Barcelona look at Neymar alternatives
Barcelona are keen to bring in Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain this summer, but Spanish newspaper Marca explains that the club are looking at alternatives should they not be able to bring him in. One option is Erling Haaland - who may yet qualify with Borussia Dortmund for the Champions League - but 180 million euros may be too rich for them, so they are also looking at Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez as well as Sergio Aguero, who is friends with Lionel Messi.
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Paper Round’s view: It’s worth keeping Messi happy because he is essentially irreplaceable even as he is well into his thirties. That makes Aguero the sensible choice not just because he can be brought in for free as Manchester City look to the future, but because a content Messi would be enough to give Barcelona another shot at a La Liga title next year. Haaland might be the better option but seems far too expensive.
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Fernandes ready to sign new United deal
The Sun reports that Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes is willing to sign a new £200,000-a-week contract to extend his stay at Old Trafford, but that there are caveats to getting his pen on paper. First up is to match his ambition in the transfer market, with Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho up for grabs, and the other is making sure that Paul Pogba also signs a new contract.
Paper Round’s view: Pogba appears to have his heart set on a departure after wanting out for a couple of years now, but with the economic situation in Europe still a tough one, he and Mino Raiola may decide that the pragmatic option is to stay at United for a couple more years and take any raise that is on offer, before moving on to another club like Real Madrid or back to Juventus.
United looking for Woodward replacement
The Mirror suggests that Manchester United will not miss Ed Woodward now he is on his way out of the club, having spent more than half a billion pounds in the transfer market with little to show for it. They will need a replacement, and the paper speculates that the club may be interested in bringing back Edwin van der Sar, who has overseen Ajax’s renaissance in the Netherlands and Europe.
Paper Round’s view: Ajax are now a comfortably well run club who are punching above their weight in Europe while developing some of the best talent around. Van der Sar seems to be an intelligent man who understands both the technical and emotional side of the game, so the only problem for him at Old Trafford is that the Glazer family evidently understands none of either of those concepts.
Wolves search for new manager
The Daily Mail believes that Nuno Espirito Santo may be considering an exit at Wolves this summer, after the struggles endured with his side this season. He may get offers from bigger clubs in the Premier League or be offered a route to be closer to his family, should a club from Spain make an offer. Wolves are looking at Rui Faria, Vitor Pereira and Bruno Lage as candidates to take over.
Paper Round’s view: Nuno has done an excellent job at Wolves but with no huge injection of funding on the way, it may be that he considers there is little more to be done with the club. Moving elsewhere would give him a fresh challenge, and if his family remain in Portugal then he would probably benefit from a move to Spain given the difficulties in travelling away from Britain at the moment.
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