Opinion – Parker: The pressure will be on Sancho, Varane and Trippier to perform

Paul Parker thinks each of Manchester United’s expected summer signings will need to hit the ground running – they’re all under pressure in their own way.

Take Jadon Sancho. He is expected to join from Borussia Dortmund in the next few days, all being well, and he’ll need to link up quickly with his new teammates.

I haven’t been jumping up and down like others about his arrival because I’m yet to see enough from him to prove he’s what United need. But he should still be putting pressure on Marcus Rashford.

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We need to see if he can play on the left wing – not the right – and consistently be able to go inside and outside his man, because they’ve not been getting enough of that from Rashford. If he can do that, then it’s a step forward for United as an attacking team.

Looking at the cost of the player, United will expect him to be contributing from the start of the season. They’ve also waited long enough for him to arrive, so there may be a lack of patience where he is concerned.

When I’ve seen Sancho play, I’ve often seen him on the left, and that’s where the team’s weakness is. Mason Greenwood deserves to start the first game of the season with his form compared to Rashford’s. The big games need to have Greenwood starting, and Rashford hasn’t done anything near enough to be ahead of him at the moment.

Rashford mentioned a shoulder injury as one of the reasons he’s struggled of late, but you’re either injured or you’re not. If you need to mention it, then you go and get it sorted out. Football is different now, players will be given the time to properly recover with doctors willing to step in and protect them from being rushed back. A shoulder injury seems like an easy out when his form isn’t good.

As for Raphael Varane, I’m not expecting him to wow people. Not because he doesn’t have the talent, but because we all know what he’s done. We’ve seen what he’s won for Real Madrid and that he’s played for France. One thing I’d say is that at Real he has had a great partner to lead him in Sergio Ramos.

But he’s another one who has to start well. Because of his pedigree, people will expect him to slot in and be an immediate upgrade on Victor Lindelof. What he’ll have to show is physical and mental toughness – exactly what Lindelof lacks.

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When you have a poor central defender alongside a better one, it unbalances the side. This United side has been unbalanced for a while. Varane’s arrival would be a chance to build a side on something stead. Something that the fans believe in, but the players behind and in front of him. For the goalkeeper that has been a huge issue for years.

Once you get that, you can compete as Manchester United. Any top side can talk about their central defence. At City you have Ruben Dias, and the form he inspired in John Stones. People might discuss centre forwards, but you have to have quality centre-backs and goalkeepers. You don’t achieve a lot without them.

Kieran Trippier, it’s interesting where he will play, because Aaron Wan-Bissaka will be under pressure. The thing about Wan-Bissaka is that when he isn’t there, people will realise how important he is. As well as Trippier has done at Atletico Madrid, to come back at United is completely different.

The players aren’t as disciplined as they are under Diego Simeone. It will be hard for him to adjust right away at United.

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Barcelona struggle to ditch Griezmann – Paper Round

Barcelona struggle to sell Griezmann

Spanish newspaper Marca reports on the struggles at Barcelona to balance their books. Selling Ousmane Dembele seems impossible with the 24-year-old French international injured, and Samuel Umtiti and Miralem Pjanic are not interested in having their contracts rescinded. That leaves the high-earning Antoine Griezmann, 30 years old and in the midst of another racism scandal, as the next in line.

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Paper Round’s view: Even when they signed him from Atletico Madrid, it was not clear how Griezmann was going to fit in at Barcelona. He’s been fine as a player, but nothing exceptional, and his 120 million transfer appears to be a huge waste of cash for the Catalans. The only thing is that with Philippe Coutinho to be sold as well, there will almost certainly be similar mistakes to come.

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‘We will enjoy tomorrow’s match’ – Chiesa on facing England or Denmark in Euro 2020 final

United target Goretzka

Bayern Munich hope to keep hold of Germany international Leon Goretzka. The 26-year-old midfielder has won titles with the Bundesliga champions and is in his final year of his contract at Bayern. That has seen him linked with Manchester United, but the Mail reports that he would rather remain in Germany than move to Old Trafford, even if it would make sense financially for Bayern.

