Paper Round: Chelsea battle Bayern Munich for £90m Anthony Martial
Manchester United set a high bar for Anthony Martial, Chelsea do the same for Eden Hazard, United want Harry Maguire and Arsenal consider Yann Sommer.
Chelsea and Bayern in for Martial
Manchester United could sell Anthony Martial, but they won’t do so on the cheap. Chelsea want to bring in Martial in order to replace Eden Hazard, and Bayern Munich are also interested. United want £89.3m for the player, which may be too high for prospective suitors. The 22-year-old French winger has a year left on his contract with United able to exercise an option for a further year.
Anthony MartialGetty Images
Paper Round’s view: Martial is a frustrating player, but he also has the skill and pace to be one of the most dangerous forwards in football. Mourinho clearly does not see him fitting into United’s attack, and if he is going to raise money to buy a specialist winger then it may be understandable. However, the asking price might prevent any move given Martial’s contract is running down.
Hazard has £170m asking price
Eden Hazard’s proposed move to Real Madrid might take some time, as Chelsea are in no mood to sell him on the cheap. The 27-year-old Belgian playmaker wants to leave the London club for a new experience but Chelsea are prepared to hold out for £170m. Chelsea also believe Hazard will accept a new deal worth £300,000, but are less confident over keeping Thibaut Courtois out of Real’s clutches.
Eden Hazard (Belgium vs. England)Getty Images
Paper Round’s view: Getting £170m for Hazard, if spent well, seems like a fair deal. However there are few players with the quality of the Belgian and giving him a huge new contract for even one more year would financially worthwhile in order to make sure of Champions League qualification. Courtois, however talented he is, would be less difficult to replace.
United sell to raise funds for Maguire
Manchester United remain keen on Harry Maguire, and could bid £65m to get their man. However, in order to prise the 25-year-old Leicester City defender away from his club, they first need to raise funds of their own. One of Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly will need to be sold to make room for him in the squad.
Paper Round’s view: It is not immediately obvious why United wouldn’t also consider selling Phil Jones, who has been seriously poor in the middle of defence for a few seasons now. Eric Bailly seems injury prone, but so do most of United’s backline. Either way, Maguire is an improvement on every central defender they have at the club, and they are crying out for improvements.
Arsenal in talks for Sommer
Arsenal manager Unai Emery could add another player to his new-look squad as he looks to rebuild the side that Arsene Wenger left behind. He wants another goalkeeper, this time Borussia Monchengladbach Yann Sommer. The 29-year-old Swiss international has impressed in the Bundesliga and Arsenal need another senior goalkeeper, with David Ospina and Petr Cech set to depart.
Yann SommerGetty Images
Paper Round’s view: Ospina has the talent to first regular first team football somewhere in Europe, and Cech has the reputation to play out his next two seasons too despite some errors creeping into his game. While Emery is operating on a small budget, he is making it clear that the last few seasons of mediocrity will not simply be allowed to continue by fielding the same players every match.