Manchester United may sell Paul Pogba to Real Madrid for just £70 million, according to the Mirror. With just a year left on his contract with only the option of another year’s extension, the paper believes that a low-ball offer could be enough to sign the 27-year-old French midfielder. Zinedine Zidane also wants Kylian Mbappe and N’Golo Kante in his side.
Paper Round’s view: Kante and Pogba together have shown that they are more than capable of winning a World Cup, and with Toni Kroos and Luka Modric likely to be sold, Real will raise funds and shift wages off the books to pay for the pair. Mbappe meanwhile will cost a fortune, and it is tough to see how Real could afford all three transfers in a single window.
Manchester United are reportedly leading the chase to sign 16-year-old Joe Hugill from Sunderland, according to the Sun on Sunday. The striker was also scouted by Tottenham Hotspur before lockdown, but a six-figure offer should be enough for United to secure the player. Birmingham City’s teenager Jude Bellingham is also likely to be on his way to Old Trafford.
Paper Round’s view: Signing younger players can be hugely cost effective given they can conceivably play a role in a squad for a decade, and sometimes more. As well as that, they can also be sold on at a profit after a couple of years’ first-team experience either with the club or sent on loan. United have often underperformed when it comes to selling on younger players at a profit, but Ed Woodward seems to be addressing that now.
The bottom six clubs of the Premier League are reluctant to restart the season, reports the Sunday Telegraph. Aston Villa, Norwich City, West Ham United, Bournemouth, Watford and Brighton all object to using neutral grounds in an attempt to facilitate the resumption of top flight football. The move could plunge the league into financial disaster.
Paper Round’s view: The bottom six are quite understandably keen to have the league called off to ensure that they can have another crack at the season afresh when the slate is wiped clean. However for clubs who are safe, the risk is that they lose broadcasting revenue, so perhaps a middle ground with higher parachute payments could be negotiate for any teams that are relegated.
Following surgery on a dreadful leg break, Team INEOS rider Chris Froome continues to recover from his injury as he prepares for a return to professional cycling. The Mail on Sunday reports that the British rider is not taking it easy as he considers at least one more attempt at winning the Tour de France.
Paper Round’s view: Team principal Dave Brailsford has previously discussed his admiration for how committed Froome is to his recovery, and did not rule out another win for the 34-year-old rider in the Tour de France. His commitment is exceptional and a delay to this year’s race could allow him to be back to his best despite his huge accident.