Paper Round’s view: If Goretzka wants to stay at Bayern, few could blame him. The German side are likely to keep challenging for titles both at home and abroad, and there is presumably little appeal in switching to a Brexit-blighted Britain. Instead, he can hold out for a sizeable increase in his wages in the next few months and remain at the best-run club in Europe.

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Arsenal face Aouar difficulties

The Mirror reports on the struggles that Arsenal face in order to secure the signing of 23-year-old French international Hassem Aouar from Ligue Un side Lyon. Aouar posted a picture of his return to training in preparation for the next season, and the paper also suggests that Arsenal will need to sell players in order to raise funds in the transfer market to make the signing.

Paper Round’s view: Arsenal already have to sign Ben White from Brighton which will cost around £50 million, which is a pretty big sum for a club that seems to have little chance of finding its way to the Champions League in the near future. As well as that, Bruno Tavares and Albert Sambi Lokonga will also cost a fair chunk of cash, meaning any move for Aouar seems unlikely.

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Real ready to sell Varane

The Sun suggests that Real Madrid are ready to entertain a £43 million deal for their French central defender Raphael Varane. The 28-year-old player is said to be a top target for Manchester United. In turn, Real would use the cash in order to build up funds to land Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe, who is above Erling Haaland as their top target.

Paper Round’s view: Mbappe is clearly the best striker in the world perhaps after Erling Haaland, but signing either of them would be a huge achievement for Real as they finally prepare to move on from Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo. Keeping Nacho and adding David Alaba means their defence is probably fine for a year or two, and they can let Varane go.

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Euro 2020

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Transfers

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Real Madrid want Van de Beek to agree Varane deal – Paper Round

Real want Van der Beek as part of Varane deal

The Sun suggests that Manchester United are willing to let Donny van de Beek join Real Madrid on loan, with an option to buy the 24-year-old Dutch international at the end of the season. The paper says that Real were keen on the midfielder before he switched to United, and would be willing to pay a small initial fee. In return they would be willing to compromise on a fee for 28-year-old defender Raphael Varane.

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Paper Round’s view: It seems to be a waste that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is not ready to give Van de Beek a proper chance at United, especially as Paul Pogba’s inconsistency means it is hard to rely on the Frenchman, however brilliant he can be. But pragmatically, they need a defender much more than they do a midfielder the manager refuses to use, so it would be a sensible use of resources.

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‘We haven’t done anything yet’ – Kane after England make semis

Pogba future unclear

The Mail writes that Paul Pogba’s future at Manchester United remains unclear. The 28-year-old Frenhh midfielder was one of the standout performers for Didier Deschamps’ team at the Euro 2020 finals, but could not prevent the team from going out at the hands of the Swiss. He has just one year left on his current deal at United and could leave for nothing next summer.

Paper Round’s view: Pogba is a brilliant player on some occasions, and a middling presence on other days. If United do manage to bring in Jadon Sancho as well as Varane, then his performances with Juventus and the French team suggest that he will raise his game to match theirs. However he might be tempted to move to a more glamorous team and secure a raise in the process.

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Atletico close in on Paulo

Marcos Paulo has arrived in Spain to sign a contract with Atletico Madrid, reports Spanish newspaper Marca. The 20-year-old winger is out of contract at Fluminese and can sign for Diego Simeone’s side on a free transfer, with a deal until 2026 reported. The arrival of the Brazilian means that Atletico may send Vitolo out on loan, with Cadiz and Celta Vigo keen.

Paper Round’s view: Atletico tend to operate more effectively in the market on a budget, so this could prove to be another bargain. Given their success in La Liga last year, this may give Simeone more flexibility in the market, but Spanish clubs appear to have universally been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, so moving on Vitolo at the same time will balance the books.

