The Sun report that Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is set to sign a new, five-year contract with the club. The 27-year-old French international is now happy to stay in Manchester and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is no longer preparing for life without the midfielder, with a deal expected to be announced towards the end of the current season.
Paper Round’s view: Pogba is a wonderful player when he is surrounded by those who are closer to his level. However at 27 he should be caught on the ball far less than he is currently and United should add more competition in midfield to make sure they are not dependent on a player who has underperformed or been injured for far more than half of his time at the club.
Manchester United to beat Liverpool to signing of Thiago Alcantara – Euro Papers
Eriksen may leave Inter
Just months after joining from Tottenham Hotspur in the winter transfer window, Inter Milan playmaker Christian Eriksen has been linked with a move away by the Daily Mail. The 28-year-old Danish international has endured a difficult time in terms of his form and also had to stay at the club’s training base during lockdown. An offer of £55 million could be enough to persuade Inter to sell.
Paper Round’s view: Eriksen’s form was indifferent towards the end of his time at Spurs and it is often difficult for players to rediscover their old levels once they finally get a desired move. Coronavirus and settling into a new team, though, is a valid couple of reasons for Eriksen to take time to improve so selling him seems an unreasonable overreaction.
The Mirror reports that Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has refused to criticise Gareth Bale, despite the Welshman being photographed asleep on the bench earlier in the week. Asked about Bale and James Rodriguez, Zidane said: "What a question. You try to put things between us, but you won't be able to.Every day you ask the same thing. You can do it; you have the right to ask what you want. But we're united. Gareth, James, everyone."
Paper Round’s view: Rodriguez and Bale have both been difficult to move on for Real Madrid and now that the coronavirus has affected teams’ finances it may just be sensible for Zidane to plan for their continued presence next year - there is no guarantee any club will splash out on two relatively old players who are no longer at their best.
Aston Villa manager Dean Smith is concerned that the ban on cryotherapy chambers could lead to an uptick in injuries amongst players, reports the Telegraph. The games have been coming at a rapid clip since Project Restart, but the chambers are out of use due to protections put in place to stop the spread of Covid-19.
Paper Round’s view: There has been some concern over the introduction of five substitutes as a result of the restart, with some claiming it favours richer clubs who have a deeper squad depth. That is true, but it seems a sensible move when other protective measures have had to be banned elsewhere, such as the cryotherapy chambers.