A real replacement for Odegaard
Arsenal could turn to Real Betis attacking midfielder Nabil Fekir if the Gunners fail to land Martin Odegaard permanently. Recent reports indicate that the north London club ‘fear’ Real Madrid may demand up to £ 50million for Odegaard and Goal reported that Fekir could be a cheaper alternative to the Norwegian playmaker. Arsenal are said to be a longtime admirer of Fekir and have him lined up for a summer move in case they don’t extend Odegaard’s stay at Emirates Stadium. The Frenchman has changed agents ahead of a possible summer transfer and is reportedly costing around £ 26million.
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Paper Round’s point of view: Arsenal will desperately need to hang on to Odegaard for next season. The 22-year-old has had a real impact since arriving on loan in January. Mikel Arteta’s side were really lacking in creativity in the first half of the season, but his side are starting to look like the Arsenal of yesteryear thanks to Odegaard’s arrival in North London. It’s unclear if Real Madrid will be ready to receive offers for the Norwegian captain, but Arteta is hopeful he stays – even if it’s just a loan extension. Otherwise, it’s always good to have a fallback option. Fekir is a solid alternative and shows that Arsenal’s recruiting squad is well prepared ahead of the summer transfer window.
Ramos’ real future remains unknown
Time is running out for Real Madrid and Sergio Ramos to figure out the defender’s future in the Spanish capital. AS reveal that the 34-year-old has set June 11 as the deadline for his future at the Santiago Bernabeu to be resolved. However, Los Blancos are currently refusing to negotiate their decision to hand Ramos the contract he wants. Los Blancos are only willing to put on the table a one-year extension, while the Spaniard reckons he should be offered at least two years. AS say Real Madrid see Bayern Munich’s David Alaba, available on a free transfer at the end of the season, as a potential Ramos replacement.
Paper Round’s point of view: Real Madrid have put themselves in a delicate situation. They play a game of chicken with a center-back that intensifies Panenka’s penalties in clutch moments. Ramos is the kind of player whose influence Real Madrid would be sorely lacking – on and off the pitch – if he left. Obviously, Alaba would be a great addition for the Spanish team, but Ramos is an elite defender and a unique leader. He may be 34 years old, but his performances show that he still has a lot to offer. If Ramos left the Santiago Bernabeu, he wouldn’t be short of offers. Manchester United or Paris Saint-Germain would suit the Spaniard perfectly.
Trent struggling at Liverpool?
Liverpool are looking to strengthen in defense after a disappointing campaign from first-choice right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold. The Star reveal that the Premier League champions had a £ 17million bid rejected by Torino for promising youngster Wilfried Songo. The Italian club will ask around £ 21million if the 20-year-old were to leave Turin this summer. Songo has been a mainstay of the Serie A squad’s system this season – fitting in at the right-back – and he’s also caught the attention of AC Milan title challengers.
Paper Round’s point of view: Obviously, Liverpool have suffered injuries to key players in their Premier League title defense campaign, but Alexander-Arnold’s form cannot be linked to this issue. The entire Liverpool squad appear to be lacking in confidence and the Reds academy graduate has been hit hard. Perhaps some serious competition could give Alexander-Arnold a much-needed boost to help him rediscover his 2018-20 form. This season has proven Liverpool are light on defensive options, so Songo would be a nice finish at Anfield.
Milan move Man Utd defender
AC Milan have made an “informal offer” for the loan of Manchester United full-back Diogo Dalot, according to Metro. The 22-year-old spent the season on loan at the Rossoneri and impressed club manager Stefano Pioli. Milan have opened talks on a £ 12million offer with the Premier League side, but United hope to negotiate a fee that will recoup the £ 18million spent to bring Dalot back to Old Trafford in 2018.
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Paper Round’s point of view: Dalot has failed to find his feet at Manchester United. The young Portuguese full-back has already played more times this season for Milan than either of his seasons at Old Trafford. It didn’t help that Aaron Wan-Bissaka joined United for £ 50million just a year after Dalot arrived. However, there have been questions about Wan-Bissaka’s offensive contributions, which are a big part of modern play for a full-back. Dalot is certainly more of an offensive threat than his counterpart and could use it to his advantage if he returned to United. He’s only 22 yet, so maybe Ole Gunnar Solskjaer shouldn’t give up just yet.
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