Barca want Kessie and Haaland
Spanish newspaper Marca reports that Barcelona hope to sign Erling Haaland this summer, despite the huge price tag for the 21-year-old Norwegian striker. As well as that, they are interested in AC Milan’s Ivorian midfielder Franck Kessie. The 25-year-old is available on a free transfer in the summer, and Xavi Hernandez is happy to team him up with Sergio Busquets.
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Paper Round’s view: Of course Busquets will have to step down as a regular soon, but Kessie does not currently play the same role as the Spaniard. He does offer more attacking threat as well as being fitter given his age, and that would match up with Xavi’s moves at the moment to add energy and verve to what was becoming a side with too little youth at their disposal.
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Pochettino wants Kane at United
The Mirror reports that Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino is the favourite to land the Manchester United job, and if he does get the gig then he wants to be teamed up with Harry Kane. The 28-year-old England striker almost left for Manchester City last season, but if Pochettino switches to Old Trafford then he wants to be reunited with the forward. Luis Enrique is also an option at Old Trafford.
Paper Round’s view: The last thing that United should do is sign a player who is growing more injury prone as he ages, and while he is only 28, it is clear that Kane is not the player he once was. Of course, Pochettino could be the man to reinvigorate him, but when he would probably cost well in excess of £100 million it seems like a stupid risk for a team that needs work in many positions.
Arsenal set to miss out on Isak
Arsenal may fail to land another of Mikel Arteta’s striking targets, according to The Sun. Arsenal wanted Alexander Isak this winter but did not activate the 22-year-old Sweden international’s £64m release clause. However, Barcelona now believe that they can sign him this summer, and Xavi Hernandez’s club may even do it for less than the clause stipulates.
Paper Round’s view: Isak is showing plenty of promise after initially making his name at Borussia Dortmund, and a move to Spain will have helped convince Barcelona that he can cut it in La Liga. At just 22, his frame coupled with his impressive technique would make him a better option than Alvaro Morata, Xavi’s original target, and he could even link up well with former Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Tielemans set to quit Leicester City
Fabrizio Romano reports that Youri Tielemans will not sign a new deal at Leicester City. The Belgium international has a contract that runs until 2023, meaning he would not be able to leave for free this summer, but Leicester may need to do a deal now with another club to stop them losing the 24-year-old for nothing, and plenty of European clubs are interested in him.
Paper Round’s view: Tielemans was mentioned in plenty of stories this January, linking him to Arsenal in particular, but he is also said to be interesting Manchester United, amongst others. Tielemans is a young player who has improved as he has adjusted to the Premier League, and he’ll be available for a reduced price this summer, or nothing the year after - there is bound to be interest.
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