Premier League - Paper round: Arsenal to battle Spanish giants for rising England star

Arsenal are prepared to challenge Real Madrid and Barcelona for a rising England star while also looking to sign the “new Messi”; AVB is set to raid White Hart Lane and PSG will test Chelsea’s resolve over Oscar.

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Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger (Reuters)

Arsenal join Real Madrid and Barcelona in race to sign Fulham youngster: Arsenal have joined the race to sign highly-rated Fulham youngster Patrick Roberts, report the Mirror. Roberts only signed professional terms with Fulham in February but the 17-year-old has been on the radar of a host of top European clubs from some time now - Barca continue to keep tabs on the player while Real Madrid could make a move this summer.

Paper Round’s view: If there is a big club to move to as a youngster then it would have to be Arsenal with Real Madrid hardly renowned for bringing through young talent while Barca rely on La Masia to produce players. Of course Barcelona's participation in this transfer scramble depends on how their expected appeal against a transfer ban goes but even if they are banned for the next two windows - which let's be honest is quite unlikely - they can still lay the groundwork for the move. While such interest must be highly flattering, Roberts’ progression would be better served at Fulham where he would be more likely to get first-team experience. Clearly one for the future though.

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Arsenal set to move for 'Iranian Messi': Arsenal are set to make a move for Rubin Kazan’s Sardar Azmoun who has been dubbed the “Iranian Messi”, report the Daily Express. Azmoun himself told Russian TV show 90 that “there already are solid offers coming from both Arsenal and AC Milan.” A fee of £2 million is said to be enough to tempt Kazan into selling the man who joined the club from Iranian side Sepahan in January last year.

Paper Round’s view: While the idea of purchasing a player with the potential to be the “new Messi” is appealable to any fan, Arsenal need established talent. The deal looks to have legs considering the quotes from the player but this type of signing will only placate Arsenal fans if he is signed alongside someone who would improve their team immediately.

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PSG set to move for Oscar: PSG are set to make move for Chelsea’s Brazilian playmaker Oscar, report the Daily Mirror. Chelsea signed the 22-year-old from Internacional in 2012 for £19 million but PSG are willing to double that figure to secure his services. Jose Mourinho is a huge admirer of the player but may consider selling the player – especially at such a high price – to facilitate a move for a striker.

Paper Round’s view: Chelsea are blessed with an array of midfielder schemers so it would not be a huge surprise if the Brazilian ended up at PSG. As the season has progressed, Mourinho has become increasingly exasperated with performances of his strikers - and, ever the pragmatist, he may be willing to sacrifice Oscar to secure the funds to move for a truly world class striker in the mould of a Radamel Falcao or Diego Costa.

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AVB set to swoop for Spurs centre-back: Andre Villas-Boas is set to raid his former club for Jan Vertonghen, reports the Express. AVB’s new club Zenit – whom he took charge of in March – failed to add a centre-back to their squad in either the summer or January windows. Zenit had agreed a deal for Benfica’s Ezequiel Garay in January only for the move to fall through and AVB has elected not to resurrect that deal but to sign a player he knows well from his time at Tottenham.

Paper Round’s view: Seems highly plausible, this one. Vertonghen has gone on record that his desire to play in the Champions League could see him move away from White Hart Lane and he has looked a shadow of his former self under new coach Tim Sherwood. Whether, however, arch-negotiator Daniel Levy would countenance such a move though is open to serious debate.

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