Juventus identify Ronaldo replacement
Italian club Juventus are preparing for the exit of striker Cristiano Ronaldo, with the 36-year-old Portuguese striker increasingly likely to leave. They have identified three potential replacements. One is Gabriel Jesus, the Manchester City striker from Brazil, the other is Mauro Icardi who could depart from PSG after a year, and the youngest option is Fiorentina’s 21-year-old Dusan Vlahovic.
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Paper Round’s view: Getting Ronaldo off their wage books will be a huge help as the impact of the coronavirus has left all clubs spending money that they probably now realise they can’t afford. It might have been worth it had it brought a Champions League trophy, but they ultimately fell well short. Jesus and Icardi looks like decent value, but Vlahovic has the most room to run, talent-wise.
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Ben White to cost £5 million more
The Mirror reports that Arsenal’s move for Brighton and England defender Ben White might not be quite as affordable as hoped. The 23-year-old centre-back had been thought to be available for £50 million this summer, however it seems that Brighton are looking for that figure in guaranteed payments, with more to come in potential add-ons from Mikel Arteta’s side.
Paper Round’s view: White is one of the most promising young defenders in England and at just 23 he has plenty of experience in English football, and has also got international experience with Gareth Southgate’s side. If Arsenal can afford the extra £5 million there are unlikely to be any cheaper players who can point to those same qualities.
Smith Rowe set for new Arsenal deal
Arsenal’s 20-year-old playmaker Emile Smith Rowe looks likely to stay on at the Emirates. He has been the subject of two bids from fellow Premier League side Aston Villa, with the second offer around £30 million. However the Sun reports that a move is unlikely to go through because he has given a verbal agreement to Arsenal that he will sign a new contract to stay.
Paper Round’s view: With the exit of Dani Ceballos after his double-loan spell, and Martin Odegaard after his brief temporary sojourn to London, it would be hard for Arsenal to let Smith Rowe go when they are far from assured of adding another playmaker to the squad. More than that, he has shown some hugely positive interventions since he broke into the first team picture on a regular basis under Mikel Arteta.
Newcastle wait on Saliba as they consider Sanderson
Newcastle United are waiting to see if Arsenal’s young defender William Saliba will come to them on loan next season, but there is interest from current French league champions Lille. If that does not go through, they are favourites for Wolves’ 21-year-old defender Dion Sanderson. They have put in a bid of £1.5 million, half a million more than Sunderland’s bid, but half a million short of Wolves’ valuation.
Paper Round’s view: Sanderson impressed at Sunderland on loan last season but it is hard to see how Sanderson would not prefer to make the short journey to Newcastle in order to get some minutes in the Premier League. If they can also add Saliba to their squad for just a year then they would be adding real quality to the squad and improve their chances of staying up yet again.
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