Transfer news - Manchester United to sell four stars in bid to boost summer funds - Paper Round
Manchester United put four players up for sale to boost their budgets, Arsenal open talks with transfer targets ahead of the summer window, Chelsea have no plans to sell Christian Pulisic - despite interest from top clubs - and Brentford have their eye on a Manchester City youngster as they push for Premier League promotion. It's Monday'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 are ready to sell four first-team players in order to boost the club's transfer budget this summer. The Mirror reveal that the board will set the transfer budget at £80 million, but the club will look to raise an additional £60 million through player sales. The four players that United are expecting to depart Old Trafford are Jesse Lingard, Diogo Dalot, Phil Jones and Juan Mata. The Red Devils expect Lingard and Dalot to fetch around £20 million each after impressing on loan at West Ham United and AC Milan respectively. The club are aiming to raise £10 million each from the sales of Jones and Mata.
Paper Round's view: It's a very optimistic outlook ahead of the summer transfer window. You have to wonder how much the coronavirus pandemic will continue to impact transfer activity and club valuations. We have seen clubs like Arsenal and Barcelona struggle to sell superstars on big contracts and eventually just negotiating for them to leave for free. Lingard should sell for at least £20 million, but Dalot, Jones and Mata..? Maybe not. The main issue will be shifting their significant salaries and United may need to adapt once they assess the interest on these players come the end of the season.
Arsenal are stepping up their summer transfer plans with the Express reporting that the Gunners have made contact with Eintracht Frankfurt defender Evan N'Dicka and Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma. The report states that Arsenal are "leading the race" for N'Dicka and are ready to close on a deal worth around £19 million for the Frenchman. The north London club are also monitoring Brighton's Bissouma as the club looks to strengthen in centre-midfield.
Paper Round's view: Obviously Arsenal are going to be planning ahead for the summer window, but a lot of their transfer business will be dependent on how the rest of their season pans out. The Gunners are in 10th place with 10 matches left of the Premier League season - so could easily miss out on European football next term. The club would at least need to qualify for the Europa League to be an attractive destination and to beat their rivals to these signings. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta needs to prioritise trying to win the Europa League - which would result in Champions League qualification.
Chelsea are not looking to allow Christian Pulisic to leave the club on loan or permanently, despite the American's current lack of game time. The Athletic assess Pulisic's frustrating time so far under new manager Thomas Tuchel, who was appointed as manager at Stamford Bridge back in January. Pulisic previously played under Tuchel at Borussia Dortmund, but has started just once in the Premier League since the German took charge. The report reveals that Chelsea view Pulsic as a "major player for the future" and state that the player should show patience if he wants to get his chance under Tuchel.
Paper Round's view: Chelsea have a plethora of attacking options and Tuchel can't please every player. Pulisic is battling for a starting spot with Mason Mount, Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Hakim Ziyech. The club are confident that his time will come... so he just needs to keep working hard and prove himself to his manager. Chelsea spent a huge fee bringing Pulisic to Stamford Bridge from Borussia Dortmund (£58 million) so it's unlikely that the club would give up on him so soon. Tuchel has only been the Blues boss for under two months so there's plenty of time for him to make decisions on his squad.
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Brentford target Man City youngster
Brentford are already starting to plan for the summer window as the Bees eye up a loan move for Manchester City prospect Taylor Harwood-Bellis. The Sun state that the Championship side have been impressed with the 19-year-old since his January loan move to Blackburn Rovers. Harwood-Bellis is said to be "desperate to play for his boyhood club", but Brentford would be keen to take the youngster on a season-long loan to hand him more experience at the top level - if they were to secure promotion to the Premier League.
Paper Round's view: Manchester City will be excited about the development of Harwood-Bellis as he continues to impress in the Championship and attract potential suitors. However, it's unlikely that the teenager will return to the Etihad this summer and usurp the likes of Ruben Dias, John Stones, Aymeric Laporte or Nathan Ake, so it probably makes sense for him to secure another loan move next season. If Brentford do finally win promotion to the Premier League, it would be a brilliant opportunity for Harwood-Bellis to get top-flight experience.