What the papers say
The race for Erling Haaland continues to heat up, with reports Borussia Dortmund are willing to release the wunderkind forward early. The 20-year-old Norway international has a £70m release clause in his contract that is set be activated in June 2022. However the Daily Star says the club would be willing to make Haaland available as early as the next transfer window – albeit with a mammoth asking price of up to £150m.
Chelsea are among a wealth of clubs chasing Haaland, but their pursuit could come at the expense of current striker Tammy Abraham. The Metro, citing The Athletic, reports the 23-year-old forward is unwilling to enter contract talks with the Blues as long as they are chasing Haaland’s signature.
Meanwhile, Manchester United’s pursuit of Sevilla defender Jules Kounde could be derailed by the 22-year-old’s hefty price tag. According to the Daily Mail, the Red Devils consider Kounde’s £68m valuation unrealistic, but will continue to monitor the situation in the hopes his price will fall as the financial hardships brought on by the pandemic ease with the global vaccine rollout.
The Daily Express says West Ham could face an uphill battle if they want to make Jesse Lingard‘s loan move permanent. The 28-year-old midfielder has been stellar for the Hammers since joining in January, with Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers among those taking notice. The paper reports Leicester are preparing to make a move for Lingard at the end of the season, which could put the pressure on West Ham to fork out the cash if they want to keep him at London Stadium.
Norwich are believed to hopeful of selling full-back Max Aarons in the summer for up to £35million. The Metro reports the club are confident they will be able to offload the 21-year-old despite the high asking price, with Manchester United and Bayern Munich among the clubs interested in his signature.
Social media round-up
Players to watch
Juan Mata: Manchester United will not trigger the midfielder’s one-year extension, reports the Manchester Evening News.
Dion Sanderson: Sunderland are gearing up to make a permanent move for the Wolves defender, according to the Daily Mail.