PSG close in on Ramos
Paris Saint-Germain are set to make Sergio Ramos their latest high-profile signing in an attempt to keep hold of their star striker Kylian Mbappe. Spanish newspaper Marca reports the 22-year-old plans to turn down their latest contract offer, but he could remain for a year while Achraf Hakimi, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Georginio Wijnaldum and Ramos are added to Mauricio Pochettino’s squad.
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Paper Round’s view: Mbappe is clearly tempted to join Real Madrid and he would be the right age to lead the club into whatever their new era is. But that is a risk when Real have only really dominated when they had Zinedine Zidane, and he was moved to walk away twice when the club decided they were unable to properly support him. Regardless of Mbappe’s presence, the squad PSG are building could challenge for the Champions League next season.
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Spurs search for Alderweireld replacement
Tottenham are likely to have to find a new central defender, as 32-year-old Toby Alderweireld wants to leave the club, with the Daily Mail suggesting that new manager Nuno Espirito Santo will sanction his departure. In order to fill the gap, Lyon’s Joachim Andersen - on loan at Fulham last year - is one option, as are Sevilla’s Jules Kounde and Bologna's Takehiro Tomiyasu.
Paper Round’s view: Alderweireld has shown at the European Championships this summer that he still has the ability to be an excellent defender, but he and the rest of the Belgian backline have also shown that age is starting to catch up with him. For Santo this might be a practical way to freshen up the squad and remove a senior member at the same time.
Saliba set for Marseille
Arsenal’s 20-year-old central defender William Saliba is set to leave the club for yet another loan spell. The Mirror reports that the player, who was on loan at Ligue Un club Nice last season, has a few options for next season but is expected to go back to the south coast of France and link up with Marseille, where he will spend a season.
Paper Round’s view: Saliba was supposed to be an excellent prospect but he has found it hard to persuade current Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta to give him a decent run of games. He has only been given two appearances with the under-23 side. It appears to be a waste of a player who is developing well abroad, and unless he is brought back next year one can expect him to leave for good.
Bolton turn down Jagielka
Phil Jagielka had been training with Bolton after his departure from Sheffield United, but the club’s boss Ian Evatt has explained he was quickly put off the idea of signing the player. The 38-year-old former Everton had been training with the side to maintain his fitness, and Evatt said: “We got the media fanfare, the expectancy that fans seemed to have for signing that sort of player, it’s just no good for anybody. It’s certainly no good for the group, who we’re trying to hide from all the distractions and sideshows. We decided to move on.”
Paper Round’s view: It does seem a bit of an overreaction from the manager given the development was barely covered by the national press, and the idea that Jagielka brings overwhelming fan attention does appear to be far-fetched. Nevertheless, Jagielka showed last season that he has the ability to play at a higher level than Bolton.
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