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Arsenal target Berge

Arsenal are continuing their transfer spending plans as they are linked with the signing of Sheffield United midfielder Sander Berge. The 23-year-old Norwegian international joined Sheffield United two seasons ago for around £20 million but struggled with injuries last season as the club were relegated. Arsenal need a new midfielder as Granit Xhaka is expected to join Roma.

Paper Round’s view: There were high expectations for Berge when he arrived in the Premier League, and his first season offered enough impressive displays to expect that he would improve for the second. United’s poor form and his own problems with injuries meant he didn’t get the chance to contribute much, but if he is sold at a fair place then he could be a decent gamble for Mikel Arteta.

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Euro 2020

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Southgate reveals how Sancho reacted to Man Utd move in England camp

Gareth Southgate insists Jadon Sancho hasn’t been distracted by his transfer move to Manchester United and is training better than ever for England.

Sancho is in line to start against Ukraine in the quarter-finals on Saturday, his first of Euro 2020 and United fans are desperate to see their new signing in action.
The forward will complete his move to United once he agrees personal terms and passes a medical, but Southgate insists the spotlight on Sancho hasn’t affected him in a bad way.

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“No, in fact I think Jadon over the last seven days has trained the best level in the time with us,” Southgate told ITV when asked if Sancho had been distracted by the speculation.

You accept there are lots of ongoing transfer situations and nobody is coming in for talks, nobody is going out for talks.

“But we can’t stop people’s phones ringing and we can’t stop business happening outside of that and you just have to trust the players and they’re all very focused.

“I haven’t really had a long discussion with him about it at this moment, because that story’s been going on for 12 months. When everything’s confirmed I’m sure I’ll have a chat with him.

“But there’s so much speculation about all of our players, I don’t pick up every little individual piece but I’m checking in with the players every single day to see how they are and the biggest thing is he’s been very focused in his training and that’s been good.”

United and Borussia Dortmund announced they had come to an agreement over the transfer of Sancho, with the Red Devils set to pay around £73 million for the England international.

The 21-year-old will sign a five-year deal worth a reported £350,000-a-week. Sancho leaves Dortmund after kickstarting his career in the Bundesliga.

‘Southgate continues to baffle us there’ – Why no Sancho for England?

Sancho forced his way out of Manchester City when he was a youngster to join Dortmund and burst onto the scene in Germany to become one of the league’s best players.

United have been chasing Sancho for several years and the deal will represent the end to a long-running transfer saga.

England are favourites to progress past Ukraine with one semi-final already confirmed. Spain will take on Italy after their clashes with Switzerland and Belgium respectively.

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Sancho and Mount in line to start against Ukraine – report

Jadon Sancho and Mason Mount are in line to start England’s quarter-final match against Ukraine on Saturday, according to the Telegraph.

Despite being one of the most productive attacking players in Europe over the past two seasons, Sancho is yet to start a game at Euro 2020, making just one substitute appearance against Scotland.

The report suggests England are set to revert to a back four after playing a back five against Germany, and the news of a Sancho start is likely to please fans who are desperate to see manager Gareth Southgate play more attacking football, especially against weaker nations.

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Manchester United fans will be pleased too, with the Old Trafford club having agreed a £73m deal to bring Sancho to the club from Borussia Dortmund after a long and arduous transfer saga.

Mount is also set to start, having missed the matches against Czech Republic and Germany due to a period of self-isolation.

One of Southgate’s most trusted players, Mount started the first two matches against Croatia and Scotland, and will provide the attacking impetus from midfield in an England side looking to reach their first European Championship semi-final since 1996.

Raheem Sterling of England celebrates the opening goal during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Round of 16 match between England and Germany at Wembley Stadium on June 29, 2021 in London, United Kingdom.

Image credit: Getty Images

With Mount and Sancho starting, Southgate looks as though he is wary of tournament fatigue and is using the depths of his squad to ensure players are rested and ready for the latter stages, should England progress.

But there will be no room for complacency against a Ukraine side that saw off Sweden and a tricky group stage to progress to the last eight.

