Atletico keen on Silva
The Mirror reports that Atletico Madrid are keen on signing Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva. The 26-year-old Portuguese international has found his lack of playing time in the last season a source of frustration, and he is keen to move on despite winning the Premier League. Indeed, last summer he almost joined Catalan side Barcelona, but a move fell through and he stayed on at the Etihad.
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Paper Round’s view: It is hard to see how Barcelona would be able to afford to sign Silva, who has a contract that runs until 2025. If City do not want to sell, and he is one of their finest talents in a very strong squad, then it would take a huge offer to get Pep Guardiola to agree to sell the player. However, City may have to entertain a sale if they wish to sign Harry Kane or Erling Haaland this summer.
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Roma bid for Xhaka rejected
The Sun claims that Arsenal have rejected an offer from Roma for their midfielder Granit Xhaka. The 28-year-old Swiss international is wanted by the Italians’ new boss, Jose Mourinho. To that end, the club have made a £13 million offer for his services but that has been rejected, with the player contract until 2023. While Xhaka could leave, Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock are likely to go too.
Paper Round’s view: David Luiz has also left the club after his contract came to an end this summer, so there is plenty of work for Mikel Arteta to do in order to reshape his squad. It seems unlikely that Arteta is desperate to keep Xhaka, but a bid of £13 million is hardly going to force their hands. If Roma want the player they might need to pay up in order for Arsenal to secure a replacement.
Armstrong a target for Norwich and Southampton
The Daily Mail claims that Adam Armstrong could move on from Blackburn Rovers this summer. The 24-year-old former Newcastle striker scored 28 goals last season, and is into the last year of his contract at Ewood Park. A bid of £8 million might be enough to secure the player, with Norwich City and Southampton both keen on a player in excellent goalscoring form.
Paper Round’s view: At 24, Armstrong probably has to make the move up to the Premier League soon before he will be considered too old to spend big money on. Given his contract situation, now is a time to force a move and secure a promotion while his form is enough for bigger teams to take a risk. Given the value of goals, if he can transfer his talents to a higher level then he would be a bargain.
Monchi plays down Ramos links
Spanish newspaper Marca reports that Sevilla’s sporting director has played down suggestions that Sergio Ramos could return to the club as he approaches the end of his contract with Real Madrid. The 35-year-old, Monchi believes, is in talks to sort out an extension on his deal, while he also believes that transfers for Gian Marco Ferrari and Samu Castillejo are not on the cards.
Paper Round’s view: Monchi has a brilliant track record in the market, and the signature of Papu Gomez demonstrates that he is comfortable moving for older players if he believes there is value to be had. Ramos however could still stay at Real, and clearly wants another hefty wage, so that might be beyond the finances of Sevilla, particularly given the impact of the coronavirus.
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