Ryan Gravenberch is in demand, John Lundstram could quit Sheffield United, Lionel Messi may stay at Barcelona and Burnley could have new owners.
Ryan Gravenberch the latest Ajax target
Ryan Gravenberch is on the shortlist to leave Ajax after a string of clubs noticed the 18-year-old midfielder, according to the Mirror. He has already drawn comparisons with Paul Pogba, and both Juventus and Barcelona are keen. There is also now interest from Manchester United and Liverpool and the Dutch side could choose to cash in.
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Paper Round’s view: At 18 he would have to be an exceptional talent for any club to be willing to buy him, given Ajax will only want to sell an exciting prospect if they are suitably compensated. He is, though, a Mino Raiola client so the chances of him going to United are diminished given the awkwardness with which he has handled Pogba’s presence at the club.
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Lundstram set for Sheffield United exit
Sheffield United midfielder John Lundstram could soon be on his way out at Bramall Lane. The 26-year-old has rejected the latest contract offer from the Blades and could leave for nothing at the end of the season, says the Sun. Rangers could agree a pre-contract with him in January, and both Crystal Palace and Burnley would be interested in a free transfer arrangement.
Paper Round’s view: Lundstram played 36 times for the club last season and has almost 100 appearances for the club to his name. If they are still negotiating then there is a chance that a deal may ultimately be agreed. However, given the impact of coronavirus Lundstram may be aware of his value on the market and be looking to make the most of increased salary offers elsewhere.
Messi may now stay at Barca
The Daily Telegraph reports that Barcelona striker Lionel Messi may now be more likely to stay at the club. The claim comes the day after Josep Maria Bartomeu stepped down as president ahead of a vote of no confidence. Messi and Bartomeu were at loggerheads when the 33-year-old forward announced his intention to leave the club for nothing in the close season.
Paper Round’s view: Messi clearly has a strong emotional bond with Barcelona and given his importance and significance to the club, he could probably strong arm another payrise despite the coronavirus pandemic. Whether he would want to do that given other clubs would probably give him a better chance of European success and even more money, is open to question.
Burnley set for takeover
The Daily Mail reports that Burnley’s proposed US takeover has hit a snag. ALK capital had been linked with a £200m deal but that may now take a back seat to a deal proposed by Chris Farnell and Egyptian businessman Mohamed Elkashashy. Burnley’s biggest shareholder Mike Garlick may be prepared to do a deal given the impact of the coronavirus.
Paper Round’s view: Burney have done brilliantly to get into the Premier League and establish themselves as regulars in the league. But more investment will be needed to ensure progress from their current position and perhaps the time is right for Garlick to sell some or most of the club and allow more investment and management to come from elsewhere.
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