City eye Haaland and Messi
Manchester City are keen to move for both Erling Haaland and Lionel Messi, according to the Sun. They are ready to move for the Norwegian youngster as a replacement for Sergio Aguero, who will be leaving on a free transfer at the end of the season. They are also aware that cash-strapped Barcelona are unsure if they can afford to offer Messi a new deal, so he could be up for grabs too.
Paper Round’s view: The arrival of both Messi and Haaland would break the bank for most clubs in Europe, but City have a different way of funding themselves that gives them a huge advantage over everyone except Paris Saint-Germain. Signing one of Messi or Haaland would probably ensure they win the Premier League, but both would make them favourites for the Champions League too.
‘Messi case closed’ – Club pulls out of race for Barca superstar – Euro Papers
Real and Bayern ready for free transfer swap deal
Spanish newspaper Marca reports that Real Madrid and Bayern Munich could be ready for something of a swap deal with two of their players. Real Madrid’s 29-year-old Lucas Vazquez and Bayern’s David Alaba, 28, are both reaching the end of their contract and are free to sign deals with clubs from abroad. Both of them are set to swap places at the German and Spanish sides.
Paper Round’s view: Alaba is probably the superior player to Vazquez, but the pair of them offer similar qualities to their respective and potential new sides. They both have years of experience at the top end of their domestic league and have succeeded in Europe. As well as that, both are versatile on the pitch and could offer support to fill in wherever is needed.
Burnley target Fry
The Daily Mail suggests that Premier League side Burnley are ready to make a £10 million move for central defender Dael Fry. The 23-year-old Englishman is at Middlesbrough, and Neil Warnock is reluctant to sell the player. However, Burnley are expecting to sell James Tarkowski in the summer and they are ready to move on Ben Gibson, who is currently on loan at Norwich City.
Paper Round’s view: Fry is a promising young English player, and is precisely the kind of talent that Burnley manager Sean Dyche has demonstrated he is capable of improving before moving on at a profit. Tarkowski is probably ready to step up to play in European football, and Norwich City might even be keen to hold onto Gibson as they plan for their next season.
Pogba set for United exit
The Mirror reports that Manchester United’s midfielder Paul Pogba could be on his way out of the club this summer. The 28-year-old French international has long been linked with a move away, mainly by his agent, Mino Raiola. The paper claims that the likeliest destination is a return to Juventus, with United keen to sell this summer rather than lose him for nothing next year.
Paper Round’s view: For all his talent and the occasional moment of brilliance, Pogba’s time at United has largely been a disaster. The blame for this failure does not rest entirely on him by any means, but given Bruno Fernandes has demonstrated that you can improve a team even if your colleagues aren’t good enough, it is time to get rid of Pogba and try something new.