Man City face battle for Tagliafico
Manchester City and Chelsea will face competition for Ajax defender Nicolas Tagliafico. The 28-year-old Argentine left-back could be available for as little as £17.5 million, according to the Sun newspaper, but there is also interest from Leeds United. With Leeds on the hunt for a specialist left-back, Tagliafico would fit the hard-running style demanded by Marcelo Bielsa.
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Paper Round’s view: Tagliafico is now close to the end of his career so he needs to move on now or risk missing out on a big-money, high-profile move. He has done well at Ajax but now is the chance to prove that his Champions League form can be reproduced in the Premier League. At just £17.5 million, he represents a bargain given he will have a few years left in his prime.
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Lacazette future undecided
Alexandre Lacazette is not yet sure of his future at Arsenal, reports the Mirror. The 29-year-old Frenchman is out of contract at the Emirates in a year’s time and Mikel Arteta may decide to cash in instead of letting him leave for nothing when his deal expires. The paper reports that there would be no shortage of takers for the player should he decide to move on from the club.
Paper Round’s view: Lacazette has done well enough at Arsenal to have justified his transfer fee a few years ago but he is hardly exceptional, and the club certainly could do with a fresh approach. Given he will be 30 when his deal ends there is little reason to take a risk on extending his stay unless he is willing to compromise on his wages. It might make more sense for him to hold on for another year and secure one huge new deal on a Bosman.
Spurs chase Emerson
Barcelona are willing to sell their defender Emerson, with the 22-year-old Brazilian part-owned by Real Betis. He would offer competition to Matt Doherty and Serge Aurier, with Jose Mourinho looking to improve at right-back. There will be interest from Paris Saint-Germain, Bayer Leverkusen, as well as both Milan clubs, AC and Internazionale. Barcelona need to raise funds to improve their finances and try to keep Lionel Messi.
Paper Round’s view: Emerson is a promising talent, but the problem with the player being co-owned is that both selling teams will be looking for a significant wedge in order to get them to part ways with the player. In their favour is the fact that a few clubs are interested in him, meaning that they can hope to kickstart a bidding war for Emerson and maximise the asking price.
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Newcastle ready to keep Bruce and Willock
The Telegraph reports that Newcastle United are looking to make two decisions on their manager and Joe Willock after it appeared that they are likely to stay up in the Premier League for at least another season. Bruce is now going to start next season as United manager barring any disaster, and 21-year-old attacking midfielder Joe Willock is wanted as his first summer signing.
Paper Round’s view: Willock has three goals in nine appearances for Newcastle since his move in January, which is the kind of goal return they would have expected from Miguel Almiron when he joined. The Paraguayan is expected to move on in the summer and Willock would be a straightforward replacement for him, will reducing the age of their squad, and probably a candidate to sell on for a profit later.
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