United’s eight-player summer shortlist revealed - Paper Round
Manchester United are preparing for a big summer, Jesse Lingard will be allowed to leave, David Beckham looks to hijack a deal for David Silva and the Premier League are planning how to deal with coronavirus. It's Tuesday's Paper Round...
Red Devils ready to spend big this summer
Manchester United are preparing for a huge summer transfer window with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looking to strengthen his squad once again with some big-name signings. According to the Mail, the Premier League side are aiming to add two or three top players, but their entire eight-player shopping list has been revealed. United are reportedly interested in bringing in Declan Rice or Saul Niguez as a long-term replacement for Nemanja Matic. However, with the Serbian set to sign a two-year extension at Old Trafford, a replacement is no longer a priority this summer. Another creative midfielder, likely to be James Maddison or Jack Grealish, will be targeted to join the exciting Bruno Fernandes in the middle, while Jadon Sancho is wanted to offer width. Thomas Muller's experience makes him attractive, but it seems Lyon's Moussa Dembele is the top target up front. Ex-United academy graduate Josh King could be re-visited as an option, but a summer transfer is unlikely.
United happy to let Lingard leave
Staying at Old Trafford, Goal report that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is happy to let academy graduate Jesse Lingard leave this summer. United are interested in bringing in a new attacking midfielder in the shape of either James Maddison or Jack Grealish, so Lingard is set to become surplus to requirements at his boyhood club. The England international has fallen down the pecking order under Solskjaer and the club don't seem actively interested in extending his current deal, which expires in 2021. Lingard is said to view himself as "one of the best number 10s operating in European football". The 27-year-old has employed the infamous Mino Raiola as his new agent, meaning he will be confident in securing a transfer at the end of the season.
Paper Round's view: Lingard certainly thinks a lot of himself if he rates himself as "one of the best" in Europe. The attacking midfielder was arguably at his peak at the beginning of 2018 and he still wasn't near to being of the best in his role just in the Premier League. It seems like his time at Old Trafford is unfortunately coming to an end, which is tough for any academy graduate - especially someone like Lingard who has been at the club since he was seven. However, some supporters have turned on him and are making his time at United turn toxic. Lingard must be looking at the likes of Chris Smalling, Romelu Lukaku and Ashley Young who are thriving since moving away from Manchester. Hopefully - for the sake of his career - he can get a decent move and rediscover his previous form.
Beckham plans to hijack Silva's MLS move
David Beckham is planning to hijack Manchester City midfielder David Silva's move to Major League Soccer as he attempts to bring him to Miami. According to the Star, the 34-year-old is planning to leave the Premier League at the end of this season, with a move to MLS in mind. Manchester City's sister club New York City is looking like a potential destination due to club affiliations, but Silva has not confirmed where his future lies. Beckham, who is joint-owner of Inter Miami, is looking to offer the Spaniard a $600,000-a-season contract to join his squad in their inaugural season in MLS. Silva's representatives have reportedly made contact and "held a series of talks" with the Florida club over a potential move.
Paper Round's view: Signing David Silva would be a huge statement from David Beckham and Inter Miami. It's their first season in MLS and they are clearly looking to make waves. Stealing a signing of Silva's stature from a rival club like New York City would show they mean business. Silva might be 34 years old, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic showed that age is just a number during his 18-month Stateside stint before returning to European giants AC Milan. The Manchester City man could definitely be the player to build a new football audience in Miami and appeal to the youngsters who are looking for inspirational figures in their state. Silva is a true Premier League legend and it will be sad to see him leave, but a move to Miami could be a nice new beginning for him.
FA to lift blackout if matches played behind closed doors
The English Football Association (FA) are planning to waive the Saturday 3pm blackout if Premier League matches are disrupted by the spread of coronavirus. According to the Times, the FA are prepared to lift the blackout if the league's matches are forced to play behind closed doors, with Sky and BT set to be forced to show games for free, in order to allow supporters to watch their teams. The current rule is enforced to protect match attendances - especially in the lower leagues - as showing 3pm matches on TV would attract huge audiences, taking away from actual match attendees. However, it is reported that an FA source is worried that stadium crowds would just congregate at pubs instead, which wouldn't limit the spread of the virus. This might mean pubs could be banned from showing the 3pm fixtures.
Paper Round's view: It seems silly that this issue hasn't been addressed already. How are football matches - where tens of thousands of people travel across the country to one location - still happening on a weekly basis despite the fact that the coronavirus is quickly spreading around the United Kingdom? Italy have been playing matches behind closed doors and now France have joined them, so the FA are just anticipating the same thing to happen in England. Realistically it should've happened already - even as a precautionary measure. The gesture to show the 3pm fixtures on TV will be nice for football fans, but pubs won't be happy if they lose out on customers. It's a tough situation, but the main issue is addressing the rapidly-spreading virus that is affecting the country. Some things are more important than football.