Spurs concerned over Conte and Kane future
Tottenham have asked Antonio Conte to no longer speak to the Italian media as pressure grows on Daniel Levy ahead of the summer, reports The Telegraph. The club is increasingly worried that Conte will step down at the end of the season, and that Harry Kane will again push to leave, with the pair both worried that the club failed to make serious transfer moves in January.
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Paper Round’s view: While both Kane and Conte are reasonably upset with the Tottenham chairman, Conte in particular had his eyes open when he arrived at the club. Presumably he had already turned the club down for a reason. And while Kane signed when the club was at its peak, he was taking a gamble that Levy would again be too parsimonious to support progress.
Conte: ‘Performance was good’ as Spurs drop further
Arsenal consider Martinez
Lautaro Martinez is a new transfer target for Arsenal, as they look to replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and expect the departure of Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah this summer when their contracts are up. They face competition for the 24-year-old Inter Milan striker from Manchester City, though, who has a release clause of £94 million.
Paper Round’s view: Alexander Isak and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are also options and would be a little cheaper than Martinez, but the Argentine has displayed the best form of all three targets, and if Mikel Arteta believes he can help him rediscover his peak then he is certainly the player they should be targeting. Both Isak and Calvert-Lewin are excellent alternatives, though.
Barcelona go all out for Haaland
The Mirror reports that Barcelona will pull out all the stops to convince Erling Haaland to join them this summer. The 21-year-old Norwegian international has a £67 million release clause to leave Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season, and the Spanish club are willing to offer wages of £16.6m a year to get their man, while paying a sizeable commission to father Alfe Inge Haaland and agent Mino Raiola.
Paper Round’s view: The release clause being so low does not necessarily make Haaland any more affordable, because the extra commission can be used as an arbitrage to take a greater cut of the sums paid out. Barcelona are reportedly in financial trouble, and while they need a player like Haaland, they risk getting further into the red if they pull off such a huge deal.
Guardiola explains Kane failure
Speaking to the press, Pep Guardiola said while Manchester City tried to sign Harry Kane three or four times last season: “We tried but it was far away from being done because Tottenham were clear this is not going to happen.” The Sun claims that City will now look at Erling Haaland as their striking priority, though they have Julian Alvarez as their plan B if it does not come off.
Paper Round’s view: Kane is now too close to 30 to justify a huge transfer outlay, and he may have to wait until he is a free transfer to get a shot at a big club. As for City, Haaland is clearly the man in demand, but Alvarez could be brought in earlier. One advantage for City is that Guardiola can fashion a devastating team if the players are good enough, regardless of their traditional positions.
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