Tielemans ready for Arsenal move
Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans is keen on a move to Arsenal, or another club with Champions League football next season. The Daily Mail reports that the 25-year-old Belgian international is preparing to move on as his contract is a year from expiring, meaning he can negotiate a free transfer from January next year. Arsenal are keen to strike a bargain deal for him now.
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Paper Round’s view: Tielemans has not been at his best this season, but neither have Leicester City. If Arsenal - or any other suitor - can get hold of him for a reasonable price and without going overboard on wages then they have a potentially brilliant player for less than he would normally cost. The need for Champions League football will focus Arteta’s mind.
Mbappe visits Madrid
Spanish newspaper Marca reported that Kylian Mbappe sparked speculation after he visited Madrid earlier in the week. The 23-year-old French international forward visited the Spanish capital - and the home of Real Madrid, who are keen on signing the player this summer on a free contract - and he avoided meeting the president of Paris Saint-Germain, who was in town at the same time.
Paper Round’s view: It looks almost inevitable that Mbappe will join Real Madrid on a free transfer this summer, though rumours rumble on of PSG putting together an enormous financial package to persuade him to stay on for a year or two longer. Mbappe holds all the cards and if he is visiting the city even before his move away, his current club should be worried.
Pepe in, Pepe out at Arsenal
The Mirror claims that Arsenal are considering a bid for Porto’s 25-year-old Brazilian winger Pepe, with various suggestions that he has a release clause of between 50 and 60 million euros. He would be brought in as a replacement for Arsenal’s own Pepe, Nicolas, who has failed to impress since his £72 million move from Lille, and who could be sold for just £25m this summer.
Paper Round’s view: While there is no indication that Arsenal’s Pepe has been anything other than a professional, he has not been able to get much joy at the English club and the time has come for him to move on and try somewhere new. As for Porto’s Pepe, at 25 he needs to move on to a big club and a bigger platform before he becomes too old to be considered.
Rudiger’s huge release clause
The Sun reports on the huge deal that has seen Antonio Rudiger apparently commit to joining Real Madrid this summer. The 29-year-old German international will sign until 2026, and earn £400,000-a-week wages to do so. Beyond that, the player will also have a release clause worth £340m, which will essentially rule him out of a sale on anything but Real’s terms.
Paper Round’s view: Rudiger has improved rapidly over the last couple of years and if he is taking care of his fitness and health, then he should be able to perform at the highest level for a few years yet. But clubs are often burned when they shell out for players who are approaching 30, and if he starts to fall off then Real will be lumbered with a massive liability.
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