United 'confident' of Sancho summer swoop - Paper Round
Manchester United need Champions League to secure Jadon Sancho, Arsenal plot moves for Thomas Partey and Willian and coronavirus could delay European Championships. It's Friday's Paper Round...
United to seal Sancho signing
Manchester United are "confident" of signing Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho this summer, according to the Mirror. The England international has impressed during his time in the Bundesliga and now a transfer away from Germany is looking likely this summer. Ole Gunner Solskjaer's side are the favourite to sign the 19-year-old, but they face stiff competition from Paris Saint-Germain after the French side knocked Dortmund out of the Champions League on Wednesday. The report states that Dortmund are demanding around £130 million for the England international, which would make him the most expensive signing in Premier League history if he joined United. The Red Devils are said to be willing to sell midfielder Paul Pogba to raise the funds to sign Sancho.
Paper Round's view: Jadon Sancho is clearly a top, top talent. He is just 19 years old and is one of the most exciting prospects in Europe. The wide-forward has chalked up 17 goals and 17 assists so far this season for Borussia Dortmund, and with Manchester United lacking a creative spark in their attack, it makes complete sense that Sancho is on their radar. £130 million is a huge amount of money to pay for a teenager, but Sancho might actually be worth it. If United get the deal done early, they can avoid the risk of the asking price rising after this summer's European Championship with the winger's involvement with the England national team. Sancho will have a point to prove moving back to England, so it wouldn't be surprising to see him snub PSG in favour of a move to Manchester.
Arsenal plan summer Partey
The Telegraph report that Arsenal will try to convince Atletico Madrid midfield Thomas Partey to move to north London this summer. The Ghana international starred for Atleti in their Champions League victory at Anfield on Wednesday evening and Gunners boss Mikel Arteta was impressed with what he saw. The report states that the Premier League side are willing to activate Partey's £42 million release clause, in order to bolster the midfield options at the club. Arteta feels like the current options aren't strong enough and the 26-year-old could help screen the Arsenal defence. Manchester United are also rumoured to be interested in the potential signing of Partey.
Paper Round's view: Thomas Partey has shown his quality on the highest level in Europe so it makes sense why two of England's biggest clubs are sniffing around him. However, Arsenal and Manchester United are looking fairly washed up at the moment. Neither club are competing in the Champions League and Arsenal don't even look likely to qualify for next season's edition of Europe's elite competition. The Premier League obviously has more money to offer players than La Liga, but Atletico Madrid are still a more appealing club to play for right now than Arsenal. The Gunners are set for a huge summer where their main aim is to cling on to star players like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette. Maybe signing Partey might be out of their reach for now.
Willian willing to leave Chelsea for rivals
Staying in London, Chelsea winger Willian could be set to leave the west London club for Premier League rivals Arsenal. According to the Sun, the Brazilian could be on his way out of Stamford Bridge for free as his contract expires this summer and Gunners boss Mikel Arteta seems to be sniffing around the capital for a bargain. Willian wanted to sign a contract extension with the Blues, but Chelsea have a club policy where they only offer a one-year extension to players over 30 years old, which didn't interest the 31-year-old. The Sun also report that Chelsea could be tempted to get involved in the chase for Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho as they look to add a young wide player to their squad.
Paper Round's view: Willian would represent a clever deal for Arsenal if they manage to get the deal over the line. It has been widely reported that Mikel Arteta's summer funds will be limited if the Gunners fail to qualify for the Champions League. Arsenal currently sit in ninth place in the Premier League and are eight points of top four, so it's now likely that the transfer funds won't be a huge amount at the end of the season. The scouting department have obviously identified Willian as a cut-price option and signing the Brazilian adds an experienced, goal-scoring wide player to the squad, who is also already adapted to the Premier League. Willian could definitely be up for it too. The 31-year-old wouldn't even have to move his family if he stays in London.
Euro 2021 is the likely scenario
The Mirror report that UEFA are planning on scrapping this year's European Championships and pushing the plans back to the summer of 2021. Coronavirus has already halted the football season across Europe, including Serie A, Bundesliga and La Liga, which would mean that Europe's biggest leagues would need to reach their conclusions at some point. The summer tournament is likely to be pushed back a year in order to allow this year's domestic leagues to finish and to secure the safety of fans as they plan to travel to multiple locations across Europe, due to the Euros being hosted by multiple cities on the continent. UEFA are set to confirm their decision after a meeting next Tuesday (March 17).
Paper Round's view: It's all well and good planning to postpone this summer's European Championships, but UEFA need to make their minds up. All football is beginning to be suspended around the continent (except in England) so it would make sense to delay the tournament, which is supposed to start in June. However, insurance companies need to refund fans who were planning to travel across Europe for the matches, otherwise the idea of suspending the tournament to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus becomes irrelevant. If supporters aren't refunded for travel and accommodation, they will still travel to different cities over the continent, meaning the virus still has every chance of causing as much havoc as what UEFA are trying to avoid.