Varane: will he stay or will he go?
Real Madrid are ready to sell Raphael Varane this summer if the 27-year-old refuses to sign a contract extension. Varane's current deal expires in 2022 and the Mail report that Real Madrid cannot afford to lose the French defender for free, so will put him up for sale at the end of the season if he does not agree to extend his stay at the Bernabeu. Los Blancos would look to sell Varane for over £60 million and Premier League club Manchester United are said to be interested.
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Paper Round's view: It's an ultimatum that makes sense for Real Madrid. The club cannot allow a player like Varane to leave for free in 2022 when they know he could be sold for more than £50 million this summer. It has been well-documented that clubs in Spain are struggling financially following the devastating impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Selling Varane for a big fee would allow the club to sign a replacement like Villarreal's Pau Torres with the money. Manchester United are desperate for a new centre-back and a player with the experience and quality of Varane would be ideal for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side to mount a Premier League title challenge.
West Ham slap price tag on Rice
West Ham United co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold have slapped a £100 million price tag on midfielder Declan Rice, but manager David Moyes has openly questioned their decision in a press conference. Moyes believes that the 22-year-old is worth "far, far more than £100 million" and admitted that he "completely disagrees" with the club's owners. Chelsea were previously linked to Rice last summer after former manager Frank Lampard asked his board to sign him. Rice was valued at around £80 million at the time.
Paper Round's view: You'd think this is a tactic from Moyes to drive up Rice's value and put off any potential bidders. The youngster has been vital to West Ham's brilliant performances so far this season and he has even captained his side when Mark Noble was out of the team. His ceiling is unknown at the moment but he will definitely get a big move one day soon. A move to Chelsea might have passed after Lampard was sacked earlier this year, but he is a player that would improve most of the top six clubs. Manchester United could be an interesting destination. Wherever he ends up, expect the transfer fee to be huge!
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New deal for Christensen
Chelsea are ready to offer Andreas Christensen a new deal following his turn in form since new boss Thomas Tuchel arrived. The Telegraph report that talks have not opened over a contract extension just yet, but the club are planning to secure his long-term future at Stamford Bridge. Christensen's current contract expires in the summer of 2022 and rival clubs are starting to take a closer look at the Danish defender. The Telegraph state that Chelsea have looked at the likes of David Alaba and Ibrahima Konate in the transfer market, but are happy with the performances of their own centre-backs in recent weeks.
Paper Round's view: It makes complete sense for Chelsea to open contract negotiations with Christensen. The 24-year-old has been in fantastic form since coming into the side following an injury to Thiago Silva. Christensen has been a bit hit-and-miss for the Blues over the past couple years, but now he seems to be confident enough to step up and play his part under Tuchel. Chelsea's defence has looked stronger than ever since the German took charge and it would be odd to see the club sign a new centre-back this summer with all the in-form talent already at the club.
Blades to give Wilder the chop?
Sheffield United could be willing to wait until the summer to sack manager Chris Wilder due to a clause in his contract. The Sun state that the 53-year-old's contract will revert to "second-tier level" if the Blades are relegated from the Premier League, meaning that it would be significantly cheaper to terminate his role.
Paper Round's view: The report reveals that both parties are happy to part ways this summer, so Sheffield United are just looking to save a bit of cash. You can't blame the club for holding onto Wilder until the end of the season. The Blades boss has done a great job at the club, but it probably the right time to leave. Wilder could probably find another Premier League-level job this summer, with clubs like Crystal Palace reportedly looking for a new coach.
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