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'Move on' – Shaw hits back at Mourinho after latest dig

Luke Shaw has opened up about his time under Jose Mourinho at Manchester United and hit out at the manager for refusing to move on from their differences.

Mourinho has always been a vocal critic of Shaw and repeatedly hit out publicly at the left-back when he was still in charge at Old Trafford.

Shaw has attracted further criticism from Mourinho in his commentary of Euro 2020 and the England defender has now fired back.

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He said: “I am trying to move on but, obviously, he can’t. He continuously talks about me, which I find quite strange. Even some of the lads have said: ‘what’s his problem?’ and ‘why does he keep talking?’

“What he says now is nothing compared to how it used to be. I don’t think any of you realise the two or three years I had with him and how bad it was then, what it was like then.

I am being totally honest. I am so past it now. I have grown up a lot. The three years I had with him, I learnt a lot. I find it easy to ignore him now and even laugh about it. But it’s better just to ignore it.

“Look, like I said, his job is to comment on what he feels is right. His voice is obviously very big. He likes to talk a lot about me, as everyone has seen recently.

“But his voice is his own. He can say what he wants. I will focus on myself.”

Shaw never won Mourinho over, but has nailed down a starting place at United since the Portuguese was sacked and replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

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The 25-year-old thinks Mourinho has favourites, but insisted he is eager to move on from the difficult spell in his career.

“It’s different with different players. He likes some, he doesn’t like others,” said Shaw. “I think I fell into the category where he didn’t like me.

I tried as hard as I could to get back on to his side but it never worked out, no matter what I did. There is no hiding that we didn’t get on.

“I think he was a brilliant manager but, you know, the past is the past. It is time to move on.”

England take on Germany on Tuesday at Wembley in an epic last-16 and Shaw is hopeful he can start in defence.

Shaw had to fight his way back into Gareth Southgate’s plans for England and thinks being injury free has been key to his progress.

“There have been a lot of ups and downs,” he said.

“Quite similar to my time at Manchester United. Obviously now things are looking much more on the up.

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“I’ve stayed injury free and feel like that’s helped a lot. Everything is looking like it’s going in the right direction now and I want it to stay that way.

I’ve got to keep my head down, keep working hard and keep trying to impress the coaches as much as I can.

“I’ve really enjoyed the group games. I think it’s been even more enjoyable the fact we’ve been able to play at Wembley, at home, with the crowd. It’s great seeing fans back.

“We didn’t have it much last season, so it’s been really good to hear them singing and cheering. The games have been very tough, every game is a tough game.

“When you put on that shirt for your country, it’s with immense pride and I’m very proud to be able to do it for your nation.”

Serie A

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Premier League

Tottenham end Gattuso talks and continue managerial search – Reports

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Dortmund in talks to sell Haaland and Sancho – Paper Round

Real start Haaland talks

Spanish newspaper Marca reports that Erling Haaland has given his blessing for talks to start between Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund. The 20-year-old Norwegian striker is available for 75 million euros next summer, and it is believed that the Germans and Spaniards will come together on a compromise of around 130 million euros to complete a deal this summer.

Transfers

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Paper Round’s view: Dortmund would be getting 65 million euros more than they would next season if they were to keep hold of Haaland for just one more season. As good as he is, there is probably more benefit in doubling the profit they are making on him, more or less, and being able to spend big to bring in a replacement. It might make it harder for Manchester United to sign Jadon Sancho, though.

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‘Southgate continues to baffle us there’ – Why no Sancho for England?

United close in on Sancho

The Mirror claims that Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United are close to agreeing terms for a transfer of Jadon Sancho. The 20-year-old England international will earn £250,000-a-week wages on a five-year contract with the option of a further year, and United have followed up a £60 million bid with one worth £72.5 million with another £10 million in add-ons. That is £5 million short but a compromise is expected.

Paper Round’s view: One would imagine that United simply did not want to sign Sancho last season because their approach this summer has been far more constructive. If he is signed then United will then be able to move swiftly onto improving the defence, and the focus will turn to the future of Paul Pogba, who is impressing for France while his contract starts to run down.

