West Ham battle United for Aarons
The Sun claims that Premier League side West Ham are keen to join the race for Norwich City’s 21-year-old right-back Max Aarons. Manchester United also want the £30 million-rated player, but there is plenty of competition. Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur are also in the market for the youngster, who continues to impress in the Championship.
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Paper Round’s view: Aarons offers technical ability as well as pace and attacking intent on the right flank, which is something that United do not have in Aaron Wan-Bissaka. £30 million could be something of a bargain, but he clearly has the potential that will attract attention from most of the top teams in Europe if they think that Norwich City are ready to do business.
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Spotify owner Ek makes Arsenal offer
Daniel Ek, the major shareholder in streaming service Spotify, has made public his desire to buy Arsenal from current owner Stan Kroenke. The Mail reports that the Swede has a net worth of $4.7 billion, a touch under Kroenke’s, but he tweeted: “As a kid growing up, I've cheered for Arsenal as long as I can remember. If KSE would like to sell Arsenal I'd be happy to throw my hat in the ring.”
Paper Round’s view: Ek is a young and exciting prospective owner for many Arsenal fans, but it is worth considering that if they want someone at the top who doesn’t want to exploit the little guy for cash while using his position of power, then someone who pays musicians less than a penny per play is probably not going to treat fans a great deal better.
Barca aim to secure Messi stay
The Mirror reports that Barcelona are working on a plan to keep Lionel Messi at the club. They will offer him a three-year deal that will be a reduction on his existing 75 million euros salary, and a year longer than his typical deals. In order to persuade him to stay, they will attempt to sign one of Neymar or Erling Haaland to keep their 33-year-old star striker.
Paper Round’s view: Messi seems a far happier player now he has rediscovered his form, and nothing about Atletico or Real Madrid’s form suggests that the capital clubs can't be caught and overhauled next year. It will depend on if Barcelona can add some real quality to their squad but Neymar has long wanted to come back to Spain, even if he has started to finally settle in Paris.
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Ronaldo unhappy at Real
After news in Italy that Jorge Mendes is planning on a return for Cristiano Ronaldo from Juventus to his former club Manchester United, Spanish newspaper Marca confirm that the Portuguese striker is unhappy in Italy. The 36-year-old forward has cut a disconsolate figure as it appears his club are struggling to find their way into next season’s Champions League.
Paper Round’s view: Ronaldo appears to be on his way out at Juventus and it offers the club a chance to get his wages off their books. It also would be a handy way for Manchester United to improve the relationship they have with their fans, and if they can structure the deal correctly they may also be able to send French midfielder Paul Pogba the other way rather than lose him for nothing.
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