United ready to make Grealish offer - Paper Round
Manchester United to offer Jack Grealish a deal, Cristiano Ronaldo to stay at Juventus, Southampton ban selfies and Zinedine Zidane is unsure of his future at Real Madrid.
United prepare Grealish deal
Manchester United are readying a deal to offer to Aston Villa forward Jack Grealish, according to the Sun newspaper. The paper reports that United are prepared to pay the 24-year-old playmaker £60,000 a week, and a transfer fee of £60 million might be enough to secure his signature. The arrival of Grealish would likely signal the end of Paul Pogba’s time at the club.
Paper Round’s view: Pogba has done nothing to justify a new contract or an extended stay at Old Trafford, and if the club can recoup their initial outlay then they should take the offer from any club willing to pay up. Grealish has improved dramatically over the course of the past two years and would offer a versatile option across the forward line, and tie up well with Bruno Fernandes.
Ronaldo dismisses Inter Miami links
Cristiano Ronaldo has played down rumours of a potential move to the United States to join up with Inter Miami, David Beckham’s new MLS franchise. Despite recent reports of unhappiness at Juventus amongst the squad, the Daily Mail quotes Ronaldo as saying: 'I'm in the best club in Italy, I'm playing alongside the best players. I'm happy we won trophies last year - and this year I hope to win as well. As an individual I am happy. I went to Juventus to score goals and do my best and I am very happy.'
Paper Round’s view: That statement seems unambiguous from Ronaldo, meaning Juventus will likely see him start for the club when the new season begins. However they should be more concerned given Sarri’s recent history of causing upset with his squad - he was quickly turfed out at Chelsea despite securing Champions League football for the team.
Southampton boss bans selfies
Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has decided to ban selfies in order to protect his players from the risk of catching Coronavirus. The Austrian manager told the press that he wants his squad to take precautions over infection, according to the Telegraph. He said: “We must not have too much panic about it. What you can do is keep your hands clean and try to avoid contact, like selfies and autographs.”
Paper Round’s view: The Premier League is unlikely to give clubs permission to skip or postpone games if a few of any side’s players are hit by the virus, meaning that extra care must be taken by sides. A few sensible measures like this could be the difference between maintaining a healthy squad and seeing players taken out for a month or so as they recover from any illness.
Zidane plays down Real concerns
Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane played down speculation over his future at the club ahead of the side’s match against Barcelona, which takes place on Sunday evening. The French coach was asked about his future at a pre-match press conference and said, according to Marca: "What I care about is continuing what we're doing, so ask someone else. Only one team wins in each competition and we're going to try and make it us."
Paper Round’s view: Zidane’s Real are two points short of Barcelona’s total so a win would take them top. A draw would keep them in contention and given Barca’s current problems, they should be able to put more pressure on them with the season’s end drawing in. However, if he loses on Sunday, then Zidane may ultimately pay with his job unless he secures another Champions League win.