Arsenal ready to seal £50m White deal – Paper Round

Arsenal target White

The Athletic reports that Arsenal are keen on signing Brighton’s central defender Ben White. The 23-year-old England international has impressed on the south coast and has been linked with a move to the top four clubs in the Premier League. David Ornstein suggests that a fee of between £40-50 million should be enough to secure his signature.

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Paper Round’s view: White has stepped up into the Premier League and then into the England national team adeptly and he could presumably continue to improve into a Champions League footballer. Obviously he won’t have the chance to do that under Mikel Arteta next season but Arsenal would be a chance to develop further.

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‘Massive boost to play in Denmark’ Lossl on home advantage at Euro 2020

Pique: I want Haaland at Barcelona

Barcelona central defender Gerard Pique hopes that Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland will join him at Barcelona, but admitted that he does not have any influence over the potential transfer. Spanish paper Marca quoted him as saying: “I have no idea, I hope that he comes [to Barcelona. The great players should be with us, but that’s a decision for the club to make. They will know.”

Paper Round’s view: Haaland would be an exceptional signing for Barcelona but they are presumably unable to sign him this summer, at least. If they keep Lionel Messi on what will be huge wages, and also add Sergio Aguero to the front line, then there isn’t room on the pitch or on the salary books to bring in a player such as Haaland.

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Arsenal keen on permanent Ryan deal

As well as Ben White, the Sun suggests that Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is looking for another defensive addition, this time Brighton’s 29-year-old goalkeeper Mat Ryan. The Australian spent the second half of last season on loan with Arsenal, and with uncertainty over Alex Runarsson and Bernd Leno at the Emirates, he could come back.

Paper Round’s view: Ryan did enough to suggest that if he could be brought in for a relatively low sum – he has just a year left on his contract on the south coast – then it would give Arteta the chance to take a punt on a younger goalkeeper with more potential, while knowing that he has a stopper with Premier League experience if needed.

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Liverpool weigh up Neuhaus move

Jurgen Klopp is looking for a replacement for Netherlands midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, who is due to join Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain in the summer on a free transfer. They have turned their attention to Borussia Monchengladbach’s 24-year-old German international Florian Neuhaus, also wanted by Bayern Munich, says the Mirror.

Paper Round’s view: Neuhaus is a more attacking player than Wijnaldum, but Klopp might be looking to rejig the tactical approach he takes after a difficult, covid-blighted season. Neuhaus’ arrival might allow Liverpool to get rid of Xherdan Shaqiri, and may ultimately help prepare for the exit of any of their famous front three.

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Arsenal aim to beat Villa to Buendia – Paper Round

Arsenal target Buendia

The Daily Mail believes that Arsenal are preparing to rebuild this summer by beating Aston Villa to the signature of Norwich City’s playmaker Emiliano Buendia. The 24-year-old Argentine playmaker could be a target for Villa if Jack Grealish does join Manchester City in a £100 million move this summer.

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Paper Round’s view: Grealish is clearly one of the top targets this summer for most of the leading Premier League sides and it would leave a huge hole for Villa to fill. Buendia did OK in his season in the Premier League when Norwich City were relegated, but it would be a gamble to bring him in and expect a great performance.

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Real Madrid set for bombshell announcement – Euro Papers

Benzema: Zidane won’t leave

Real Madrid forward Karim Benzeman is not convinced that his club boss Zinedine Zidane will leave. Spanish international is reported to have told L’Equipe :”He’s been the Real Madrid coach until now, right? I don’t see him leaving. He won’t leave, you’ll see. “If he leaves, he leaves… but for now I don’t see Real Madrid without Zidane.”

Paper Round’s view: Benzema has enjoyed his best years under Zidane and he understandably does not want him to leave. However it seems that Zidane is ready to take a break after the stresses and strains of managing the biggest club in the world, and Benzema might benefit from taking a move away from the spotlight, especially as Real struggle to refresh.
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Spurs set to profit from Edwards move

The Sun claims that former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Marcus Edwards could soon be on the move. The 22-year-old joined Portuguese side Vitoria a few years ago and he is now interesting Sporting Lisbon. While his release clause is around £40 million, he could be sold for about £11 million, of which Spurs would be entitled to half.

Paper Round’s view: Edwards attracted attention from a few English and European sides when he was approaching the end of his time in North London. He has put in the hours in Portugal and a move to Sporting would put him on the radar of Gareth Southgate, and possibly earn him a transfer back to the Premier League in the next year or two.

