the season, so forcing Bernd Leno to up his game would be a huge benefit. Maitland-Niles is a useful squad player, but there are lingering rumours that he could be sacrificed to raise funds for transfer targets elsewhere on the pitch.
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Newcastle told to pay up for Maitland-Niles
Arsenal are ready to sell Maitland-Niles, reports the Sun, however they have told Newcastle United that they will have to pay £25 million after Wolves had a £15 million offer rejected. Spurs are also in the mix for the versatile player. Newcastle may also take Rob Holding on loan for the season, but may make a similar offer for Liverpool forward Rhian Brewster.
Paper Round’s view: Newcastle will struggle to spend this summer because not only are they reckoning with the coronavirus, they also have Mike Ashley who remains a reluctant owner. Borrowing Holding or Brewster would help fill out a patchy squad, while if they did sign Maitland-Niles it would be a sensible investment on a player they could likely sell for profit in a couple of seasons.
Barca must pay Suarez off
After new manager Ronald Koeman told Luis Suarez that he is no longer in the plans of the club, they will have to pay him £12 million to get him off their books, as the 33-year-old striker still has around a year left on his contract. The Daily Mail states that Barcelona are also trying to resolve the situation with wantaway striker Lionel Messi.
Paper Round’s view: Suarez is one of a few older players in the Barcelona squad who seem to have recurrent injury problems, and the presence of Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele means there are younger players who could be ready to step up. Koeman’s combative approach may not help him if they can't shift Suarez soon and have to accommodate him for one more season.
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Five substitutes back on the table
The Telegraph suggests that some Premier League clubs remain keen on allowing five substitutes for the rest of next season, carrying on the rule alteration from the post-restart campaign that has just finished. The spike in cases amongst footballers as well as more stringent quarantine rules has given confidence to the clubs who wish to extend the regulation.
Paper Round’s view: It is clear that the coronavirus pandemic is something that the world will be dealing with in 2021 unless a vaccine pops up surprisingly quickly. As such, five subs might give the richer clubs an advantage, it is hard to see how such a pragmatic change can be refused for much longer. A sunset clause may convince other clubs to allow the practice through until Christmas, at least.