Atletico and PSG circle as Henderson talks with Liverpool stall – Paper Round

Hendo talks stall

Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are closely monitoring Jordan Henderson’s contract talks at Liverpool, the Mail reports. The club captain has two years left on his contract at Anfield, but with discussions stalling the England midfielder’s future looks uncertain as the Reds look to tie down several players – including Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk – with deals expiring in 2023.

Premier League

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Paper Round’s view: As has been pointed out, there are a lot of contracts to renew at Liverpool with Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Fabinho also with two years left. They will want to avoid another Gini Wijnaldum scenario, and while time is on their side, it will be intriguing to see who signs in the coming 12 months – who doesn’t could dictate who leaves next year for cash or a year later for free.

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Tielemans to sign new contract?

Leicester are eager to tie Youri Tielemans down to a new contract this month amid interest from Liverpool, the Mail reports. After an impressive 2020-21 campaign, which included a stunning FA Cup final goal, a number of clubs want to sign the Belgian, who has two years left on his contract at the King Power.

Youri Tielemans, The Emirates FA Cup Final

Image credit: Getty Images

Paper Round’s view: All about these players with two years left on their contracts, and as Liverpool fear losing Henderson they also look at Tielemans as a midfield option coming in. That team which won the league and Champions League will need refreshing and Tielemans would be an ideal addition – knowing Leicester they’ll demand a high price until perhaps 2022 when they have less bargaining power.

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Ronaldo in a swap deal?

A swap deal between Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain involving Cristiano Ronaldo and Mauro Icardi is in the offing, according to L’Equipe. PSG have already signed Gianluigi Donnarumma, Achraf Hakimi and Sergio Ramos as they look to end their wait for Champions League glory, and now it has been reported 28-year-old Icardi could leave the club and join Juve in a swap deal for Ronaldo. Juve would only be able to afford Icardi’s wages if Ronaldo left.

Mauro Icardi and Cristiano Ronaldo

Image credit: Getty Images

Paper Round’s view: A quite unexpected swap deal, and if Ronaldo is seeking a final (or several) Champions League crown(s) before he retires, then maybe he could leave Juve this summer after all. It depends what he wants, you would imagine, even if Juve are keen for him to stay.

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Not enough for Trips

Atletico Madrid are in no rush to sell Kieran Trippier and will not make it easy for Manchester United, who are interested in signing the England full-back, The Sun reports. United want to pay £18m for the 30-year-old former Tottenham defender, but Atleti are not interested in selling him for that price.

Kieran Trippier (Inglaterra)

Image credit: Getty Images

Paper Round’s view: This story doesn’t seem to be going away so you have to wonder if there is some truth to Trippier fancying a return to England. If United did land him, it would be intriguing to see what it meant for Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the short-term, but let’s see if anything materialises first.

Transfers

Liverpool to open contract talks with Henderson – report

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Transfers

United offered Vinicius Jr as part of Varane deal – Paper Round

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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.

Serie A

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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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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

Man Utd agree fee for Sancho – report

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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

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