Barca in talks for Raphinha
Barcelona are so keen on Leeds United’s winger that they are negotiating two transfer deals for the player. The 25-year-old Brazilian has a £25 million release clause that kicks in this summer - but only if Leeds are relegated. However if they stay up, then Leeds will still face a struggle to hold onto the player, but will demand more, as Xavi Hernandez plans for life without Ousmane Dembele.
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Paper Round’s view: Raphinha has been a standout player for Leeds for the last couple of years, but the time has come for him to step up and find new challenges. Barcelona need to strike a balance in order to refresh their squad, but at the same time need to balance the books. If Leeds are relegated then the Brazilian could prove to be something of a bargain.
Lingard set for three offers
Jesse Lingard’s contract at Manchester United is up at the end of the season and he is already able to negotiate a new deal with a club based abroad, though The Telegraph suggests that Newcastle United could offer him the chance to remain in England. Two other options will come from Italy, with AC Milan and Juventus also keen on the 29 year old.
Paper Round’s view: Lingard occasionally offers flashes of brilliance, and is usually a willing runner, but his technique leads plenty to be desired and despite the years he has been with Manchester United he doesn’t really have any experience of success, more disappointment. Anyone who signs him should not stump up too much cash for a willing, but inconsistent and limited player.
Palace line up two transfers
The Sun reports that Crystal Palace have two players in mind this summer. One is PSV midfielder Ibrahim Sangare, with the £30-million rated midfielder, a chance to refresh the middle of the pitch. The 24-year-old is also wanted by Leicester City. An easy transfer to make could be Eddie Nketiah, with the Arsenal striker available on a free transfer in the summer.
Paper Round’s view: Nketiah is not quite good enough to hold down a first team place at Arsenal, especially with their upward momentum, but he has scored important goals over the years often enough to suggest he can hold his own in the Premier League. More experience for him could give him the opportunity to prove the extent of his talent, which could help him relaunch his career.
Ratcliffe bid may be considered
Despite coming in with a late bid for Chelsea that is outside the formal takeover process led by merchant bankers Raine, it appears that many consider Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s £4.25bn offer will lead the running should Todd Boehly’s offer fall through, claims the Daily Mail. The American’s bid has an exclusivity agreement but there are concerns over a fresh demand from Roman Abramovich for the £1.6bn he lent the club to be repaid.
Paper Round’s view: Surely Raine won’t exclude Ratcliffe if they get a bigger cut.
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