Manchester United to extend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer contract no matter what - Paper Round
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be offered a new contract even if Manchester United fail to win any silverware this season, Manchester City's summer transfer plans are revealed, Real Madrid will refuse to allow Martin Odegaard to join Arsenal in a permanent deal and Leicester City are set to reward Kelechi Iheanacho with a new contract. It's Friday's Paper Round...
Manchester United Head Coach / Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gives an interview prior to the Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Etihad Stadium
Manchester United officials are ready to put their faith in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer by handing their manager a new contract. The Telegraph report that the Premier League club will offer the Norwegian boss an extension to his current deal, which is set to expire in the summer of 2022 - even if United fail to win any silverware this season. The club hierarchy are "confident real progress is being made" under the stewardship of Solskjaer. United's last real chance of winning a trophy this season is in the UEFA Europa League after being dumped out of the FA Cup by Leicester City last week.
Paper Round's view: Some might say it's a lack of ambition from a club that dominated English football for years, but you could also argue that Manchester United are steadily working their way back to become a side that could challenge for trophies again. Is Solskjaer the right manager to take the club to the next level? We doubt it. The 48-year-old is yet to prove that he is a winner in his position as a manager, while United are yet to make it past a semi-final under Solskjaer and that's simply not good enough.
Manchester City's transfer plans have been revealed, with the Telegraph stating that Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland is viewed as the club's "primary target" this summer. The club are keen to sign a long-term successor for the outbound Sergio Aguero, who is expected to leave the Etihad when his contract expires at the end of the season. City are also interested in Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish, but are unwilling to meet the Midlands club's £100 million valuation of the 25-year-old. Pep Guardiola is also hoping to offload Benjamin Mendy and add a new left-back to his squad.
Paper Round's view: Haaland is going to be the most sought-after striker in the summer transfer window and Manchester City will be desperate to win the race to secure his signature. The Premier League leaders will be up against the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barcelona to sign the 20-year-old so it won't be easy. City will definitely regret not making a move for Grealish last summer. The England international would've been available for around half of his current £100m asking price. Grealish probably won't be a priority target, but would most certainly add an extra bit of star quality to the attack.
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No deal with Real for Odegaard
Real Madrid will refuse to negotiate a deal which would send Martin Odegaard to Arsenal on a permanent basis, according to the Sun. The 22-year-old joined the Gunners on loan in the winter transfer window and has impressed since his arrival at the Emirates. The Sun report that there is no buy-out clause in Odegaard's contract with Arsenal and Real Madrid are expecting the Danish playmaker to return to the Spanish capital this summer. Los Blancos are willing to give Odegaard a chance to prove himself next season, but the youngster will look to "seek assurances" over his playing time with head coach Zinedine Zidane ahead of the 2021-22 campaign.
Paper Round's view: This will be devastating news for the Gunners. Odegaard has been a breath of fresh air since arriving at Arsenal and the club would've been hoping to hang onto him beyond the current loan deal. Realistically, Real Madrid's asking price probably would have always been out of reach for the north London club, but they may have hoped to extend the loan by another season. Real will be looking at Odegaard's performances at Arsenal and thinking that he will have a part to play in their own squad next season. Will it be a big enough part for the 22-year-old? Zidane's call could be make-or-break for Arsenal in their bid to extend his time in England.
Leicester City are set to reward Kelechi Iheanacho with a new contract after the 24-year-old's recent impressive performances. The Sun state that Iheanacho will sign a deal that will see his weekly wage rise from £60,000 per week to £90,000 per week. The Nigerian forward is close to entering the final year of his current contract, but the club view him as a long-term replacement for the 34-year-old Jamie Vardy. Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers is said to have played a big part in Iheanacho's desire to stay at the King Power stadium.
Paper Round's view: There have been some major doubts over Iheanacho's quality since his arrival at Leicester. The 24-year-old showed glimpses of quality at Manchester City, but it would have been more than fair to say that he had failed to fulfil his potential with the Foxes. However, Iheanacho has proved his doubters wrong since the turn of the year. Leicester have lost two talented players in James Maddison and Harvey Barnes to injuries, but Iheanacho has taken full advantage of his run in the starting XI. The Nigeria international has scored seven goals in his last four matches, firing the Foxes to the FA Cup semi-finals on the way.