Zaha still wants Palace exit
Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha has confirmed that he would still like to move away from Selhurst Park. The 28-year-old Ivory Coast international has a contract that runs until 2023, but wants to leave in order to have a chance of winning a trophy, reports the Mail. He said: “I will always give 150 per cent to Crystal Palace but I'll always be ambitious. If there are opportunities I will have a look at them. I want to play at the highest level and win trophies to show my kids.”
Paper Round’s view: Zaha has been in excellent form for the past few years and he has not let his head drop on the pitch despite not getting a move to a bigger club, one that he obviously wants. If he can keep his standards up until there is a year or two left on his deal then Palace might finally decide to cash in on him before his resale value plummets in his thirties.
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Laporta plans Barcelona transfer
Spanish newspaper Marca reports that prospective Barcelona president Joan Laporta has plans to act in the transfer market should he be elected to head up the club. Speaking of his ideas, he said: "It's because of the experience and the knowledge I have of the people who could intervene in all these situations. I want to send a message of calm to the Barcelona fans. We will be economically sustainable again and if we need to improve the sports teams, I have all the cards ready to be played."
Paper Round’s view: Laporta has the knowledge of running Barcelona from his first stint as president, and as well as that is a politician. He is capable when it comes to getting elected, but the club under his watch only really came good when Pep Guardiola arrived. Even then, the financial situation was getting out of hand, so a profligate transfer policy is not what is needed.
Fekir set to quit Betis
French international Nabil Fekir looks set to leave Real Betis in the summer, according to the Sun. The 27-year-old playmaker has started to find his best form in Spain after some inconsistency, but could move on after just two seasons with his current club. There is interest from two Italian sides, with Inter Milan and Napoli both keen on bringing the player to Serie A.
Paper Round’s view: Fekir was a wonderful problem but medical concerns over his knee appeared to have put paid to a move to a big club. Perhaps his time at Betis has demonstrated that his body is resilient enough to keep up with the demands of modern football. Both Inter and Napoli would benefit from having such a creative presence in midfield.
Fulham and Forest consider Christie’s future
Nottingham Forest are unsure over the future of right-back Cyrus Christie. The 28-year-old defender is on loan from Fulham, but his contract is due to expire in the summer. While Forest would like to keep him, it seems that his parent club will not renew his deal and so he will make a move as a free agent. That would allow him to demand big wages, which could force Forest to look elsewhere.
Paper Round’s view: Christie has shown that he is a reliable presence on the right-hand side of the defence, so it is no surprise that Forest would like to keep him if it’s economically viable. But if he is available for nothing, then relegated Premier League sides might look to add him to their squad, and he could be keen to chance his arm at getting into England’s top division.