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Spurs consider managerial options

The Mirror reports on Daniel Levy’s hunt for a new Tottenham manager. Ryan Mason is not expected to stay on beyond the summer after the departure of Jose Mourinho, and a few options are mentioned. Mauricio Pochettino might be welcome but he is likely to stay in Paris, Ralf Rangnick, Graham Potter and Erik ten Hag are also under consideration.

Paper Round’s view: Another option who could be brought in is Belgium manager Roberto Martinez and really, all the Premier League options are pretty underwhelming. Spurs are hamstrung by their decision to reduce their budget, while Rangnick and Ten Hag have shown their ability to exceed on limited expenditure.

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Transfers

Man Utd players back Grealish transfer but Solskjaer has other priority – Paper Round

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Manchester United to target Ings ahead of Kane – Paper Rond

United aim to sign Ings ahead of Kane

The Mirror relays that Manchester United are aware that Daniel Levy will aim to secure £150 million for their striker Harry Kane, and so will target Southampton’s Danny Ings, with the 28-year-old forward entering his last year on the south coast. He would be far more affordable and also give United the chance to focus their attention on bringing in Jadon Sancho.

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Paper Round’s view: Sancho appears to be under the radar as far as the biggest clubs are concerned this summer, with Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland and Kane taking the headlines. With Edinson Cavani secured for another year, Ings would be a more reliable presence than Anthony Martial and allow them to move on the Frenchman, who is too inconsistent to turn United into title challengers.

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Arsenal set to sell Leno and Runarsson

Arsenal are intending to sell both of their current first-choice goalkeepers this summer, reports the Sun. Bernd Leno has made too many mistakes this season and so will be moved on, and the same will happen for back-up ‘keeper Alex Runarsson. As replacements, both Barcelona’s Neto and Athletic Bilbao’s Unai Simon will be targeted.

Paper Round’s view: Mat Ryan has played a handful of games while on loan from Brighton and he might make an affordable number two next season, given he has Premier League experience. The problem for Arsenal is that conceivably every single one of their players except Bukayo Saka and Kieran Tierney need to be replaced, and that is clearly too much to take on in one summer. Barcelona might be ready to do business with Arsenal should Hansi Flick want to sell.
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Giroud targeted by AC Milan

Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud is linked with a move to a Serie A club this summer, with the 35-year-old striker out of contract in the summer. The Daily Mail reports that AC Milan are keen on the player, as are fellow Italians Inter Milan, Lazio and Roma. He will be available on a free transfer at the end of the season, and Thomas Tuchel now prefers younger alternatives.

Paper Round’s view: Giroud is an exceptionally consistent and useful presence in the Chelsea squad but at 35 that consistency will have to make way to see if there is another, younger player who can be brought in and offer even more. A faster player would help stretch defences and suit the type of energetic players that Tuchel currently has at his disposal.

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Real Madrid set for seven player exits

Spanish newspaper Marca reports that Real Madrid are looking to raise funds in order to afford Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe. They could sell a number of on-loan players unless a new manager wants to retain them. That list of players is Brahim Diaz, Dani Ceballos, Jesus Vallejo, Luka Jovic, Take Kobe, Reinier Jesus, Borja Mayoral and Gareth Bale, though some may be loaned out again.

Paper Round’s view: Real Madrid had sensibly brought in a lot of young talent over the last couple of years but such is the nature of football that not all of those players ended up being good enough for the first team. Martin Odegaard could be the exception of on-loan players worth keeping, but otherwise all these candidates will probably be more useful in terms of fundraising.

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Barca to sacrifice Griezmann to afford Messi contract – Paper Round

Barcelona ready to sell Griezmann

Spanish newspaper Marca reports that Barcelona will take the drastic step of selling Antoine Griezmann this summer if the right offer comes in, as his wages increase every year of his contract. The 30-year-old French international is respected as a player, but if Lionel Messi leaves then other cuts need to be made. Samuel Umtiti, Junior Firpo, Matheus Fernandes and Martin Braithwaite are also up for sale.

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Paper Round’s view: At 30, Griezmann is probably at his peak now and will be able to offer less and less in each future season. Getting rid of him now would allow Barcelona to balance the books a litte, but another advantage would be that the club could finally start to lower the age of the team after becoming one of the most superannuated line-ups across Europe.

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Cavani may not stop Kane move for United

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has claimed that Edinson Cavani’s contract extension at Old Trafford does not mean another forward won’t come in this summer. The Mirror reports the Norwegian as saying: “We’re looking to strengthen the squad this summer. Of course there’s many things you have to consider when putting a squad together. I’m not saying if Edi [Cavani] stays that means someone else in a forward position won’t come in.” That means United may still move for Kane, who may also be wanted by Manchester City.

