Real want £65m-rated Haaland - Paper Round
Real Madrid want Erling Haaland, it's Partey time for Arsenal and Spurs chase two Premier League stars. It's Monday's Paper Round...
Haaland is the Real deal
Real Madrid are planning to make a move for Borussia Dortmund teenager Erling Braut Haaland, despite the fact that the Norwegian only recently joined the Bundesliga club in January. According to the Sun, Los Blancos are planning for the future with Karim Benzema now 32 years old. Summer signing Luka Jovic has failed to make an impact since his summer transfer to the Bernabeu so Real Madrid are ready to invest in Haaland, who has lit up the footballing world this season. Dortmund value the 19-year-old at £65 million and Real are willing to meet the German club's demands. The report also states that Real Madrid view RB Leipzig's Timo Werner and Inter Milan's Lautaro Martinez as potential alternative strikers to Haaland.
Paper Round's view: Real Madrid might want Haaland, but that doesn't mean that he will be moving to Madrid this summer. The young Norwegian has only just joined Borussia Dortmund and he is enjoying his time there. Moving to the Spanish capital might not guarantee first-team football as Benzema is an important player for Zinedine Zidane's side. It might make more sense for Real to view Haaland as a long-term target, with a view to realistically signing him in 2021 instead. Benzema still has a couple of more years in him, so it would make sense for both clubs to postpone any potential deal until next year. Maybe Jovic could be used as a pawn in the deal as his sensational form which led to his Madrid move was in the Bundesliga with Eintracht Frankfurt.
Partey time for Arsenal
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta could be set to make his first big-money signing this summer as the club prepare to meet the release clause of Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey. The Sun report that the Gunners are ready to pay £42 million for the 26-year-old, while the Spanish club plan to hold talks with Partey over a new deal which would see his release clause increased. The report states that there are multiple clubs looking at potentially bidding for the Ghana international this summer, but Arteta views the defensive midfielder as the "ideal man to protect his back four".
Paper Round's view: Arsenal definitely need to improve their midfield options this summer. Dani Ceballos is likely to return to Real Madrid and Aaron Ramsey was never properly replaced after his departure to Turin last summer. Partey could be the perfect replacement for Ramsey. Although the report states that Arteta wants him to primarily protect the Arsenal defence, Partey is an all-action midfielder and would be a great partner for Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi or Granit Xhaka in the middle of the park. However, if the Gunners fail to qualify for a European competition next season, why would Partey swap Atleti for Arsenal?
Spurs seek 'surprise' Foster free transfer
Tottenham Hotspur are considering a "surprise" move for Watford goalkeeper and Premier League veteran Ben Foster, whose contract is set to expire this summer. According to the Telegraph, the 36-year-old has attracted the interest of Spurs, who want to sign a goalkeeper who can compete with club captain Hugo Lloris. Paulo Gazzaniga has failed to impress when deputising for Lloris and Foster will be available on a free transfer at the end of the season. The former England international has played every league match for Watford since joining from West Bromwich Albion in 2018. The fact that Foster would count towards Tottenham's home-grown quota makes him an even more attractive prospective signing for the club.
Paper Round's view: Foster is a very reliable goalkeeper, but he would be giving up first-team football at Vicarage Road if he were to join Spurs. It's unlikely that he would usurp Lloris as Tottenham's number one and if Watford manage to stay up, the Hornets would be silly if they fail to offer him a contract extension. Foster is 36 years old now so might be looking to slow his career down, but his quality isn't slowing down at the minute. The Watford keeper managed to keep a clean sheet against the record-breaking league leaders Liverpool on Saturday and if he were to look for a new club in the summer, he could still join a top side.
Tottenham given boost in pursuit of Saints skipper
Spurs are also looking at another Premier League star, with the Star reporting that the north London club are planning to poach Southampton captain Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg from the south-coast side. Tottenham were linked to the Danish international back in the winter window and Jose Mourinho has kept one eye on Hojbjerg, deeming him as his "priority" signing this summer. The Star report that the Saints star is unlikely to extend his current contract, which expires in 2021, which will be a boost for Spurs in the chase for his signature. Hojbjerg has also recently appointed super-agent Pini Zahvi as his representative, indicating that he is interested in a summer transfer.
Paper Round's view: Spurs do need to improve their strength in depth in the middle of the park. Tottenham never really replaced midfield titan Mousa Dembele when he left to Chinese Super League club Guangzhou R&F and Hojbjerg could be available for a reduced fee as he enters the final year of his contract this summer. The 24-year-old was viewed as one of the best young prospects at Bayern Munich when Pep Guardiola was manager, but he failed to kick on. However, over the past 18 months, his performances have really improved at St Mary's Stadium and his leadership skills could be exactly what that Tottenham midfield is needed. Right-back Kyle Walker-Peters is currently on loan at Southampton from Spurs, so maybe he could be used as part of any potential deal which would take Hojbjerg to London.