Paper Round: Sanchez refuses to leave Manchester United
Alexis Sanchez will not budge, Victor Lindelof will get a new deal, Sead Kolasinac and Mesut Ozil could return to action, and Mario Balotelli makes a request.
Sanchez refuses to leave United
Alexis Sanchez is refusing to leave Manchester United according to the Sun. The paper reports that the 30-year-old Chilean is dragging his heels over a loan move to Roma, who are now moving onto other targets - Chelsea forward Michy Batshuayi is now in their sights. Sanchez however does not want to leave and could face a spell in the reserves as a result.
Paper Round’s view: Sanchez was a brilliant player, both at Barcelona and Arsenal, and it would be a failure both of United and the player if he never regains something close to his best form in Manchester. Banishing him to the reserves in order to force a move would be ultimately counter-productive as he could be a like-for-like replacement for Marcus Rashford on the occasions that the England striker is not at his best.
Lindelof set for new deal
The Mirror believes that Victor Lindelof is in line to double his salary. He has a contract that runs for two more years, with the option of a third, on wages of £75,000 a week. However having seen Barcelona sniff around for the 25-year-old Swede, the club will offer Lindelof £150,000-a-week wages in a deal that could run until 2025.
Paper Round’s view: Lindelof has had one acceptable season for United - just one season. He hasn’t been especially excellent, but he is certainly growing into the role and the partnership with Harry Maguire is indeed promising. However, with the scarcity of decent defenders about now that makes Lindelof one of the best in the league and the club can't afford to let him go.
Arsenal hope Ozil and Kolasinac can return to action
After the attack on their vehicle, and ‘further security threats’ that forced Arsenal to withdraw Sead Kolasinac and Mesut Ozil from the squad against Newcastle United, there are hopes that the players could return to first team action. There is no guarantee they will be able to feature against Burnley at the Emirates at the weekend, but the pair were able to attend training for the club on Wednesday, the Mail reports.
Paper Round’s view: The most, indeed only, important thing from this story is that the two players are kept safe and are not put in unnecessary risk. Arsenal have a new left-back in Kieran Tierney who should be fine to cover for Kolasinac, and Ozil was often dropped from midfield by Unai Emery. There is no need to rush them back until the danger passes.
Balotelli demands move for brother
Spanish newspaper Marca gives an update on Italian forward Mario Balotelli. The 29-year-old striker left Marseille at the end of the season and looked set for a transfer to Flamengo. As part of negotiations he requested that the club sign his brother Enock and loan him out to Boavista, Flamengo’s affiliate. However, he now seems close to a return to Serie A with Brescia.
Mario Balotelli - Olympique de MarseilleGetty Images
Paper Round’s view: It is an understandable move for a brother to try to secure his livelihood, and with a move to Brazil it would keep him from becoming homesick if one of his family were present in Brazil with him. With the lack of quality Italian strikers, a return to form in his home country could earn him more caps for the national side.