Rakitic ready for Atleti transfer - Paper Round
Ivan Rakitic to join Atletico Madrid, Phil Foden set for England, Vincent Tan to sell his LAFC stake, and Manchester United plan early Jadon Sancho transfer.
Rakitic ready for Atletico move
Atletico Madrid could be set to land Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic. The 31-year-old Croatian international wants to stay in Spain if he can, according to Spanish newspaper Marca. He met representatives from Atletico in early February, and is happy to make the switch this summer if the capital club stick to their word about the terms of the contract, otherwise he will stick at Barca.
Paper Round’s view: Rakitic has been one of the few impressive transfer recruits made by Barcelona as they have moved on from some of their most famous players. However, it is obvious that he has been in the shop window for a couple of seasons. Atleti would allow him and his family to stay in Spain and continue to earn well into the latter stages of his career.
Foden set for England call-up
Ahead of Euro 2020 this summer, the Telegraph believes that Phil Foden will get his first call-up to the full England team. The 19-year-old made his 10th start for Manchester City this season during their win over Aston Villa in Sunday’s League Cup final, and he could be given the chance to play against Italy and Denmark later in March, according to the Telegraph.
Paper Round’s view: Given the amount of words spent discussing Foden and his abilities, it is easy to forget just how young he is, and given how rarely he plays, it’s not always clear just how talented he is. Nevertheless, his recent form for City suggests he is well deserving of a call-up to the full squad, and he could prove to be an essential part of the England midfield for years to come.
Tan sells up LAFC stake
Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan has made a move to sell his stake in American side LAFC. The Sun reports that the Malaysian billionaire has sold 50% of his shares to another group for £55 million. He still owns 10% of LAFC and is expected to sell the rest to the same group. Tan then aims to take Cardiff City back to the Premier League with the Welsh side his main focus.
Paper Round’s view: With the growth still to come in the American football market, it is a little bit of a surprise that Tan would entertain giving up his stake in LAFC, but such are the riches of the Premier League that he would perhaps get a greater return on his investment if he established Cardiff as a top-flight British side. Eleventh in the Championship table suggests there is plenty of work to be done.
Woodward plans early transfer business
The Mirror runs a story that argues Manchester United’s executive vice chairman, Ed Woodward, is planning an early move to the club’s summer business. The United transfer head is a fan of Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, and will offer the 19-year-old England international £200,000 a week. In order to be sure of success, Woodward will attempt to complete the move at the start of the window.
Paper Round’s view: Dithering in the transfer window has often been a problem for Woodward and United, so being able to act quickly in the summer would be an improvement. It is hard to believe that such a thing will actually happen given Woodward’s track record, but he may have no other option with Euro 2020 reducing the time there is to act.