Barca attempt Maguire-De Jong deal
Manchester United have rejected an audacious offer from Barcelona, which would have seen club captain Harry Maguire head to the Camp Nou as part of a swap deal involving Frenkie de Jong. The two clubs are currently engaged in negotiations as United attempt to strike a deal to sign the Dutch midfielder. However, the Sun state that Barca were keen on bringing Maguire to Spain as the Catalan club look to improve their defensive options. United immediately rejected the proposition and it seems like the clubs have finally agreed on a transfer fee of around £69 million to bring De Jong to Old Trafford.
Paper Round’s view: This seems like a very odd story. Maguire has had a bit of a nightmare year at Manchester United. The England international is clearly a talented player, but he became a scapegoat at Old Trafford throughout the season during United’s disappointing campaign. Maguire does not seem like the kind of player who will give up and you would expect him to battle through the noise and prove his critics wrong. Maybe Barcelona thought they could low-ball United and attempt to pick up Maguire while his stocks are low. But it seems like new boss Erik ten Hag views the 29-year-old as a key part of his squad for the upcoming campaign.
Ronaldo rejects MLS move
Cristiano Ronaldo is set to activate his one-year contract extension at Manchester United after rejecting the opportunity to join David Beckham’s MLS club Inter Miami. The Star reveal that Beckham attempted to lure the 37-year-old to the United States this summer, but United informed their former player that Ronaldo was not for sale. Chelsea and Bayern Munich were also interested in the possibility of signing the Portugal international. The Star also state that new Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag may be willing to hand the club captaincy to Ronaldo.
Paper Round’s view: A move to MLS seems a little premature for Ronaldo. He may be 37 years old, but he still scored 24 goals in 38 appearances in all competitions for Manchester United last season. It’s going to be a demanding season, but there’s no way that Ronaldo would have fancied moving to MLS ahead of the World Cup in November. Maybe Beckham will return for Ronaldo next summer when his contract at Old Trafford comes to an end.
Neymar edges closer to PSG exit
Neymar could leave Paris Saint-Germain this summer after five years in the French capital, according to Marca. The Brazilian forward is reported to be “willing to leave the club this summer” and is openly looking to join a new club. Neymar only signed a contract extension with PSG a year ago, but both parties now believe it is time to part ways. The 30-year-old is said to be unhappy with comments from club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who publicly opened the door for Neymar’s exit, and he also believes Kylian Mbappe is now treated as the club’s main superstar. There is interest from Premier League trio Manchester United, Chelsea and Newcastle United.
Paper Round’s view: Neymar’s time at PSG has not really gone to plan. The Brazil international left Barcelona because he wanted to step out of Lionel Messi’s shadow at the Camp Nou and attempt to win the Ballon d’Or. Instead, Nemar has suffered from a number of injuries, failed to help PSG win the Champions League and is now in the shadow of 23-year-old Kylian Mbappe. It will be interesting to see if he actually leaves this summer. His huge contract means a club will probably have to pay a significant fee to sign him – unless a loan deal can be agreed.
Brighton identify Cucurella replacement
Brighton have lined up Ajax left-back Nicolas Tagliafico as a potential replacement for Marc Cucurella, who has been linked with a move to Premier League champions Manchester City. The Spaniard is a “priority” transfer target for Pep Guardiola’s side and would be keen to move to the Etihad Stadium. Brighton believe Tagliafico would be a competent replacement for Cucurella. However, the Sun reveal that Manchester United and Nottingham Forest are also interested in the Ajax defender.
Paper Round’s view: Brighton are pretty smart in the transfer market and the Cucurella story proves this. The Spaniard was signed for around £15 million from Getafe less than a year ago and is now being touted to move to Manchester City for around £50 million. Brighton have anticipated this move and are lining up another quality full-back as his replacement. Tagliafico has won league titles with Ajax and was part of their memorable semi-final run in the Champions League a few years ago under Erik ten Hag’s management.
Read the full article here