Juventus, Manchester United and Manchester City set to battle for Harry Kane - Paper Round
Harry Kane is set for a summer transfer, with Juventus, Manchester United and Manchester City all interested in signing the Tottenham striker.
Kane to pick Juventus move over Manchester United and Manchester City
Harry Kane is set to leave Tottenham in the summer transfer window in order to win trophies and Juventus, Manchester United and Manchester City are all interested in the England captain. He is the Italian champions' top target and they are prepared to spend up to £200m on him but if he decides against a switch to Turin, Maurizio Sarri will instead move for Gabriel Jesus. However, with United's slump in recent years and uncertainty over City's Champions League future, Kane would prefer to move to the Serie A giants.
Paper Round’s view: If indeed Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus are the only three clubs seriously interested in Kane this summer, then a move to Italy would make sense. With the wage packages offered to the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Aaron Ramsey in recent years, Juve have shown that they can match the Premier League with regard to salaries and they would virtually guarantee him trophies and Champions League football, neither of which are a given in Manchester.
UEFA plot Champions League fix
UEFA are planning to settle this season's Champions League and Europa League with a four-team mini-tournament after the normal schedule has been postponed due the coronavirus outbreak in Europe, according to the Sun. UEFA officials are set for a series of teleconferences this Tuesday in order to discuss the two European competitions and the possibility of postponing this summer's European Championships by a year in order to allow the current season to finish. The idea behind the Champions League conclusion would shorten the competition. The last-16 second-legs will be played once football is resumed then quarter-finals will be one-off matches, instead of the usual two-legged affairs. The final four would play a mini-tournament in Istanbul - or Gdansk for the Europa League - over a four-day period to decide a winner, in a similar fashion to last year's Nations League finals in Porto.
Paper Round's view: Fair play to UEFA for getting creative with ideas around trying to complete the current football season, instead of just binning off the competitions. It's obviously a nightmare situation at the moment trying to predict when the sport will return, but contingency plans still need to be put in place. The plan actually seems like it would work well and, more importantly, the new-look finals seem pretty efficient. Everything needs to be fast-tracked in theory, as no one knows when football is returning. A four-day mini-tournament would be interesting for fans, but would also streamline the competition in a fair way. The only issue that could arise is the single-legged quarter-finals giving an advantage to the home team, but the report states that it could even be played at a neutral venue.
United launch late bid for Van de Beek
Spanish newspaper Marca reports that Manchester United are set to launch a bid to prise Donny van de Beek away from Real Madrid. The Ajax midfielder, who shone in his side's Champions League semi-final run last season, has long had an agreement with Zinedine Zidane's men and the Santiago Bernabeu side are in pole position to land the Dutchman.
Paper Round’s view: Van de Beek is undoubtedly a fine player and his form this season has shown that his performances last term was no fluke. However, given how Matthis de Ligt and, to a lesser extent, Frenkie de Jong, have failed to set the world alight since leaving Amsterdam for Juventus and Barcelona respectively, he should choose his next move wisely. Real Madrid and Manchester United both seem to lurch from crisis to crisis at the current time and he would perhaps be better off at a club with more stability.
Mount set to be disciplined after leaving self-isolation for kickabout
The Daily Mirror claims that Chelsea are furious at Mason Mount after he left coronavirus self-isolation for a park kickabout with childhood friend and West Ham star Declan Rice. The England international was supposed to be in self-isolation after his team-mate Callum Hudson-Odoi was diagnosed with the disease and is set to receive a fine for the friendly game as well as a dressing down from the club's hierarchy
Paper Round’s view: This is the height of irresponsibility from Mason Mount if true. There is no lack of coverage about the dangers of coronavirus nor its contagiousness and while everyone across the world wishes the situation were different, this is simply too big a risk to public health to take.
United, City, Barca and Real Madrid chase Turkish wonderkid
The two Manchester clubs are set to do battle in the transfer market once again, along with Real Madrid, in the chase for Fenerbahce's 16-year-old midfielder Omer Beyaz, according to the Daily Mail. Juventus and Inter Milan are also interested in signing the Turkey youth international but the Istanbul club are determined not to lose another top talent after letting Merih Demiral slip.
Paper Round’s view: For every success story in Turkish football at the moment - from Demiral to Caglar Soyuncu to Cengiz Under - there are numerous promising players who have fallen by the wayside. The profile and riches of the clubs reportedly chasing Beyaz means that a bidding war could ensue but they should be prudent with their money and not splurge an excessive amount on a player who represents a significant risk and monitor his progress instead.
FA Cup to be binned?
The FA Cup could be set to become a shock sacrifice as English football looks to make plans for its potential return, according to the Mirror. All domestic football has been suspended until at least April 4-5th weekend, meaning that the current English season is in major doubt. There have been talks of even cancelling the season without crowning Liverpool as Premier League champions due to the rapid outbreak of coronavirus in Europe. The FA Cup is the oldest cup competition in the sport, but there are fears that it might not fit in with the rest of the season when football returns. The report states that the fate of the FA Cup is in "jeopardy" for the first time since World War II.
Paper Round's view: Surely the FA can find time to finish off the old cup competition in football. The schedule had reached the quarter-finals, meaning there were only three rounds left of the competition. UEFA seem to have decided on a decent way to conclude the Champions League and Europe League, so why can't the FA do the same with the FA Cup? There is a lot of uncertainty over when the Premier League will return, but once it does, things will become a lot more clearer. The FA don't need to rush their decision on how the current season will run its course, so it doesn't make any sense to sacrifice the cup competition now. Wait and see what the situation is in a few weeks without making any rash decisions...