Man Utd want Haaland
Manchester United have made Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland their summer priority amid mounting competition for the 20-year-old, the Manchester Evening News reports. United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and new football director John Murtough have agreed Haaland would be the perfect long-term replacement for Romelu Lukaku after failing to sign him from RB Salzburg last season. Haaland is arguably the most in-demand footballer in the world, and The Sun reports he will cost £130m this summer. In 2022 a release clause would see him available for £65m.
Paper Round’s view: Join the queue. With Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Barcelona and Real Madrid also said to be interested in Haaland, it’s going to be quite the fight, and given each club knows this chap is the future as well as the present, there is going to be some money thrown behind each offer.
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Van de Beek wants out
Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek wants to leave the club, the Daily Star reports. The Netherlands international only joined for £35m in the summer, but having started just two Premier League games this season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Van de Beek wants to look elsewhere at the end of the season. Van de Beek fears he has no long-term future amid reports Solskjaer never wanted to sign the player.
Paper Round’s view: It was an odd one, that’s for sure, strengthening in an area where you could argue United are best stocked. Displacing Bruno Fernandes was never going to be possible, and so the reality is that Van de Beek has found himself surplus to requirements, unable to convince Solskjaer he is capable of playing consistently in a role behind the influential Portuguese. It’s hard to see his fortunes changing.
Arsenal stars back Arteta over Auba
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was angered by Mikel Arteta’s decision to drop him from the starting XI against Tottenham, but the Daily Mail reports that influential members of the Gunners squad have backed their boss over the controversial decision. Arsenal went on to win the north London derby 2-1, starting without their captain after he was caught in traffic and arrived late. Aubameyang’s time-keeping is said to have been an issue before, and Arteta felt he had to act.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang before game against Tottenham
Image credit: Getty Images
Paper Round’s view: A bold call, one that paid off in the end, with the slight back-up of having him on the bench in case Arteta really needed him. Not that much of a punishment then, but what comes of it in the coming weeks we’ll soon find out.
Arsenal exploring Odegaard options
Sticking with Arsenal, the club are looking at the potential of keeping Martin Odegaard at the Emirates Stadium next season, the Daily Mail reports. Odegaard scored his first goal for the club against Olympiacos and was on target again in the win over Spurs. On loan from Real Madrid until the end of the season, Arsenal will look at whether another loan is possible or whether the Spanish club would be willing to sell on a permanent deal.
Paper Round’s view: Not a bad way to endear yourself to Arsenal fans, scoring against Spurs. The match also saw Emile Smith Rowe and Odegaard start together to prove it is not a case of one or the other. Undoubtedly he would strengthen their bid to return to the top four next season.
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