Chelsea row over summer signings
The Sun reports on Thursday that Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has locked horns with the club’s technical director Michael Emenalo over this season’s big summer signing, which the club apparently has £70 million spare for. The newspaper says manager Conte favours Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata, while Emenalo thinks it’s time for Lukaku to return to Stamford Bridge. The paper says Conte wants a “big name” to replace Diego Costa – a move that looks increasingly likely to insiders, so says The Sun.
Paper Round’s view: Morata is perhaps the bigger name but Lukaku’s scoring record this season has been significantly better, with 28 goals in 32 appearances across all competitions, to Morata’s 15 in 38. Lukaku has played at the club before so will have some familiarity with its structures and in all probability could represent a much better value signing than Morata. If any such battle does exist, Emenalo should be the victor, in Paper Round’s humble opinion.
But could United pip Chelsea to the post?
The Daily Express reports on Thursday that Jose Mourinho may launch a shock counter offer to that anticipated by Chelsea for Lukaku, despite sending him away from Chelsea during his tenure as the club’s boss. Presumably he didn’t make Mourinho’s list... With Zlatan Ibrahimovic not long for Old Trafford (or is he?) Mourinho seems to be linked to one striker or other almost every week, and of course you would expect him to be in contingency planning mode, at this stage.
And what about Zlatan?
Meanwhile, Zlatan Ibrahimovic makes Thursday’s back pages after confirming that talks with United to extend his contract by a year are ongoing and hinted he hopes to spend another season at the club. He told the Manchester Evening News: “I’m a person when I go into something I put my head 200 per cent, and I do what I’m good at. I go in, I go for the kill and I go out. And when I go out there is no complaints, that’s what I do. I never leave a job unfinished.”
Read the full article on eurosport.co.uk: Paper Round: United join fight for £70m Lukaku, as Chelsea eye Morata