Paper Round: Hazard wants move to Real completed in two weeks
Eden Hazard is in a hurry, Manchester United consider a surprise appointment, Everton want £100 million for Richarlison, and Derby County could be sued.
Hazard wants early Real move
Eden Hazard wants to get his move to Real Madrid sorted a week after the Europa League final, according to the Mirror. The 28-year-old Belgium international wants his future sorted by June 4, meaning the clubs have work to do. The paper reports that Real are £26 million short of the £112 million fee wanted by Chelsea, which could hold up any transfer agreement between the two parties.
Paper Round’s view: Hazard would replace Gareth Bale at Real Madrid, at least in terms of his position on the wing, and you can see why Zinedine Zidane would want him. He offers pace and a goal threat from the wings, and he is also a technically better player and is much more reliable in terms of his fitness. He would be a much better fit at Real than the more direct player that Bale is, and has been in better form for the last two seasons.
United target Norwich transfer chief
The Sun newspaper claims that Manchester United have added Norwich City’s sporting director Stuart Webber to their shortlist of candidates for the director of football role. In his time at Norwich, he has been responsible for the success of Angus Gunn and James Maddison, and would help Ed Woodward restructure the transfer recruitment to find younger and more affordable targets.
Paper Round’s view: Aiming for players with potential makes a great deal of sense, but Webber has - through no fault of his own - no experience of doing that a high enough level to be suitable for the United job. However, if Woodward wants to use Webber as an excuse to pay less for younger players while continuing to splash money on superstars, then it could still happen regardless of whether it is the best choice for the club.
Everton demand huge Richarlison fee
Another story from the Sun concerns Everton’s Richarlison. The Brazilian has impressed after his move from Watford to Everton, and now Manchester United and Spanish side Barcelona are said to be interested in the 22-year-old. Marco Silva’s side have no intention of letting him go on the cheap though, and have demanded at least £100 million to let him leave Goodison Park. Barcelona will have to convince him to make the switch from England though, with Richarlison reportedly happy in the Premier League.
Paper Round’s view: Richarlison has an eye for goal, pace, trickery and the physique to succeed anywhere in the world. At just 22, he is still more potential than proven ability, but there are few other players of his kind who have succeeded in the top flight against the backdrop of two middling Premier League sides at Watford and now Everton. Barcelona have also been linked with Manchester United's Marcus Rashford, who could perform a similar role.
Derby facing legal action
The Telegraph report that Derby County could face legal action after Middlesbrough owner Steve Gibson decided to sue the club over alleged financial breaches. Derby County sold their ground to their owner Mel Morris, who then leased it back to the club, giving the club a profit for the year. Derby could be promoted after reaching the play-off finals after defeating Leeds United in the semi-finals earlier this month.
Paper Round’s view: On the surface of it, the fact that Derby County have done this is not necessarily illegal or against the rules of the Football Association, and that would be for the courts to decide. Away from that, it does feel against the spirit of the rules to sell the ground in this manner, and with the riches on offer, the desire to - in theory - bend the rules is inevitable.