Premier League - Paper Round: United chase Dutch World Cup star

Manchester United are hoping to bring a Dutch World Cup star to Old Trafford; Arsenal close in on Iker Casillas; and Didier Drogba nears a sensational return to Chelsea – plus the other top stories from the papers.

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Premier League - Paper Round: United chase Dutch World Cup star
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Wesley Sneijder and Memphis Depay (Getty)

Van Gaal wants Depay reunion: According to the Metro, Manchester United are set to swoop for Netherlands star Memphis Depay. The young forward played a key role in his nation’s successful World Cup campaign – in which they reached the semi-finals – and former Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal, who is now in charge of Man United, is keen on bringing the 20-year-old to Old Trafford. Depay scored two goals during the World Cup in Brazil and has reportedly attracted much attention from a number of top clubs throughout Europe. The Metro report that if United do acquire the services of the PSV forward then they are likely to send him back out on loan to continue his development.

Paper round’s view: Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands were one of the standout teams during the 2014 World Cup – particularly when going forward – and Depay, alongside Arjen Robben, was often the focal point of their attacks. The PSV youngster, though only 20-years-old, has much first-team experience after starting his professional career in the Netherlands at 17. The pacey forward is strong on both feet, has an eye for goal and would surely be keen to link up with Van Gaal and international teammate Robin van Persie.

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Arsenal close in on Casillas: Arsenal look set to land Iker Casillas from Real Madrid after offering the veteran goalkeeper a huge contract, report the Express. The Spanish stopper looks set to fall further down the Real Madrid pecking order with Costa Rican goalkeeper Keylor Navas reportedly closing in on a move to the Santiago Bernabeu, which could spell the end to his 15-year stay with the Spanish giants. Arsene Wenger has reportedly offered Casillas, who turned 33 this year, a five-year deal worth £1.4m per-year. The Express state that, although there is no mention of a transfer fee, Real would be willing to let the keeper leave for £4m.

Paper round’s view: The signing of Iker Casillas would have been huge for most clubs in the world…five years ago. But, after a turbulent World Cup, in which he was at fault for a couple of goals during his two outings in Brazil, many Arsenal fans will surely question the potential deal. Wojciech Szczesny is Arsenal’s number one and it seems a little odd that the Gunners would look to bring in such a high-profile keeper, especially on such astronomical wages and on a five-year deal.

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Drogba nears Chelsea reunion: Chelsea legend Didier Drogba is closing in on a return to Stamford Bridge, according to The Sun. Jose Mourinho hopes to re-sign the Ivory Coast striker within the next 48 hours on a Bosman free, and hopes that Drogba will be the final piece of the puzzle as the Blues eye domestic and European glory this season. The Chelsea boss said: “We want to win titles and Didier is still one of the best strikers in Europe. We feel that Didier belongs to us. He is very adapted to the needs of the Premier League. We are thinking about it in a non-emotional way. If we bring him back it is not because he is Didier or he scored the most important goal in the history of Chelsea or because I read I need an assistant. If I bring him back, and a decision has to be made soon, it is because he has qualities to make the team stronger.”

Paper round’s view: Mourinho is right in what he is saying – Drogba, on his day, is still most certainly one of the best strikers in Europe. But, like the Portuguese said, Drogba did score the most important goal in the club’s history and is a legend at Stamford Bridge, so it would be impossible for Mourinho to look at this in a non-emotional way. However, the 36-year-old striker will bring an enormous amount of experience to Chelsea, and reports indicate that the deal will provide Drogba with a player-coach role. Even if the Ivorian is unable to rediscover anything like the form he showcased during his first stint with Chelsea, his presence will surely lift his teammates. A win-win for all parties, this one.

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Premier League trio chase Holtby: Leicester have joined Queens Park Rangers and Crystal Palace in the pursuit of Tottenham midfielder Lewis Holtby, report the Daily Star. QPR and Palace have been chasing German international this summer, but it now appears that newly-promoted Leicester are keen to acquire the midfielder’s signature. The three teams are waiting to see if the 23-year-old is part of new Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino’s plans before making an offer. Nigel Pearson has reportedly approached Tottenham about the availability of Holtby after being put on alert by the other two chasing teams’ interest.

Paper round’s view: Having failed to successfully break into the Spurs first team following his move in January 2013, Holtby joined fellow London club Fulham for the second half of last season and impressed in patches, despite the Cottagers suffering relegation to the Championship. It is believed that the German is keen on establishing himself in the heart of the Spurs midfielder, though he would be keen on a permanent move away from White Hart Lane if first-team opportunities are going to be few and far between during the upcoming Premier League season. Reports suggest that Holtby would be keen on staying in the capital, which may scupper Pearson’s hopes of bringing him to Leicester.

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