Chelsea want Luca Waldschmidt, Willian is pessimistic, Real Madrid will see Alphonse Areola return to PSG, and Eddie Hearn is making plans for the summer.
Chelsea players agree pay cut
The Sun on Sunday reports that Chelsea players will agree to a pay cut. The paper claims that players will take a 10 percent reduction in their salary, which will last until September, when the new season is expected to start. That should save around £10 million in wages at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta is believed to be at the head of negotiations for the players. The paper also believes that Frank Lampard is ready to move for 23-year-old Freiberg striker Luca Waldschmidt.
Paper Round’s view: Given the amount of money earned by Chelsea’s players, a 10 percent pay cut should not have a huge effect on their finances. That makes their pay cut seem relatively unimpressive, but Chelsea are one of the richest clubs in the Premier League and have healthy resources, so they may be able to negotiate coronavirus better than some other clubs.
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Willian downbeat on Premier League
Elsewhere amongst Chelsea players, winger Willian has criticised the Premier League for their handling of the coronavirus. The 31-year-old Brazilian has said he will extend his contract at his club to complete the season, but is in no hurry to return to action and will play behind closed doors if necessary: “Football without fans is no fun. I’ve heard that we could return with closed gates, with no public in the stadiums. If it is necessary and if we must play for the good of all, it must be done.”
Paper Round’s view: Willian has been explicit throughout the crisis about his desire to be with his family and not risk his or anyone else’s health unnecessarily. It appears that football will be back within a few months, so it will be sharpening his focus, and of other players, on the health of those involved in football if no vaccine is available for some time.
Alphonse Areola is likely to return to Paris Saint-Germain at the end of his loan spell, according to Spanish newspaper Marca. He moved to Spain as Keylor Navas went to PSG last year, but will be on his way back to Paris. That means that Ukranian ‘keeper Andriy Lunin will be given the chance to step up as number two to Thibaut Courtois.
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Paper Round’s view: Areola is one of the ‘keepers in line to displace Hugo Lloris in the French national team, and with Euro 2020 moved back by a year it gives him the chance to win first team football somewhere else and become his national side’s number one. Courtois seems to have settled finally in the first team at Real but rumours persist that Zinedine Zidane is unconvinced.
Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn is planning for a boxing spectacle should the sport be allowed to return after the initial wave of coronavirus. He is planning a special venue for a month long event to minimise the chance of an outbreak and said: 'I feel that June is still in the balance but we are working towards boxing behind closed doors for the end of June or early July. We are in the process of building a unique environment for boxing to return. That will be our own environment that we will self create for a period of probably between four and six weeks. We will stage a number of shows.;
Paper Round’s view: Other sports appear to be leaning towards an isolated camp in order to keep everyone’s safety paramount. Hearn will be no different given the amount of money in the balance if he can put on a string of events that will earn pay-per-view sales, and also to make sure he keeps any contractual obligations he already has.