Arsenal want Isak
A number of British papers, including the Daily Mail, have picked up on El Nacional’s report claiming Arsenal are interested in signing Real Sociedad striker Alexander Isak. The Swede is also wanted by Barcelona, but Real Sociedad indicated to the Catalan club that the 22-year-old has a €90m release clause, outlining their unwillingness to strengthen a league rival. Arsenal, meanwhile, could look to bring in Isak as a replacement for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Paper Round’s view: Aubameyang out, Isak in would be some move by Arsenal and a transfer that would get fans even more excited. It would bring another fresh injection of youth to what is already the youngest Premier League side, and it is a position where the club can certainly improve. Isak’s 17 league goals in 34 games last season proves his quality, although he is struggling for form and fitness somewhat this term, with seven goals in 22 games so far.
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Please take Auba
Arsenal are urging European clubs to come forward and make an offer for Aubameyang, the Daily Mail reports. The former Arsenal captain’s career at the Emirates could be over given he is off to the Africa Cup of Nations with Gabon, but while Newcastle have reportedly expressed an interest, the Gunners are keen for more teams to declare their interest and sign the 32-year-old.
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Paper Round’s view: Wages will be a problem, as will the fee Arsenal could command given his contract expires in summer 2023. That points towards Newcastle, but Aubameyang may not fancy a relegation scrap and could also hope European offers come calling soon.
Pogba wants to tempt Benzema away from Madrid
Paul Pogba is eager to share a dressing room with Karim Benzema, according to El Nacional, but not at Real Madrid. The French pair are intentional team-mates, and Manchester United midfielder Pogba is keen for a link-up with the Real Madrid striker at club level. The report suggests Pogba – whose contract expires in the summer – is not a top priority for Real, while Benzema is said to be frustrated with the club’s pursuit of Erling Haaland. PSG have looked at the possibility of signing both Benzema and Pogba in the past, and they would have the financial muscle to sign both players.
Mbappé, Benzema e Pogba
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Paper Round’s view: Where PSG turn once Kylian Mbappe leaves in the summer for Real Madrid, as is widely expected, remains to be seen. The signing of Benzema would certainly be a world-class solution, albeit a temporary one given the forward is now 34.
Lukaku expects first-team return
Romelu Lukaku is expected to be back in the fold at Chelsea after positive talks with head coach Thomas Tuchel, the Telegraph reports. Days after the controversial interview, Lukaku could be in line to start Wednesday night’s League Cup semi-final first leg against Tottenham after expressing his regret. Owner Roman Abramovich backed Tuchel’s decision to leave Lukaku out of the squad to face Liverpool, but now it appears the saga could quickly blow over.
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Paper Round’s view: A goal or two against Spurs and all will be forgiven among his team-mates, but supporters may struggle to forget the events of the past week, particularly as it needlessly caused headlines at a time where Chelsea are not playing great. The pressure will be on Lukaku now to do his talking on the pitch, assuming he makes it there on Wednesday.
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The Emirates FA Cup
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