The perfect partner for Maguire?
Manchester United have received a huge boost in their pursuit of Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane, with Los Blancos reportedly close to completing the signing of David Alaba for free this summer. Varane's current contract is set to expire in the summer of 2022 and he could be "forced out" of the club if he fails to agree to sign a new deal at the end of the season. United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer views a new centre-back signing as "his transfer priority" as the Premier League club looks for the perfect partner for Harry Maguire.
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Paper Round's view: Real Madrid have issued Varane with an ultimatum: either sign a new contract or leave the club. It's a move that could massively backfire but Real cannot afford to lose the World Cup winner for free next summer. This will be music to the ears of Manchester United supporters. Varane is a world-class defender and would be available for a cut-price fee due to his contract situation, if he were to leave Los Blancos. Virgil van Dijk and Ruben Dias have shown the importance of a dominant figure in the heart of the defence. Varane could be that game-changing signing for Solskjaer's side.
Former Barca target allowed to leave this summer
Norwich City have told right-back Max Aarons that he can leave the club this summer amid interest from a handful of top clubs across Europe. The Independent reveal that last year the Canaries promised Aarons that he could leave at the end of the season and they will demand at least £30 million for the England Under-21 international. Barcelona were keen on signing Aarons last summer, while AS Roma and Bayern Munich have also held interest in the youngster. Everton, West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur are the English clubs keeping an eye on the Norwich defender, who would reportedly prefer to stay in the south of England.
Paper Round's view: It's unlikely that Barcelona will be able to afford Aarons this summer, with their financial situation. However, Bayern Munich or Roma could be brilliant opportunities if either make a move for the 21-year-old. The Independent state that Aarons would prefer to stay in the south of England, which means that West Ham and Tottenham hold an advantage over the rest of the interested clubs. Vladimir Coufal has enjoyed a successful debut season in east London, so it wouldn't make sense for the Hammers to drop over £30 million on another right-back. Spurs could be a great move though. Matt Doherty and Serge Aurier have both failed to hold down the right-back spot at Tottenham.
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London rivals battle for Johnstone
West Bromwich Albion have slapped a £10-million price-tag on goalkeeper Sam Johnstone ahead of the summer transfer window, according to the Standard. The 28-year-old has attracted the attention of London duo Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United, with a potential Hawthorns exit said to be dependent on West Brom securing their Premier League status next season. The Baggies currently sit in 19th place in the table and are nine points adrift of safety with just six matches left to play.
Paper Round's view: There's no doubt over Johnstone's ability. He's proven he is a Premier League-level goalkeeper. His performances in the top flight were rewarded with a senior England call-up back in March for the FIFA World Cup qualifiers too. A move to West Ham would be interesting. Lukasz Fabianski is 36 years old so a younger keeper would be ideal for the Hammers. It's rare that you see an English player - with Premier League experience - available for a relatively cheap fee in the current transfer market. If Johnstone stays in the Premier League as a starter, he could be part of the Three Lions squad for next year's World Cup in Qatar.
Kane's race to be fit for Wembley
Tottenham Hotspur were given a huge boost on Thursday as Harry Kane returned to outdoor training ahead of Sunday's League Cup final against Manchester City. The Spurs striker suffered an ankle injury in last week's 2-2 draw against Everton and there have been major doubts over Kane's hopes of playing in the cup final. Interim boss Ryan Mason will be hoping that the 27-year-old is able to join up with full training alongside the rest of the Spurs squad on Friday or Saturday to increase his chances of playing in Sunday's match at Wembley.
Paper Round's view: This will be massive for Tottenham. It's been one of the most eventful weeks in the club's history, with the European Super League fiasco and the sacking of Jose Mourinho. Sunday's League Cup final is the biggest fixture of their season and the north London club won't want to be missing their main man. Even if he's not fit enough to start, his mere presence on the bench will be a huge boost for Spurs. Will a half-fit Kane be enough to help Tottenham win their first trophy since 2008? Well... it will give them more of a chance than having no Kane at all.
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