Liverpool and Real battle for Phillips
The Sun believes that Real Madrid and Liverpool could face off for Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips. The 26-year-old is rated at around £35 million, however Leeds would want to reject any offer from Liverpool as they do not wish to sell to a Premier League side. That could give Real an easier time securing a transfer, as they would face less competition.
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Paper Round’s view: It seems a touch odd that Leeds would worry about selling to Liverpool, as they are at opposite ends of the table, and for all the positives at the club, they do not appear set to challenge the top four anytime soon. As for Phillips he has impressed since the move up to the Premier League and is an established England international, so he could make the transition to a top four team in England or Spain.
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Arthur talks for Arsenal continue
Arsenal continue to press for the short-term transfer of Juventus midfielder Arthur Melo, according to The Mirror. However the Italian side are not ready to let the Brazilian 25-year-old go unless they can find a replacement for him. They do not want to go into the second half of the season without someone who can offer a similar range of attributes in the middle of the pitch.
Paper Round’s view: Arthur has been far from perfect for Juventus and the consensus appears to be he did not perform too well in the run up to his last move when he was at Barcelona. Mikel Arteta however has helped players adjust and improve before, such as Martin Odegaard, so perhaps Juventus would do better to let him leave and give someone else a chance.
Everton want Martinez on short-term deal
The Telegraph claims that Everton want to bring Roberto Martinez back to the club as their manager, however there are a number of obstacles that have to be cleared with the Belgian FA, his current employer. Martinez has done well with the Red Devils and with the Qatar World Cup on the horizon, Everton want to agree a short-term deal that would see him juggle both jobs.
Paper Round’s view: Given the World Cup is not until October it is not the usual scenario where a manager of a national team would now be fully focused for a summer event. Getting Martinez back at Everton would give the fans a lift because he will be refreshed after a less intense role with Belgium, and will also play much less boring football than the sacked Rafael Benitez.
Manchester United set Jones asking price
Manchester United want £15m for Phil Jones, with the 29-year-old defender expected to leave in the January transfer window if another side meets the asking price. Jones played for United for the first time in two years against Wolves as United lost 1-0, but is not expected to play for the team again. He has 18 months left on his deal, with Newcastle and Burnley interested, says the Mail.
Paper Round’s view: Jones should never have been offered his last contract after struggling for fitness over the last couple of years, and rarely impressing when he was on the pitch in the few years before that, United are paying the price for refusing to get rid of players who simply were not good enough to compete at the highest level. Newcastle should steer clear, while Burnley can’t afford to take him down to the Championship.
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