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Chelsea hope to tempt Ramos

Chelsea are making a late move for former Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos. The 35-year-old Spaniard is wanted by Thomas Tuchel to partner Antonio Rudiger, according to the Sun. However there is competition from Paris Saint-Germain, who can tempt him with the chance to play alongside Neymar, former teammate Angel Di Maria, and perhaps even Cristiano Ronaldo.

Paper Round’s view: If Ronaldo and Ramos team up again that would transform PSG into a side who would believe themselves to be genuine challengers for the Champions League – if only for a season or two, given their age. Chelsea’s interest might be genuine but it is difficult to square that with the new contract for Thiago Silva, who surely carries out the same role for Chelsea now.

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Bertrand set for Leicester switch

Ryan Bertrand is likely to join Southampton on a free transfer, says the Mail. The 31-year-old left-back is out of contract on the south coast, and had been wanted by Arsenal, AC Milan and Monaco. However with Leicester in need of defensive back-ups with Timothy Castagne and James Justin both potentially out for long periods with injury, Brendan Rodgers has made his move.

Paper Round’s view: Bertrand will be able to contribute for a few years yet given his fitness, and if he is coming to help fill out the Leicester squad then his career may be elongated by not having to play two times a week. He has international and Champions League experience, and will give Rodgers a reliable presence who can also play at wing-back and perhaps even further forward, if required.

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Transfers

United lead chase for Varane but Real remain stubborn – report

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Euro 2020

Opinion: Southgate has big headache – he didn’t expect Saka and Grealish to be so good!

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City’s £100m Kane bid just the start, Man Utd move for Pau Torres – Paper Round

£100m Kane bid just the start for City

Word spread of Manchester City’s £100m bid for Harry Kane on Monday after Fabrizio Romano’s tweet, and Matt Law at the Telegraph is among several journalists to back these reports up. Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy values Kante at £150m and so the Telegraph claim this initial offer will not be received well. Spurs are also not interested in players being part of the deal – amid reports Raheem Sterling, Aymeric Laporte or Gabriel Jesus could head in the other direction – but for City it is just the start of negotiations which will no doubt ramp up once England’s Euro 2020 campaign is over.

‘He will score goals’ – Trippier defends Kane

Transfers

Man City offer £100m plus players for Kane – reports

16 HOURS AGO

Paper Round’s view: A tidy £100m for a 27-year-old with a history of injury problems. That’s a lot of money, but Levy knows he can hold out for more and if City have come in with such a hefty opening bid, they too know it will take a lot more to prise him away. Despite their wealth, City don’t normally go this big, so it shows you how much they want the England captain.

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Man Utd move for Pau Torres

Manchester United are making progress in their attempts to sign centre-back Pau Torres, the Manchester Evening News reports. The Villarreal defender played and scored the penultimate penalty in their Europa League final shootout win over United, and now the Premier League club are hoping to sign the 24-year-old this summer. His involvement with Spain means any deal will not be finalised until after the Euros.

Robin Quaison of Sweden battles for possession with Pau Torres of Spain during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Group E match between Spain and Sweden at the La Cartuja Stadium on June 14, 2021 in Seville

Image credit: Getty Images

Paper Round’s view: If you can’t beat them, get them to join you… Nothing new here regarding the rumours of Pau Torres and United, but the MEN’s latest reports adds a little more weight to the fact they’ll push hard to sign the Spaniard this summer. With a contract until 2024, it could be intriguing to see what Villarreal demand.

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Villa unaware of any Grealish interest

Back with Manchester City, BirminghamLive have been told Aston Villa remain unaware of transfer interest in captain Jack Grealish. According to the paper, there has been no contact from City with Villa keen to build around their star player. Having already signed Emi Buendia, Villa are keen to form a strong side capable of reaching Europe and know Grealish will be key to reaching that goal.

