United ramp up Hummels chase: Manchester United have stepped up their pursuit of £20m defender Mats Hummels, according to the Daily Star. United have sounded out the Borussia Dortmund centre-half's camp to learn if he is interested in a move to Old Trafford before following up with an offer. Hummels, currently on World Cup duty with semi-finalists Germany, is contracted to Dortmund until 2017 but "sources close to the player" have offered United hope by refusing to rule out a move, according to the report.
Paper Round's view: As the report points out, United are keen to avoid the embarrassment they suffered during last summer's transfer window, and that means laying down some groundwork before going public with a concrete bid. It's a prudent way of going about business and the good news for United is that Edward Woodward appears to have learnt from his mistakes this time last year. Already United have managed to do deals for Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera and if they continue in this current vein, further additions before the start of the new season are likely. And that may well include Hummels.
- - -
United set to test water over Vidal: Meanwhile, United are ready to test the resolve of Juventus with a bid for midfielder Arturo Vidal, according to the Daily Mail. The Chile international is now Louis Van Gaal's principle midfielder target this summer following the arrival of Ander Herrera and while United are yet to make formal contact with his Italian club, they are understood to have made tentative enquiries to establish whether the player would be interested in a move to Old Trafford. And the paper reports that United have been "are encouraged by the signals coming from Vidal's camp and a move is appearing increasingly feasible this summer". Juve value Vidal in the region of £40m, but United are hopeful an offer of £30m plus Nani will persuade the Serie A club to sell up.
Paper Round's view: Juve will surely want to bleed United dry if they are to part with one of their best players, but United will not be held to ransom, as they have shown by cooling interest in William Carvalho and Paul Pogba over extortionate price tags. The inclusion of Nani in any deal may well prove key. Nani may be dead wood at Old Trafford, but the Portuguese could definitely offer something to a Serie A club. Juve just have to be convinced of that.
- - -
Lukaku wants out of Chelsea for good: Romelu Lukaku has said he wants to be "free" of Chelsea by signing a permanent deal for another club this summer. The Daily Mirror reports that the Belgium striker is loathe to be loaned out again after spending the previous two campaigns at West Brom and Everton. Atletico Madrid, Juventus or Monaco are all interested in the 21-year-old striker.
Paper Round's view: It's an understandable stance to take for Lukaku - he must want to feel like he is appreciated by his parent club and that has not been the case these past two seasons. The signing of Diego Costa has hardly done his long-term prospects any favours either and if he did stay with Chelsea and go out on loan again this season, the chances of him being guaranteed a place in the Blues' starting XI on his return are limited. Time to move on for good.
- - -
Barca move imminent for Suarez: Barcelona are trying to find a structure of payment to suit Liverpool over their imminent sale of Luis Suarez, reports the Daily Mail. Liverpool are holding out for the £75m stipulated in his buy-out clause but the Spanish side are hoping to make the payment in stages, with some of it based on performance. An announcement is expected with Barcelona hoping to break the news officially soon, the paper reports.
Paper Round's view: It's a done deal, and even the fee appears to have been agreed with just the way it is paid an outstanding issue. It's nothing we didn't know really, but still, we have to have a daily Suarez update, don't we?
- - -
Wenger on standby over Sanchez signing: With Alexis Sanchez having refused to move to Liverpool as part of the Suarez deal, it appears the World Cup star is set to move to Arsenal. The Sun reports that Arsene Wenger is preparing to return early from Brazil to clinch the £32m signing of the Chilean. The Gunners boss is not due back until next week but is on standby to jump on a plane at a moment's notice to help secure the deal.
Paper Round's view: Understandably, Wenger doesn't want this fish to slip the net, especially after missing out on both Gonzalo Higuain and Suarez last summer, despite heavy interest. And with late interest from Juventus for Sanchez, there could well be cause for concern in the Gunners' camp. Better if this deal is wrapped up sooner rather than later.
- - -
Campbell lined up as part of Debuchy deal: Arsenal may offload Joel Campbell to Newcastle as part of the deal that will bring Mathieu Debuchy to the Emirates. The Daily Mirror reports that the Costa Rican World Cup star is set to be loaned out by Arsenal for a third straight year with Newcastle a possible destination given the Gunners' interest in Debuchy. Carl Jenkinson has also been mooted as another possible makeweight.
Paper Round's view: What does Campbell have to do to be taken seriously at Arsenal? The club need a striker, but clearly Arsene Wenger does not believe the 22-year-old is quite ready, despite having just starred at the World Cup. Still, another season out on loan, especially in the Premier League and at a place like St James' Park, will only do Campbell the power of good. Perhaps then, Wenger will finally be convinced to take him back to London and put some faith in his abilities.
- - -
- Sports & Recreation
- Manchester United
- Arsene Wenger
- Luis Suarez
- Paper Round
- Old Trafford
- Arturo Vidal