Arsenal face battle for Zubimendi
The Sun believes that there are two problems facing Arsenal as they consider a move for Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi. The 23-year-old player has a £52.5 million release clause but he does not want to leave in the middle of the season. That’s the first problem. The second is that they face competition from Barcelona and Manchester United.
Paper Round’s view: United will need to replace Fred in the summer if he moves on, and Scott McTominay has also been linked with an exit, while Sergio Busquets is likely to leave Barcelona. That leaves two clubs who can better wages to Zubimendi if he is their top priority, but Mikel Arteta is building a great reputation as a manager who can develop young talents.
Spurs may move for Pochettino
Tottenham could move to replace Antonio Conte with Mauricio Pochettino, who left the club in 2019. Conte has Spurs in fifth place but their form is tailing off, and the Mirror believe that after the deaths of Conte’s friends, Gian Piero Ventrone, Sinisa Mihajlovic and Gianluca Vialli, he is considering his future, and with six months left on his contract, he may be paid off to leave early.
Paper Round’s view: Everyone can have sympathy for Conte after losing so many of his friends in such a short space of time, but apart from that the relationship between manager and club had already grown increasingly fractious. If Pochettino is willing to come back then it may be a suitable and easier outcome for all three parties than continuing with the status quo.
Everton hope to sign Ziyech
The Mail believes that Everton are keen on signing Hakim Ziyech from Chelsea as they hope to avoid relegation. Frank Lampard wants to bring the player north on a loan deal that could become permanent should they stay up. There is competition from Serie A side Roma, but one of the biggest obstacles could be a potential reluctance from Ziyech to play in a relegation battle.
Paper Round’s view: Ziyech is missing regular minutes on the pitch and in the summer was linked to Manchester United and his former manager Erik ten Hag. Instead, he stayed in London, and failed to win over either Thomas Tuchel or his replacement, Graham Potter. The club needs to move quickly to decide his future in order to make sure his talent does not go to waste.
Real won’t be drawn into Mbappe bid
Spanish newspaper Marca reports that Real Madrid have no interest in chasing Kylian Mbappe. The 24-year-old Frenchman has a contract that runs until 2024 and is reportedly unsettled, but after the speculation they would sign him last summer, they are only going to get back into negotiations if Paris Saint-Germain name their price, and Mbappe makes it clear he will join.
Paper Round’s view: Mbappe’s decision to stay at PSG when most expected him to join Real means that it is perfectly understandable that the current Liga champions will not bother themselves with forcing a move. They have money earmarked for Jude Bellingham and there are plenty of exciting youngsters who may ultimately prove to be more suitable for the club.
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