Paper Round’s view: Kane is an exceptional striker but he has played the best part of 500 games and at 27 he is not becoming less injury prone. Some clubs can handle those problems better than others, but it nevertheless represents a huge risk to bring in Kane for a club like United, who generally are awful with their spending, particularly on older players.

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Dalot wants to join Milan

One player who is unlikely to be at Manchester United next season is their defender Diogo Dalot. The 22-year-old has impressed on loan at AC Milan this year and he could be sold for around 10 to 15 million euros. One option might be for the Portuguese defender to return to Italy on loan for one more year, the Sun reports, before joining on a permanent deal later.

Paper Round’s view: Dalot was a reasonable player for United but he offered little remarkable throughout his time under Jose Mourinho and then Solskjaer. If he has found his rhythm at Milan then, given the relatively low quality in Italy, then he should try to get more time on the pitch there and try a more demanding league when he has had time to improve his performance level.

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Odegaard could stay at Arsenal

The Daily Mail reports that Real Madrid’s on-loan Arsenal playmaker Martin Odegaard would be content to stay in London next season. The 22-year-old midfielder admitted that much of the decision rests with his parent club, saying: “I am happy here at Arsenal, we will see after the season what will happen. I’m owned by Real Madrid, so we have to speak to them. It’s important to understand what they want.”

Paper Round’s view: Odegaard struggled at Real Madrid and he might not be keen to go back to a club that is in a state of upheaval, with no obvious sign of who will replace Zinedine Zidane. However, Arsenal are hardly stable right now and the Danish player might see a chance to return to Spain and impress whomever might come in for next season.
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Spotify founder Ek says his bid for Arsenal was rejected

Billionaire Daniel Ek has said that he lodged a takeover bid for Arsenal but Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE) have rejected it.

Ek took to Twitter to issue a statement correcting “inaccurate reports” that he had not made a bid.

“This week an offer was made to both Josh Kroenke and their bankers that included fan ownership, representation at the board and a golden share for the supporters,” the Swede said. “They replied that they don’t need the money.

Transfers

Barcelona ready to prioritise Haaland ahead of Messi – Paper Round

YESTERDAY AT 22:01

I respect their decision but remain interested and available should that situation ever change.

Ek said last month that he had secured the funds to buy Arsenal, valued at $2.8 billion (£1.99 billion) according to Forbes.

British media reported Arsenal greats Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira were backing Ek’s bid.

The club’s American owners are under fire from fans following the north London team’s attempt to join a breakaway European Super League that collapsed within 48 hours of being announced.

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Barcelona ready to prioritise Haaland ahead of Messi – Paper Round

Barcelona target Haaland over Messi

The Sun reports that Barcelona are prioritising the signing of Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland over getting their current star forward Lionel Messi to extend his deal, with the club focusing on the future. The 34-year-old Argentine is out of contract this summer, but club president Joan Laporta believes that this transfer window offers a rare opportunity to take a run at the Norwegian while other clubs are financially constrained, while Jadon Sancho looks set for Manchester United.

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Paper Round’s view: The paper claims that Barcelona are around £1 billion in debt, but if they are able to secure Haaland this summer and keep Messi, it would certainly keep the sponsors interested in the club, and would probably set them on the way back to challenging for La Liga and the Champions League. If they can cut the fat elsewhere in the squad, they may be able to justify the expenditure.

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Man City step up chase for £60m Portuguese wonderkid – Euro Papers

Arsenal weigh up Luiz replacements

The Telegraph reports that Arsenal have told 34-year-old Brazilian central defender David Luiz that his contract will not be extended beyond the summer, meaning the former Chelsea man can sign for another club on a free transfer. Mikel Arteta could be interested in Joachim Andersen, the Lyon defender who is on loan at Premier League club Fulham, but Spurs are ahead of them in the race for the 24-year-old Dane.

Paper Round’s view: Luiz has hardly been a disaster for Arsenal but he did not exceed expectations: he made mistakes but he was also pretty capable over the course of two seasons. It makes sense though that Arteta wants to do better than Luiz, and Andersen has the promise and potential to become one of the best defenders in the league, Lyon are likely to be ready to sell.

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Milan want Brahim stay

Serie A side AC Milan are looking to extend the stay of Brahim Diaz at the club. The 21-year-old Spanish playmaker has four goals and four assists with his loan club this season, and his parent side are unwilling to let him go out permanently, reports Spanish newspaper Marca. However Milan would also like to take him on a further loan for next season.

