Chelsea plan £200 million summer clear out to raise Erling Haaland transfer funds - Paper Round
Chelsea look to offload 12 first-team players and raise £200 million to sign Erling Haaland. Elsewhere, Borussia Dortmund join the battle to sign Ben White from Brighton, Ashley Young could snub a Watford return in order to stay at Inter Milan and Premier League clubs are interested in signing Mario Lemina from Southampton. It's Friday's Paper Round...
Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund celebrates scoring his winning goal to the 0:2 during the Bundesliga match between VfL Wolfsburg and Borussia Dortmund at the Volkswagen Arena on April 24, 2021 in Wolfsburg
Chelsea are ready to put 12 players up for sale this summer in order to raise transfer funds to sign Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund. The Star state that the west London club are looking to raise around £200 million as they look to secure the most in-demand striker in world football. The players up for sale include Tammy Abraham, Kurt Zouma, Fikayo Tomori, Michy Batshuayi, Kenedy, Davide Zappacosta, Danny Drinkwater, Victor Moses, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ross Barkley, Ike Ugbo and Baba Rahman. Abraham has the highest asking price, with Chelsea valuing the England striker at around £40 million.
Paper Round's view: Would Chelsea really miss any of these players? Probably not. It simply shows how bloated their current squad. Most people would be shocked that the likes of Drinkwater, Moses and Rahman are still under contract at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea supporters will be a bit gutted to see academy graduates Abraham, Tomori and Loftus-Cheek leave the club, but that is the nature of modern football. The Blues are looking to put themselves in the best possible position to sign Haaland this summer and selling these 12 players would certainly help their bank balance.
Borussia Dortmund have joined the race to sign Brighton centre-back Ben White, according to the Sun. The highly-rated 23-year-old is already wanted by Arsenal, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain after impressing in his debut Premier League season. Dortmund are keen to add to their English contingent following the successful signings of Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham. Brighton will demand around £35 million for White and rejected three bids - with the highest worth £25 million - from Leeds United last summer.
Paper Round's view: White is a modern centre-back. He's comfortable on the ball and can defend well. This is exactly what all the top clubs are looking for as they look to build attacks from defence. White is still young, but has shown his quality for Brighton all season. The pool for ball-playing centre-backs is quite small and a lot of clubs are demanding huge fees for their players, like Sevilla with Jules Kounde. The fact that White is available for £35 million may appeal to the likes of Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United as they look to strengthen their defensive options this summer.
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Young could extend Inter stay
Ashley Young could be set to stay at Inter Milan, with the Serie A leaders reportedly readying a contract extension for the 35-year-old. The Mirror reveal that Inter could offer Young a new deal as soon as this weekend if the Nerazzurri clinch the Scudetto. Young is wanted by his boyhood club Watford, who were eyeing him up on a free transfer this summer after securing promotion to the Premier League. The veteran wing-back has previously called Watford his "home" and admitted he would be keen to return to Vicarage Road at some point in his career.
Paper Round's view: A lot of football fans would have written Young off during his time at Manchester United. He struggled to make an attacking impact and was moved into a more defensive role at wing-back and has proven his quality after moving to Inter. Obviously he isn't the player he once was, but his experience of winning league titles will have helped push Antonio Conte's side to where they are now. It's no surprise that Watford want him back and it's more than just an opportunity for a fairytale finish to his career. Maybe Young should stay at Inter for one more year to have a crack at defending his Serie A title... and then considering returning "home".
West Ham United and Newcastle United are ready to do battle over the signing of Mario Lemina from Southampton. The 27-year-old has impressed on loan at Fulham this season and the Guardian reveal that the Saints would be willing to part with Lemina for just £7 million. The former Juventus midfielder reportedly is not a part of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s plans for the future, alerting both West Ham and Newcastle.
Paper Round's view: Lemina has proven himself as a player of Premier League quality. Southampton could do a lot worse than him, but it's clear that Hasenhuttl doesn't fancy the Gabon international after shipping him out on loan for the past two season. £7 million is a snip for a player with Premier League experience and Lemina would definitely add quality to both West Ham and Newcastle's squads. The 27-year-old would probably start at Newcastle but West Ham look like they will qualify for Europe next season, so it makes sense that David Moyes is looking to add some much-needed depth to his squad.