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Manchester United set to move for Napoli defender Koulibaly - Paper Round

Manchester United set to move for Napoli defender Koulibaly - Paper Round
By Eurosport

22/03/2020 at 23:21Updated 23/03/2020 at 08:30

Two Serie A star defenders in Kalidou Koulibaly and Milan Skriniar could be set to move to Manchester this summer, according to the latest football gossip.

Manchester United chase wantaway Koulibaly

Manchester United are set to spend big on their defence this summer and have identified Napoli centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly as a candidate after the 28-year-old signalled to San Paolo chiefs that he wants to leave the club, according to the Mirror. They are likely to have plenty of competition in the race for the Senegal international, who would cost around £80 million - the same price Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spent last summer for Harry Maguire, the world's most expensive defender.

Paper Round’s view: Manchester United have made a habit of accruing centre-backs who have not quite made the grade since their last all-star pairing of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand. While Maguire has not quite proved his worth as the most expensive player in his position in history, he could fare much better alongside a player with Koulibaly's pace, anticipation and general guile. Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof should be worried...

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European giants chase Milan Skriniar

Another star Serie A defender who could be on the move this summer is Inter Milan's Milan Skriniar, who has attracted the attention of Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid. However, Antonio Conte is loathe to let go of the Slovakian and it would take a bid of €80 million to prise him from their grasp.

Bastoni, Skriniar, Getty Images

Bastoni, Skriniar, Getty ImagesGetty Images

Paper Round's view: It is clear that Man City's top priority this summer should be the pursuit of a central defender, with their title defence this term having flailed thanks to injuries to the likes of Aymeric Laporte and John Stones. Skriniar has established himself as one of the best players in his position in Italy and would be a worthy addition to any team.

Robertson and Ronaldo make generous coronavirus donations

Liverpool defender Andy Robertson is the latest football star to make a philanthropic donation in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, anonymously giving food to six food banks in his home city of Glasgow, according to the Sun. The food banks are set to be vital to workers who have lost their wages due to widespread closures of many businesses due to the outbreak. This follows reports in Spanish newspaper AS that Cristiano Ronaldo and his agent Jorge Mendes are set to donate money for medical equipment to hospitals in Porto.

Paper Round’s view: It is clear that health systems across the UK and the rest of Europe are going to be stretched to breaking point by the coronavirus pandemic and while it is sad that hospitals need charity, it is clear that every gift from society's rich and famous is certainly welcome.

Barca ready to cash in on Griezmann

Barcelona are ready to sell Antoine Griezmann just a year after signing the French attacker from Atletico Madrid for €120 million, having been underwhelmed by his maiden-season performances, with a need to balance their books in mind having taken a financial hit due to the coronavirus pandemic. Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain are all potential suitors for the World Cup winner.

Paper Round’s view: This is certainly a strange move. As magnificent a player as Lionel Messi is, he is not getting any younger and Griezmann has all the quality to take on the Argentine's role spearheading the Barcelona attack, despite some teething problems in a turbulent first season.

Arsenal consider training return

Arsenal are taking medical advice on whether to return to training this week, with the mandatory 14-day isolation period following coach Mikel Arteta's positive coronavirus test set to end on Tuesday, reports the Daily Mail. The Gunners are hesitant to return however, as they are based in London, the area of the United Kingdom worst hit by the pandemic and they will also consult other clubs before making their decision. Football in England is suspended until at least April 30.

Mikel Arteta - FC Arsenal

Mikel Arteta - FC ArsenalGetty Images

Paper Round’s view: Other coaches quoted have a similar opinion, but players are already being asked to keep fit at home, and presumably they are not able to go out partying and lose too much of their physical edge. Regardless, this is an imperfect situation and the most important thing is to simply return to football when it is finally safe to do so.