‘Prem trio in for Spain legend Xavi’ - Approaches have come from agents and it is claimed the Catalan hero is after a final big move to either Arsenal, Manchester City or United at the age of 34, according to the Daily Star. The paper ‘understands’ that City are in the best position to sign up the Spain hero with a move to America with the club’s New York City outfit also a possibility. Xavi is believed to be after a £150k-a-week deal which City will have to find a way of dealing with considering the stringent Financial Fair Play regulations that are set to hit the club.
Paper Round’s view: Etihad Stadium’s top brass Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain know the star well from their time at Barcelona so it is little surprise to see Xavi being linked to the club, along with their sister outfit in New York. It is a time of transition at Barca, who have had a poor season by their own very high standards, and it is regarded as a near certainty that Xavi will leave the club at the end of the current campaign to take on a new challenge. While United probably need the Spaniard the most in their midfield, City appear to be best placed to capture the midfielder.
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‘United have made move for Shaw’ – Manchester United have already bid £27 million for England’s teenage star Luke Shaw, according to a report in The Sun. The Southampton left-back, 18, has been on United’s radar as one of the Premier League’s hottest young stars and, with left-back Patrice Evra, 32, out of contract, the Red Devils urgently want to get some business sorted before the World Cup. With Chelsea also very keen to sign the left-back United have reportedly moved quickly to launch a big bid and get a jump start on a deal before his stock potentially rises further at the World Cup.
Paper Round’s view: Well, United are looking to rebuild after finishing a dismal campaign in seventh, so it should come as no surprise that Shaw would be near the top of their transfer targets list. While midfield remains the main priority for the club, Evra’s contract situation makes his move a very sensible one with the left-back situation apparently solved by the exciting young defender. Southampton would be likely to push for over £30m, according to numerous reports, but United may well get their man for under that given their bold, early approach.
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‘Costa in talks with Chelsea over move’ - Chelsea have opened talks with Atletico Madrid in an attempt to wrap up the signing of Diego Costa ahead of the World Cup, according to the Daily Mail. The paper revealed in December that Costa had emerged as Jose Mourinho’s principle transfer target and Chelsea are now understood to be determined to push it through. Mourinho hinted after Chelsea’s final Premier League game of the season that he wanted their transfer business to be concluded swiftly and the Blues boss apparently wants to catch his rivals by surprise and make a big statement of intent after failing to win a trophy in his first season back in English football with Chelsea.
Paper Round’s view: The Spain striker has a buy-out clause in his contract which is set at around £32m and Chelsea seemingly want to take advantage of it before their rivals can make a move. Costa, who is now fighting to be fit for the Champions League final against Real Madrid in Lisbon on May 24, has already set his heart on moving to Chelsea according to various sources so it appears to be a near-certain move. Costa is exactly the kind of striker that Mourinho so desperately craves for his second stint at Stamford Bridge and it sounds as though he is keen for a move too after a sparkling campaign with Diego Simeone’s men.
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'Newcastle to raid Villa for duo' - Newcastle are looking to recruit a host of English-based players this summer after making a flurry of French signings for the 2013/14 campaign and two Aston Villa players head their list, according to the Daily Star. Midfielder Fabian Delph, 24, and Austrian striker Andreas Weimann, 22, have reportedly impressed underfire Magpies boss Alan Pardew during a turbulent season. The paper reports that a deal for both players should cost the Magpies £15m in a double deal that is intended to placate the club’s angry supporters following a hugely frustrating campaign.
Paper Round’s view: Would it take more than this double deal to satisfy the Newcastle faithful? The real blow to the club will be likely missing out on striker Loic Remy, their top scorer this season, with the successful loanee reportedly wanted by Tottenham, Arsenal and Everton. Pardew will be looking for Newcastle owners backing in the summer, after the north east side sold their star midfielder Yohan Cabaye to PSG, but a double swoop for Villa players could be seen as underwhelming given the class of player that they let go.
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