Transfer news - Manchester United may sell Paul Pogba to Paris Saint-Germain to continue squad revamp - Paper Round
Manchester United are close to adding Raphael Varane to their squad, which means Paul Pogba could be sold before any additional incoming transfers are made. Elsewhere, Chelsea are in talks to sign Jules Kounde from Sevilla, Manchester City are set to make an opening bid for Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish and Arsenal have approached Inter Milan over the potential transfer of Lautaro Martinez.
Paul Pogba of Manchester United and Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær after the Carabao Cup Quarter Final match between Everton and Manchester United at Goodison Park on December 23, 2020 in Liverpool, England.
Manchester United could be forced to sell Paul Pogba in order to sign any additional players during the summer transfer window. The Red Devils completed the £72.9 million signing of Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund last week and reached an agreement to sign Raphael Varane from Real Madrid in a deal worth up to £42.7 million on Tuesday. The Telegraph reveal that United will now look to sell first team players to balance out their net spent this summer. Pogba and Jesse Lingard are both linked with exits to raise transfer funds, while the futures of Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Nemanja Matic and either Dean Henderson and David De Gea are all uncertain.
Paper Round's view: Manchester United supporters will be delighted with their transfer activity so far - but it makes sense that the club now needs to sell some players. There has been over £110 million spent, but no high-profile exits. Selling Pogba actually makes sense. United risk losing the Frenchman for free (again!) next summer if he refuses to sign a new contract. The club should sell him this summer if he doesn't agree to extend his stay at Old Trafford and then they can try to bring in a new right-back and defensive midfielder.
The Guardian reveal that Chelsea have opened talks with Sevilla over the potential signing of French centre-back Jules Kounde. The west London club made the 22-year-old their "top defensive target" in the summer transfer window and Blues boss Thomas Tuchel feels that Kounde would be the "right fit" for his squad. Chelsea have already allowed two centre-backs - Fikayo Tomori and Marc Guehi - to leave Stamford Bridge this summer and Antonio Rudiger may be allowed to leave if the right bid comes in. The report also states that Kurt Zouma could be included in any deal to bring Kounde to Chelsea.
Paper Round's view: Chelsea are making big movements at centre-back. Tomori and Guehi have both already left and the Guardian report opens the door to potential moves for Zouma and Rudiger. This leaves just Thiago Silva, Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen as Tuchel's current trusted centre-back options. Adding Kounde to that group would be a real coup. The Frenchman is one of the most promising young defenders in world football and has attracted interest from both Manchester clubs, Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid. Kounde could be a mainstay in the Chelsea defence for 10 years.
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Man City to submit an opening bid for Grealish
Manchester City have readying an opening offer for Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish, according to the Mail. The Premier League champions are expected to table a bid of around £75 million plus add-ons, while Villa value the England international closer to a British record fee of £100 million. However, despite the Midlands club's reported asking price, the Mail state that Villa are planning to offer their talisman a bumper new contract worth over £150,000 per week in order to convince Grealish to commit his future to his boyhood club.
Paper Round's view: This is going to be a tough decision for Grealish. Everyone knows how much he loves Aston Villa. They're his boyhood club and he has led them to Premier League promotion and cup finals at Wembley. But when the Premier League champions come knocking with a club-record bid and an opportunity to compete in the Champions League under one of the greatest managers of all time... well - it's going to be tough to turn that one down. Grealish would thrive in this City team and it would probably enhance his chances to break into the England starting team.
Arsenal have enquired for Inter Milan forward Lautaro Martinez, according to the Telegraph. The Gunners are looking to strengthen in attack during the summer transfer window and are ready to launch an ambitious move for the 23-year-old. Lautaro has just two years remaining on his contract with the Italian champions, but Inter are hoping the South American striker agrees to extend his stay at San Siro.
Paper Round's view: This would be ideal for Arsenal fans, but it seems a bit out of reach. Why would Lautaro leave Inter and give up his chance to defend the Serie A title in favour of a move to Arsenal, who are a shadow of their former selves. Obviously the Gunners are in the middle of a rebuild, but it will be very difficult to attract a player who has been linked to the likes of Manchester City and Barcelona in recent seasons. Arsenal definitely need to improve their attacking options this summer - and there's nothing wrong with aiming high - but I can't see them signing Lautaro.