Paper Round’s view: Brahim has started his career with Real Madrid slowly since his arrival from Manchester City, but it seems he has found it hard to force his way through into the first team under Zinedine Zidane. He clearly has talent, so a compromise for player and both clubs would be to let him stay where he is for now and develop his talent so Zidane has little choice but to use him more regularly.

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West Ham want next Michail Antonio

The Mirror reports that Premier League surprise package West Ham United are planning for the future as they look to sign a prospect for the future, 17-year-old Kesna Clarke. Clarke is a product of the Tooting & Mitcham United academy, the club where Michail Antonio also started his career. He is currently playing in the Isthmian League South Central Division.

Paper Round’s view: West Ham are fortunate to be in London and able to cast their net relatively wide to go through much of the best talent in the south east. If Clarke really is as good as Antonio, then he could help the club with a player who could contribute for a decade. David Moyes could well be given the chance to spend big this summer after an impressive showing.

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Saka is 'unique' claims Arteta after Arsenal win over West Brom

The win on Sunday kept Arsenal in ninth place and with a slim chance of taking a place in the Europa League next season, while the defeat for West Brom meant they were relegated to next year’s Championship.

Speaking to BT Sport after the game, Arteta praised his team, saying: “We needed that win. It has been a while since we won at home.

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“We scored three fantastic goals and we had some great spells in the game. When we conceded the goal we did look nervy.

We knew the necessity to win the game. They scored out of nothing and then threw everything at you, they know the situation they are in and we struggled to play that kind of game.

“We scored three fantastic goals but we missed some big chances too.

“Europe is a completely different game, different context. There were things we could have done much better.”

Arteta then picked out the 19-year-old Saka for his performance.

“Going forwards we know Saka is a threat, he gives you something unique,” he said.

“He adapted. We believed we were going to attack against them and he gave us a lot of joy.

“We will try to win every match and see where we finish. The only thing we can do is win our games.”

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West Brom boss Allardyce 'bitterly disappointed' over relegation

West Brom manager Sam Allardyce said he was ‘bitterly disappointed’ to see his side relegated.

Arsenal ran out 3-1 winners at the Emirates Stadium and the victory means that West Brom have no mathematical chance of survival.

Allardyce, who is contracted to the end of the season, believes his side could have been more ruthless with their opportunities since his arrival.

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Speaking to BT Sport, he said: “It’s not sunk in yet, but I’m sure I’ll wake up tomorrow and realise the situation. I’m bitterly disappointed we’re not still in the fight.

I’m not saying we would have avoided relegation but we should have been closer, we should have taken it down to the last three games, based on how we performed.

“The creating of chances has been there but the converting has not. We had [enough] time to pull it round,” Allardyce continued.

“Our real problem was not beating the bottom-six sides when we came up against them. The results against Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City should have been bonus points.”

Arsenal remain in ninth place, three points behind Everton directly above them.

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'Devastated' Arteta rues Arsenal's Europa League exit

Mikel Arteta admitted Arsenal were ‘devastated’ and insisted his team deserved to progress after a 0-0 draw with Villarreal saw them miss out on a Europa League final showdown with Manchester United.

The Gunners dominated the second period at Emirates Stadium but could not find the goal to avoid semi-final heartache and overturn a 2-1 first leg deficit, leaving Arteta to admit his side came up short.

“We are devastated, really disappointed,” said Arteta. “We have to congratulate Villarreal because they are in the final. We tried everything up until the last minute.

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Over two legs, and what happened today in the second half, we deserved to win the game. The details decide these ties and we had opportunities but didn’t score. We had big chances and they didn’t have anything, but they are through.

Arsenal were forced to replace Granit Xhaka with the recovering Kieran Tierney after the Swiss star suffered a problem in the warm-up and Arteta pointed to injuries and an overall defensive naivety as the reasons for their failure to reach the final.

He said: “The way we started in Villarreal wasn’t good enough. We conceded at a set piece. Then again we didn’t arrive here in the best moment with everyone in top condition like we did last year when we played semi-finals and finals, to be at our best and, over two legs, we weren’t at our best for that reason.

We have a really young team. For most of them this is their first semi-final of any competition and we have to learn from that.

Arsenal’s hopes of maintaining a 25-season run of appearing in European competition are now under threat with the Gunners languishing in ninth place in the Premier League. Asked if he feels under pressure, Arteta added: I feel the pressure all of the time because I want to do as much as good as I can for the team, for every support that I have here and for our fans. Today is a big disappointment because we tried everything to be in the final.”

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