Ten Hag to rock former club
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is ready to reunite with two of his former players at Old Trafford in a double swoop that would be devastating for his former club Ajax. The Sun reveal that the Premier League club have increased their offer for the Dutch club’s defender Lisandro Martinez and are just £2.5 million away from the £45 million asking price. Elsewhere, Ten Hag is planning to hijack Ajax’s move for their former forward Brian Bobbey from RB Leipzig. Brobbey spent last year on loan in Amsterdam and now Ten Hag is going head-to-head with Ajax in an attempt to bring him to the Premier League.
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Paper Round’s view: It’s natural that a new manager will look to bring in familiar players when he joins a new club. However, Manchester United are on a completely different level to Ajax. Martinez is clearly a top talent and has been linked with Premier League rivals Arsenal. But Brobbey failed to make an impact at RB Leipzig and is now being linked with United. Ten Hag needs to address the fact that Cristiano Ronaldo wants to leave, and he needs to bring in a new starting striker. Not a 20-year-old who failed to score a single goal in the Bundesliga.
Chelsea close in on Man City duo
Chelsea are edging closer to completing the signings of Manchester City duo Raheem Sterling and Nathan Ake, according to the Guardian. The pair are expected to cost over £45 million each and have both agreed personal terms with the London club. Chelsea are planning to continue with their transfer business next week and will look to strengthen their defence. The club have been linked with Juventus’ Matthijs de Ligt, Paris Saint-Germain’s Presnel Kimpembe, Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly and Sevilla’s Jules Kounde.
Paper Round’s view: Chelsea lost Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen for free this summer after their contracts at Stamford Bridge expired. Club captain Cesar Azpilicueta is edging closer to a potential exit to Barcelona too. So, it’s no surprise that the club are hoping to strengthen in defence. Ake is a bit of an underwhelming signing as he replaces Rudiger on the left side of the back three, but the other names mentioned would be considerable upgrades to Christensen. It’s going to be interesting to how Sterling is used, but you can picture Manchester City regretting their decision to sell him to their potential Premier League title rivals.
Raphinha or Dembele?
Barcelona are entangled in a tug-of-war scenario as two parties within the club attempt to make a case for extended Ousmane Dembele’s contract or signing Raphinha from Leeds United. Barca boss Xavi is keen to keep Dembele at the club after the Frenchman impressed in the second half of last season. However, sporting director Mateu Alemany is pushing to sign Raphinha from Leeds – despite the fact that the Brazilian will cost around £60 million. The Mirror reveal that the Catalan club cannot afford to have the pair in the squad this season.
Paper Round’s view: This seems like a farcical scenario. Barcelona were reported to be in financial crisis last summer and were forced to sell their greatest player of all time in Lionel Messi, while Antoine Griezmann was handed to their Liga rivals Atletico Madrid in a bid to relieve the Frenchman from the wage bill. How are the club now in a scenario where they could sign Raphinha for £60 million and allow Dembele to leave for free? Surely it makes so much more sense to just hand Dembele a new deal and use the rest of that money on the rebuild.
Everton eye Premier League duo
Everton are planning to enter the transfer market by adding two new signings from their Premier League rivals. The Mirror state that Toffees boss Frank Lampard is a “big fan” of Southampton full-back Kyle Walker-Peters and is also hoping to sign Chelsea youngster Armando Broja, who spent last season on loan on the south coast with Walker-Peters. Broja is expected to be a replacement for Richarlison, who recently left for Tottenham Hotspur, but Lampard is also hoping to add another forward and potentially another midfielder to his squad ahead of the new campaign.
Paper Round’s view: Everton obviously need to add a few new faces to their squad this summer. The club were embroiled in a relegation scrap last season, but their squad was a lot better than the clubs around them. Realistically, Lampard should be aiming for a top-half finish and maybe a decent cup run in this campaign. Losing Richarlison will be a blow, but Broja and Walker-Peters look like smart signings. Everton need to adjust their transfer policy from recent years and start making smarter signings again.
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