INTER LINE UP LUKAKU OFFER
Inter Milan are prepared to make a huge offer for Romelu Lukaku. The 29-year-old would have to take a cut on his current £200,000-a-week wages, but the Italians are ready to offer £20 million for a one-year loan, with the deal becoming permanent in 2023 with an additional payment of £65m. The Mirror also says that Timo Werner and N’Golo Kante could also leave.
Paper Round’s view: Lukaku cost close to £100m when he left Inter for Chelsea, so in all the financial impact of losing the Belgium international would not be too great, especially considering he is not an automatic first-team pick in the biggest games under Thomas Tuchel. After a middling season for the German he could be tempted to take the money and spend elsewhere.
UNITED FACE STRUGGLE TO CONVINCE TIMBER
Manchester United have been linked with Ajax’s 20-year-old Jurrien Timber, but The Sun reports that he is not going to be easily convinced, especially without Champions League football on offer. Timber said: “The picture has to be right. You can go to a big club. But if you’re not going to play there it’s better to stay with Ajax. And Ajax is also a big club. We play football in the Champions League and I play there together with the best players in the Netherlands. That is not nothing.”
Paper Round’s view: United can ill afford to go without a top-four finish next season. They have stumbled so regularly over the last decade that while they can offer huge sums of money, that is not unique in the Premier League. If Erik ten Hag wants to succeed in the long term then he needs to get Champions League football in order to make Old Trafford an appealing destination for more credible reasons.
CHELSEA CONSIDER DEST OFFERS
The Daily Mail suggests a few targets for Tuchel as the Chelsea manager looks to reinforce following the sale of the club by Roman Abramovich. The number one target mentioned is Barcelona’s right-back Sergio Dest, and with Barcelona struggling for cash while they pursue Cesar Azpilicueta, the Spaniard could be offered in part exchange, as could Marcos Alonso.
Paper Round’s view: Chelsea need to bring in defenders as Antonio Rudiger is leaving for nothing, as could Andreas Christensen. Dest would be a way to reduce the age of the backline at Stamford Bridge, which has been nudging 30 for a while now. If Dest can be brought in from Barcelona then it might mean that Dani Alves could again feature prominently for Xavi Hernandez.
REAL PLAN SUMMER TRANSFERS
Spanish newspaper Marca report that Real Madrid are planning their transfer plans for the summer after missing out on Kylian Mbappe, who decided to remain with Paris Saint-Germain. One option is Monaco’s Aurelien Tchouameni, but €80m is more than they want to pay, but they also expect to sign Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger on a free transfer.
Paper Round’s view: Tchouameini would make sense as a signing for the club as they will have to start to plan for the departures of both Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, and he is one of the most promising players in Europe. Rudiger is a sensible bit of business and will address the departure of Sergio Ramos from last summer, but there is a lack of glamour about both those signings, which Florentino Perez tends to chase.