Manchester United target Harry Kane, Sancho, Rice, Torres and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer set for new contract - Paper Round
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is set to sign a three-year contract at Old Trafford, despite the club's UEFA Europa League final defeat to Villarreal on Wednesday. Elsewhere, Manchester United's transfer shortlist is revealed, Manchester City plan on making a record-breaking bid for Jack Grealish and Tottenham Hotspur target another big-name manager. It's Friday's Paper Round...
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer walks off at the end of the Premier League match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford on March 14, 2021 in Manchester, United Kingdom.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to strengthen his squad this summer after the club suffered a defeat in the UEFA Europa League final at the hands of Villarreal on Wednesday. The Guardian reveal that Solskjaer wants to add a new centre-back, midfielder, winger and striker. The United boss' ambitious transfer list includes either Europa League winner Pau Torres or Real Madrid's Raphael Varane, West Ham United's Declan Rice, Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho and Tottenham's star striker Harry Kane. The Guardian add that the total spend would have to surpass £300 million and is "unlikely".
Paper Round's view: Would these four signings turn Manchester United into a superpower once again? Probably. Will Solskjaer's side sign more than two of them this summer? Probably not. It's unrealistic to think that any club will be able to complete four high-profile transfers in the current financial climate, no matter how badly United may need them. It seems like Torres and Sancho may be the most likely - although it is worth keeping an eye on Varane, who has just one year remaining on his deal at Real Madrid. Kane would cost far too much and is seemingly edging closer to the blue half of Manchester.
New contract for Solskjaer despite Europa League loss
Manchester United are set to hand Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a new three-year contract despite ending the 2020-21 season with yet another trophyless campaign. Solskjaer is yet to win any silverware during his spell in the dugout at Old Trafford, but outgoing executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is planning to offer the United boss a new contract. The 48-year-old has just one year remaining on his current deal and the club have no plans to replace him.
Paper Round's view: If Manchester United had any ambition, they would go out and appoint Antonio Conte as their new manager. The Italian just walked away from Inter Milan due to financial restrictions, after transforming them into Serie A winners. Conte has proven himself as a serial winner, collecting the Premier League title and the FA Cup during his two years in charge at Chelsea. Zinedine Zidane is also available, who has won the Champions League three times as head coach of Real Madrid. Man United cannot accept a mediocre coach, who is yet to win a trophy after nearly three years in charge at Old Trafford. If they want to compete with the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea - they need to be ruthless.
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Manchester City plot £100m Grealish bid
Manchester City are planning to break the British transfer record this summer by making Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish the first £100-million Englishman. The Mail report that City have made the 25-year-old their "number one midfield target" and Pep Guardiola views Grealish as the "hub" of his squad rebuild. The Birmingham-born superstar signed a new deal with his boyhood club in 2020, which means that Villa are able to hold out for an eye-watering transfer fee. Manchester City are also hoping that Tottenham striker Harry Kane will follow Grealish to the Etihad Stadium this summer.
Paper Round's view: You can tell we're heading into transfer season now. Grealish was one of the best players in the Premier League last season, despite the fact that he was playing for a club that finished in 11th place and he was injured for a few months towards the end of the campaign. Obviously transfer fees are wild these days, but he might be worth it. Grealish has been magical for Villa and he has proven he is more than capable of stepping up to the next level any time he was challenged by the press. The 25-year-old could be a key component of Guardiola's rebuild at City - so why not meet his slightly-absurd asking price?
Tottenham Hotspur are planning to target another big-name manager following the unsuccessful stint and sacking of Jose Mourinho. The Telegraph report that the recruitment search took a turn in the last couple of days with Antonio Conte, Zinedine Zidane and a shock return for Mauricio Pochettino all potentially on the cards. Conte and Zidane both left their posts at Inter Milan and Real Madrid respectively on Wednesday and Thursday. Pochettino is reported to be unsettled in the French capital, despite only taking charge of Paris Saint-Germain in January.
Paper Round's view: Tottenham are showing the ambition that Manchester United should be. Spurs look like a mess right now. They don't have a manager, they only qualified for the inaugural UEFA Conference League and their star striker Harry Kane is pushing for a summer exit. Things could all change if someone on the level of Conte, Zidane or Pochettino came to north London. Kane could even be convinced to stay for another season. Daniel Levy got his fingers burnt with Mourinho, but another ambitious managerial appointment could be exactly what Spurs need to get back on track.