‘Play Grealish and give Sancho a chance’ – Southgate urged to make changes

Paper Round’s view: Villa could well be hoping City’s pursuit of Kane comes off because it seems unlikely they’ll pay a hefty sum for two players in one window. The interest will be where City turn to striker-wise if they cannot get Kane, but Grealish to City seems like a long-shot given the circumstances. We’ll see…

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Favre to Palace?

Crystal Palace have held positive talks with Lucien Favre as they look to finally replace Roy Hodgson, the Mail reports. Favre has been out of work since being sacked by Borussia Dortmund in December, and the 63-year-old is said to be leaning towards a move to Palace amid talk of Everton potentially looking at him as a managerial option too.

Lucien Favre

Image credit: Getty Images

Paper Round’s view: One of a handful of managerial searches that have dragged on in the Premier League – you get the feeling the Euros and potentially departing managers on the international scene could be delaying some decisions – but for Favre this would be an intriguing move after it didn’t quite work out in Dortmund.

Transfers

Real Madrid target Everton’s Calvert-Lewin – Paper Round

19/06/2021 AT 22:39

Transfers

Man Utd make improved Sancho bid – reports

19/06/2021 AT 12:41

Real Madrid target Everton's Calvert-Lewin – Paper Round

Ancelotti to return for Calvert-Lewin

Former Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti is hoping to come back to Merseyside in order to prise away the club’s star striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin. The 24-year-old striker has impressed over the course of the season and Ancelotti wants to bring him to Real. An offer of £50 million might be enough to secure the player given the financial problems at Everton.

Transfers

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A DAY AGO

Paper Round’s view: The amount of money spent in the transfer market by Everton has given them precious little to show on the pitch and in the trophy cabinet. Calvert-Lewin would be a surprising replacement for Karim Benzema, but with his rapid recent improvement he might need to move on now in order to make sure he does not waste his chance of kicking on.

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‘England fans have right to boo after Scotland draw’ – Southgate understands supporters’ reaction

United fear Pogba exit next summer

The Mirror reports that Manchester United are concerned that they will lose Paul Pogba on a free transfer next summer. The 28-year-old French international has a year left on his current deal and could leave for nothing in 12 months if he does not extend his current deal. Meanwhile, United expect that they will come to an agreement to sign Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho.

Paper Round’s view: If Pogba is committed to leaving for nothing then there’s little United could do about it. They would face a tough decision on taking a huge hit on the transfer fee they might demand now and be left hoping that the player is willing to move on now, rather than remain in total control of his destiny next summer.

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Levy could cost Kane his Spurs move

The Telegraph gives an update on Harry Kane’s situation at Tottenham Hotspur. The 27-year-old England international has been linked with Manchester City after telling his current club that he wants to leave this summer. However, the paper claims that Daniel Levy might make any negotiations too difficult for City to enter into, because they want to avoid a huge saga.

Paper Round’s view: Kane is suffering at Euro 2020 and it’s easy to suggest that problems over his future are starting to distract him on the pitch. However, for the player the injuries are starting to stack up, and City must wonder if they have the medical technology to keep him fresh when the early warning signs over his body starting to fade are already there.

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Laporte and Silva moves struggle

Manchester City are not prepared to make life easy for Barcelona as they target the singing of one or both of Aymeric Laporte and Bernardo Silva. Barca don’t have the cash to buy them outright, but would be prepared to offer Samuel Umtiti, Junior Firpo, Miralem Pjanic, Ousmane Dembele, Martin Braithwaite, Sergi Roberto and Clement Lenglet, but not the players City would want: Pedri, Ansu Fati and Frenkie de Jong.

Paper Round’s view: City presumably want to lose neither Laporte nor Silva, so they will be open to a transfer only if the terms are really attractive. There are so many players that Barcelona would be happy to get rid of, so with that in mind there would be few of them that Pep Guardiola would want in order to take his side to the next level after their Champions League defeat.

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Euro 2020

Hayward: Reality check for England leaves Southgate with difficult decisions ahead

YESTERDAY AT 22:52

Euro 2020

England ratings: Scotland stalemate told a sorry story

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