It's bad news for Jose Mourinho as Tottenham's transfer budget is set to be slashed, while Arsenal reject two bids for Henrikh Mkhitaryan...
Spurs facing transfer setback
Tottenham are set to significantly reduce their transfer budget as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The Daily Mail report that Spurs’ income is set to suffer as doubts have emerged over the viability of securing a lucrative naming rights deal for their new stadium. The club furloughed all 550 non-playing staff this week and are still paying debts on their stadium, which was opened a year ago and has lost revenue from postponed football games and other events. It is reported that the club are planning a range of cutbacks.
Paper Round’s view: Before the coronavirus hit, Jose Mourinho talked about how desperate he was to finish the season so he could get injured players back, and presumably bring in some new faces. If he now only has severely limited resources to make signings then Spurs could be facing a testing few years. Or perhaps they might be forced to sell one of their star assets – Harry Kane? – to raise funds for other areas.
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Arsenal reject Roma bids for Mkhitaryan
Arsenal have rejected two bids from Roma for Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The 31-year-old has been on loan at Roma this season after failing to impress at Arsenal. The Daily Express report that Roma have bid around £10m to secure a permanent deal, but the Gunners want closer to £18m. Mkhitaryan reportedly wants to leave, but if Roma can’t secure a deal they will look at Chelsea’s Pedro.
Paper Round’s view: They might be apart in their valuation now, but surely it makes sense for Arsenal to get a deal done with Roma. Mkhitaryan is only under contract until 2021 and his value is unlikely to increase over the next year. He doesn’t appear to have a future at Arsenal so should be on the move in the next transfer window.
Liverpool put recruitment on hold
Liverpool have put all their recruitment plans on hold, including contract talks. Jurgen Klopp’s side have been strongly linked with a move for RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner, who reportedly has a £51m release clause that has to be activated by a certain date in April. However, the Daily Star say the club will only resume transfer plans once there is clarity with the future of the game. That also applies to contracts, which means Gini Wijnaldum could be set to enter next season with less than a year left on his deal.
Paper Round’s view: It seems sensible to put transfer talk on the back seat for now, with no clear plan yet when the season will restart and when the transfer window could open or shut. It may mean Liverpool pay more for Werner or Wijnaldum signs an extension later than expected, but there are more pressing matters.
Jürgen Klopp - FC Liverpool
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Officials set for quarantine?
The idea of quarantining referees will be discussed when the game's major stakeholders hold a video conference call on Friday. The FA, Premier League and the EFL are among the parties set to discuss how and when football might be able to return. There has already been talk about quarantining players and the Daily Mail say the safety of officials will also be discussed.
Paper Round’s view: If players are going to be locked up in a hotel for a month to finish the season then the same is probably going to have to apply to officials and anyone else involved in the games. This idea still seems a long way off, but it will be interesting to see what emerges from the latest meeting.