Arsenal set to swoop for one of Europe’s most promising players - Paper Round
Arsenal plan their summer transfer business, Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund go head-to-head over Jude Bellingham, Eric Dier expects a lenthy ban from the FA and Dominic Calvert-Lewin is set to sign a new contract at Everton. It's Friday's Paper Round
Arsenal plan summer transfer business
The Gunners are reportedly in talks with Dutch side Feyenoord over the summer signing of Turkish midfielder Orkun Kokcu, according to the Mail. Arsenal are said to be willing to offload Mesut Ozil, Matteo Guendouzi, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Ainsley Maitland-Niles in order to bankroll their spending this summer. The Premier League side are planning to complete the transfer for Kokcu before this summer's European Championships as they are worried about losing out to a rival club if he has an outstanding tournament. The 19-year-old is viewed as "one of Europe’s most promising young players" and Arsenal's technical director Edu has labelled him as a "priority" signing.
Paper Round's view: It must be encouraging for Arsenal supporters to see their club making early movements in the summer transfer window. Chelsea have already confirmed the shrewd signing of Hakim Ziyech and Manchester United are being linked with high-profile names like Jack Grealish and Jadon Sancho, so the Gunners must've felt left behind. It makes complete sense for clubs to try and get their business done as early as possible this summer, with the European Championships looming. Tournaments can often inflate the price of a transfer target, but it can also make other clubs aware of breakout stars. If Arsenal are expecting Kokcu to shine for Turkey at the Euros, they need to secure his signature as soon as they can. It makes sense to try and shift Ozil due to his inflated wages, but Sokratis and Maitland-Niles are probably still good enough to be part of the squad. Guendouzi looks like he could be a starter for years, so maybe it's something more personal and Arteta feels he could command a huge fee due to his potential.
Dortmund v United: Part Two
Manchester United are ready to go head-to-head with Borussia Dortmund once more over the signing of another highly-rated teenager, despite losing out on Erling Braut Haaland to the Bundesliga side in January. According to the Athletic, the Red Devils are working on a transfer for Birmingham City's 16-year-old midfielder Jude Bellingham. The report states that Dortmund have already agreed a transfer fee with the Championship side, which is looking likely to be a club-record fee for the Germans. The deal will be worth £25 million with add-on bonuses taking it north of £30 million and Dortmund have already agreed personal terms with the wonderkid. The Bundesliga team are "privately confident" of securing Bellingham's signature this summer, but United haven't given up just yet.
Paper Round's view: United have apparently been scouting Bellingham on a monthly basis since August 2017. Birmingham are in financial trouble and are now willing to sell, but it's a disaster for United that they might be pipped to the signing by Dortmund. The majority of reports are stating that it's basically a done deal between Bellingham and the Bundesliga side, so why didn't United make their move earlier? It is crazy to think that a 16-year-old could potentially become the record signing for one of the biggest club's in Europe. However, Dortmund will probably expect Bellingham to go down the same route as Jadon Sancho. Sancho has been sensational during his three years in Germany, but it is expected that he will move for over £100 million to Manchester United this summer. So maybe United will end up doing the same thing with Bellingham in 2023.
Dier expects ban after storming stands to save brother
Eric Dier is said to be expecting a lengthy ban from the FA following his angry confrontation with a Tottenham supporter during Wednesday night's penalty shootout defeat to Norwich in the FA Cup. According to the Mirror, the 26-year-old felt he had "no choice" but to storm the stands to save his younger brother as he feared for his safety. Dier's brother Patrick exchanged words with a fellow fan who had been vocally abusing the England international during the match and when Dier saw the situation he climbed up to where his family was sitting. There was no physical confrontation and Spurs boss Jose Mourinho doesn't feel like Dier should receive any punishment for the incident. Tottenham are still trying to contact the fan involved in the exchange for their side of the story.
Paper Round's view: It must've been tough for Dier to see his brother involved in the incident from a distance. The argument was happening 10 rows away from the pitch and if he felt his 22-year-old brother was in danger, it makes complete sense for him to have made that decision in a split-second. However, it's not great for his professional career. It's not a good look - especially for someone who has struggled to find his form over the past two years. Dier doesn't need to dominate the headlines at the moment. In fact, what he needed was to silently recover his form and work his way back into the Spurs side ahead of this summer's European Championships. It might be too late now... especially if he receives a major ban from the FA.
Calvert-Lewin sticking with the Toffees
Dominic Calvert-Lewin is set to be rewarded for his rich vein of form with a new contract at Everton, according to the Times. The 22-year-old is planning to commit his future to the Toffees by signing a five-year contract extension in the next few days. Calvert-Lewin has impressed since Carlo Ancelotti took the reins at Goodison Park and the club are looking to tie their top-scorer down to a new deal. He will join centre-back Mason Holgate as the second youngster to extend their contract with the club this week. The England Under-21 international is said to be on the verge of a senior call-up ahead of this month's friendly matches against Italy and Denmark at Wembley.
Paper Round's view: Centre-forward is a position that Everton have struggled with since Romelu Lukaku left for Manchester United back in 2017. Calvert-Lewin had shown flashes of quality in the past, but since the arrival of Ancelotti on Merseyside, he has really blossomed into a consistently classy striker. The youngster looks hungrier than ever and he certainly deserves a new deal at the Premier League side. Everton look like they're ready to make amends for a disappointing start to the season, and with a couple of new signings this summer, they could really follow in Leicester City's footsteps and break into the top six next term. Calvert-Lewin needs to continue his current form for the rest of this season and he will hopefully be a part of the England squad this summer at the Euros.