Arsenal and Spurs hit with fresh problem in chase for Inter Milan's Lautaro Martinez - Paper Round
Inter Milan could get rid of Lautaro Martinez's release clause which may be a blow to Tottenham and Arsenal, while Manchester United are reportedly leading the race for a summer move for Jude Bellingham, though they could lose Paul Pogba to former club Juventus. Elsewhere, Barcelona may sign Sergi Roberto to a new deal.
Inter Milan's Argentine forward Lautaro Martinez warms up prior to the UEFA Champions League Group D football match between Inter Milan and Real Madrid on September 15, 2021 at the San Siro stadium in Milan.
Premier League sides Arsenal and Tottenham face a fresh obstacle in the pursuit of Argentine striker Lautaro Martinez. The 24-year-old had been valued at £55 million by Inter Milan, his current club, but the Mirror reports that a new contract would do away with any release clause as the two sides consider a future bid for the player.
Paper Round's view: Barcelona have also been linked with the player and his arrival would presumably be welcome after the exit of Lionel Messi and then Antoine Griezmann this summer. At 24, Martinez only has a couple of years left before he needs to make the move to one of Europe’s top two leagues, so Inter may soon be under pressure regardless.
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United in with chance over Bellingham
Manchester United are ahead in the race for the signature of Borussia Dortmund’s teenage midfielder Jude Bellingham. The 18-year-old England international was shown around Old Trafford by Alex Ferguson and that is reported by The Sun to have left an impression on the player as he considers his next move.
Paper Round's view: Bellingham wisely chose Borussia Dortmund as they could offer him plenty of time on the pitch in midfield. In truth he would be far better than Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay or Fred if he were to arrive already, and perhaps having developed over the last couple of years he will be able to replace one of them soon.
Barcelona expect Sergi Roberto to sign a new deal at the club as he is prepared to take a pay cut in order to extend his stay. The 29-year-old will extend for two more years rather than the expected single season, and that will allow the club to focus on new deals for Ansu Fati, Ousmane Dembele, Pedri and Ronald Araujo.
Paper Round's view: Roberto may not be the most expensive player at the club but given the potential scope for turnover in Catalonia, his renewal will be welcome news to Barca fans.
Paul Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola believes that his client could return to Juventus. The 28-year-old French international moved back to Manchester United after a few seasons in Italy and now his contract is up in 2022, Spanish newspaper Marca reports the representative as saying: "Paul Pogba is out of contract in June, so we'll talk with Man United and we'll see what happens. It also depends on Juventus' plans."
Paper Round's view: Pogba clearly is out to make the most of his career with little regard for loyalty, and that is a perfectly understandable motive. He has shown enough at United that he could still be a far better player elsewhere, and perhaps Juventus are a destination that needs a superstar now that Cristiano Ronaldo has left.