Arsenal monitoring Benzema: Arsenal will contact Real Madrid over the availability of Karim Benzema after the Champions League final, reports the Daily Mail. The France international has been coveted by Arsene Wenger for several years, although moves for the striker failed in the last two summers. But the Gunners remain undeterred and are preparing to make another move for Benzema in a bid to secure the services of a world class striker ahead of the new season. Benzema has 12 months left on his contract with the Champions League finalists, putting him in a strong position to negotiate a new deal or force a move elsewhere this summer, the report adds.
Paper Round's view: Benzema is exactly the kind of striker Arsenal are looking for - strong, quick, with an eye for goal and boasting plenty of experience at the highest level. Not only that, but he's also French, which of course helps at the Emirates. And Real could well be tempted to sell up...
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Madrid to go all-out for Suarez: The Daily Mirror reports that Real will launch a full-scale attempt to lure Luis Suarez to the Bernabeu this summer - and are prepared to sell Benzema to fund the move. In good news for Arsenal fans, the paper claims that the Spanish club have already sounded out the Uruguayan's representatives and believe they may be able to get their man from Liverpool for £70 million. Real will make enquiries after the weekend's FA Cup final and believe there could be movements once they have played the Champions League final the following weekend.
Paper Round's view: Liverpool have made it perfectly clear that they are not willing to part with (one of) their star players while Suarez himself has been at pains to let the world know how happy he is at Liverpool, now they are challenging for the Premier League and playing Champions League football. Unfortunately, that isn't likely to deter Real, and it looks like we're set for a summer of speculation over the Uruguayan's future once again.
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Rodgers to clear out squad: While Suarez is one player Liverpool are desperate to hang on to, several others are not quite so lucky, according to The Times. Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is expected to oversee a mass exodus of players as he seeks to trim down his squad and assemble a group of players capable of challenging for both the Premier League and Champions League next season. As many as 15 Liverpool players could leave Anfield, although not all during the summer. Names? Here we go: Dan Agger, Lucas Leiva, Aly Cissokho, Victor Moses, Luis Alberto, Iago Aspas, Kolo Toure, Pepe Reina, Suso, Oussama Assaidi, Sebastián Coates, Jack Robinson, Martin Kelly, Fabio Borini and Conor Coady.
Paper Round's view: No surprises here. There's a lot of dead wood in the Liverpool squad and Rodgers is right to prioritise quality over quantity. However, he must be careful to buck recent trends at the club and buy wisely in the transfer market this summer. If he fails to, the clear-out will be rendered pointless.
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Lukaku to be offered Chelsea deal: Chelsea are set to offer striker Romelu Lukaku a new contract, according to the back page of the Daily Star. The paper claims that the Blues have taken the shock step in a bid to preserve the Belgian's transfer value, which they now believe is close to £30m. The two parties will sit down after the World Cup and if he agrees to the deal, boss Jose Mourinho will have to decide whether to keep him or send him out on loan again, although the former option is unlikely, given an imminent deal for Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa.
Paper Round's view: It's an interesting strategy from Chelsea, and one that could well pay dividends. Lukaku's form this season for Everton has been blistering and given that he's still just 20, he could well have something to offer Chelsea in the future. Why not keep their options open to a career at Stamford Bridge, all the while watching his star rise and his value increase?
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Pochettino to cost Spurs £9m: Mauricio Pochettino has told Tottenham he wants £9m to take charge at White Hart Lane, reports The Sun. The Southampton boss is insisting he signs a three-year deal, worth £3m a year, while bringing three of his backroom staff with him.
Paper Round's view: Amazing what difference a day can make. Just 24 hours earlier, the figure making headlines was £2m. Pochettino is clearly Spurs' preferred choice to succeed Tim Sherwood, but he might be pushing his luck a little here. That's a lot of money for any club to pay a manager.
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Wilshere calls up Scholes after rant: Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has revealed that a telephone call with Paul Scholes convinced him he is yet to fulfil his true potential. Former Manchester United midfielder Scholes gave a withering televised assessment of Wilshere's development, claiming that the England international had not improved since he was 17. So Wilshere rang up Scholes to ask for clarification of his comments. He said in The Times: “If it had come from a rubbish player I could say, ‘What are you talking about?’ but it came from Paul Scholes, so I wanted to get to the bottom of it. I spoke to him, he explained it a bit better and told me what he thought I should work on."
Paper Round's view: Fair play to Wilshere. He could easily have heard what Scholes said, stuck his bottom lip out, maybe posted a reply or two on a social network site and not learned anything from the experience, but instead he confronted Scholes head on. And for that, he will be better off.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Real Madrid
- Luis Suarez
- Premier League
- Paul Scholes
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