Spurs set for summer sale
Tottenham Hotspur are ready to sell up to seven first-team players this summer to raise transfer funds for newly-appointed manager Nuno Espirito Santo. Football London reveal that Managing Director of Football Fabio Paratici is looking to raise £100 million and has made a defensive rebuild his priority. Spurs could see a complete revamp at the back, with Toby Alderweireld, Serge Aurier, Cameron Carter-Vickers and one of Eric Dier or Davinson Sanchez up for sale. Elsewhere, Harry Winks, Moussa Sissoko and Erik Lamela will be allowed to leave the north London club this summer.
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Paper Round’s view: Big changes are ahead at Tottenham. Spurs fans will just be delighted to see that Harry Kane’s name isn’t on this list. Selling squad players or players who are far from their peak level makes sense if the Premier League side want to break back into the top four. The tough part will be replacing them with real quality. Four defenders are set to leave, including two main starting centre-backs. Paratici will have to work his magic and try to use his reputation to bring a good mix of experience and class to north London in order to shore up that defence.
Arsenal sending French duo to Marseille
Arsenal are set to send the promising French duo of William Saliba and Matteo Guendouzi on loan to Marseille, according to the Times. Both players have spent the past season out on loan at Nice and Hertha Berlin respectively, and they are now close to completing moves to Marseille. Saliba will join the Ligue 1 club on loan without an option to buy and is still seen by Arsenal as a potential first-team option in future. However, Guendouzi is heading to the Stade Velodrome with an obligation-to-buy clause in his contract.
Paper Round’s view: These are two young players who joined Arsenal with a lot of hype and promise. Saliba hasn’t even made a senior appearance for the Gunners and has spent the past two seasons out on loan since joining for £27 million. Maybe he’s not ready for the Premier League… but you’d think he would get a chance to prove himself before being sent out on loan once again. Look at the season his former Saint-Etienne teammate Wesley Fofana had at Leicester last season. Guendouzi seemed more like a personal problem with Mikel Arteta. It’s a shame it’s not worked out for him in north London but he can go out and prove his former boss wrong at Marseille now.
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The battle for Berge intensifies
Arsenal will face competition from Serie A sides Napoli and Atalanta in the battle to sign Sander Berge from Sheffield United, according to the Sun. The 23-year-old, who missed the majority of the Blades’ relegation campaign last season due to injury, is valued at around £30 million by his parent club. However, clubs are reluctant to meet the asking price due to his injury problems and Napoli and Atalanta are exploring the possibility of signing Berge on a season-long loan with an option-to-buy clause. Arsenal reportedly had a £17.2 million bid for the Norwegian rejected this summer as the Gunners search for a Granit Xhaka replacement.
Paper Round’s view: Berge is clearly a quality player. He has all the makings of an all-round, all-action modern midfielder. However, his injury record last season isn’t encouraging and the fact that buyers know that it’s unlikely he will stay at Sheffield United in the Championship for this season means that they can try to negotiate his price tag. £30 million is a lot of money to pay to a club in England’s second division. The Blades might be better off striking a deal with Arsenal rather than an option-to-buy with a Serie A side, just in case they pass up on the clause next summer.
Bale returning to Real Madrid for pre-season
Gareth Bale is set to return to Real Madrid for pre-season this month, according to the Mail. The Welshman spent the previous campaign out on a season-long loan at his former club Tottenham Hotspur, but Los Blancos are expecting Bale to return to the Spanish capital. Madrid anticipate that the 31-year-old will be a part of Carlo Ancelotti’s squad this season and could feature in a formidable attacking trio alongside Karim Benzema and Eden Hazard.
Paper Round’s view: Ancelotti was in charge at the Santiago Bernabeu when Bale made his record-breaking move to Madrid back in 2013. The former Spurs forward was electric that season and was one of the club’s best performers as they won their first Champions League title since 2002. Maybe Ancelotti can get a tune out of Bale once again. He will know that he cannot simply rely on Bale and Hazard, but the experienced Italian boss has Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo Goes and Marco Asensio at his disposal too. Bale still has a role to play for Real Madrid and could be up for it under Ancelotti.
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