Manchester United agree £68m deal for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong – Paper Round
De Jong set for United deal
The Mirror reports that new Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has convinced Frenkie de Jong that he can succeed at Old Trafford and that by working together again they can lift United up the table. The club now have to negotiate a fee with Barcelona to get them to sell the midfielder, and it’s believed that a £68million bid will be enough to complete the deal.
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Paper Round’s point of view: De Jong hasn’t quite thrived at Barcelona but this struggle has come at a time when the whole team hasn’t fared well. Xavi Hernandez appears to be moving the club in the right direction again, but it seems the Spanish club have decided the 25-year-old Dutchman is an easy way to raise transfer funds to embark on a rebuild.
Arsenal consider replacing Xhaka
Arsenal could see Bayer Leverkusen rush in with an offer for their 29-year-old midfielder Granit Xhaka, but Roma are also keen, according to The Sun. They have their eye on Youri Tielemans from Leicester City who could cost £35million, but they are also eyeing Serbian midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic at Lazio, as well as Arthur Melo from Juventus and Ruben Neves from Wolves.
Paper Round’s point of view: Xhaka was a mediocre performer for years at Arsenal and if there is a willing buyer, now is the time to bring him forward. Arthur Melo no longer appears to be at the top of his game, so the remaining three options of Milinkovic-Savic, Neves and Tielemans would be much less of a gamble for Mikel Arteta as he seeks a top-four finish.
Liverpool negotiate for Nunez
The Mail suggests that Liverpool transfer manager Julian Ward is looking to negotiate more favorable terms for striker Darwin Nunez. His current side Benfica want £68m plus a further £17m, while Liverpool are hoping to drop the price to something like £60m paid upfront and then less aggressive potential bonuses later. , as they pursue the 22-year-old former Uruguay international.
Paper Round’s point of view: With Manchester United seemingly out of the running as they focus their funds on De Jong, it looks like a deal between Benfica and Liverpool is inevitable. The Portuguese side are a selling club and could benefit from a huge cash injection, and Jurgen Klopp’s side must act now to replace Sadio Mane, especially as Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino could leave in the summer next.
Barça will line up five names
Spanish newspaper Marca report on the five signings Barcelona are aiming to secure before the start of the season. The newspaper claims the club are targeting experienced players who can come in and perform well for a season or two while other players are brought in. Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie are in their twenties but Marcos Alonso, Cesar Azpilicueta and Robert Lewandowski are much older.
Paper Round’s point of view: Four of these players are reliable talents and none of them should cost an exceptional amount of money. Of course, it may be difficult for Barcelona to convince Bayern Munich to sell Lewandowski, and they might have to pay more than a player’s chances with just one year on his contract. Alonso, however, might be cheap but isn’t the level needed.
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