Aston Villa will not budge on their asking price for Jack Grealish, report the Sunday Mirror. The paper claims that they will insist on £80 million for the 24-year-old attacking midfielder if they stay up, despite the coronavirus pandemic. If they drop down into the Championship, then their owners’ £12 billion wealth will stop them from having to accept a lowball offer.
Paper Round’s view: United had expected to need to offer around £50 million, according to previous reports, less than it would take to prise James Maddison from Leicester City or Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund. It is hard to see how United would entertain the idea of paying the same for Grealish as they would for the other two superior players.
Bundesliga return puts Haaland in Real Madrid's sights – Euro Papers
Chelsea could raise huge sum through sales
The Sun on Sunday lead with a story that Premier League side Chelsea could raise more than £100 million in player sales without affecting their first team even a jot. Alvaro Morata is going to join Atletico Madrid for £48 million, Tiemoue Bakayoko could fetch £30 million, and Matt Miazga, Davide Zappacosta, Danny Drinkwater and others could each raise millions of pounds.
Paper Round’s view: Chelsea’s approach to building a squad in recent years has seen them support a bloated group of players beyond their immediate needs, but at the same time it has allowed them to game the loan system in order to use player sales to raise funds every single summer. There is no reason that should stop unless the rules change in the future.
Danny Drinkwater is surplus to requirements at Chelsea
Image credit: PA Sport
Wolves set tough restrictions
Wolverhampton Wanderers are enforcing strict limits on contact for their players, according to the Sunday Mail. Captain Conor Coady has made it clear that there is little room for human contact in training, with players not allowed into buildings. Coady said: ‘It’s four players at a time, on a pitch each. It's tough because we're not allowed to use cones, poles, mannequins or goals – we've got to bring our own ball which then gets cleaned.”
Paper Round’s view: Wolves are clearly edging back to full training gradually, and having seen the rusty nature of Bundesliga players yesterday it seems that they will struggle to get back to their top level without compromising those restrictions. It is difficult to imagine how they can be lifted given the dangers posed by coronavirus.
In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, Newcastle boss Steve Bruce accepts that there is widespread resistance among players and other staff to get back to action in the Premier League. His own on-loan player Danny Rose has been vocal in his opposition to Project Restart, and Bruce will allow his squad to opt out of the return to training.
Paper Round’s view: Given the legal problems clubs could face if they force players back to work only to see them get sick with coronavirus, it is probably the accepted party line that managers have to say they will allow their staff to duck out. With few masks on display in the United Kingdom and no hint that there is more capacity in the NHS, it would be little surprise if some players elect to skip the games.