From West Ham flop to Haaland substitution
Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund are set to go head to head this summer to sign former West Ham United transfer flop Sebastien Haller. The Sun reports that the newly appointed United manager is keen to reunite with the Ajax striker at Old Trafford, but Dortmund sees Haller as a possible replacement for the outgoing Erling Haaland. Haaland is expected to leave this summer and Haller’s record 33 goals in 39 appearances for Ajax this season has attracted the attention of top European clubs. The Ivory Coast international could be available for around £35million, which would allow him to be a cheaper alternative to Haaland or Harry Kane for Manchester United.
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Paper Round’s opinion: There is no doubt that Haller is a talented striker. Not only has he proven himself to be a sensational striker for Ajax in the Eredivisie, but he has also scored 11 goals in just eight Champions League appearances this season. He has proven that he can score at the highest level. But that doesn’t mean he will be a banker for Manchester United. Haller failed to perform after his move to West Ham, so why should a transfer to Old Trafford be any different? It’s a huge risk for United and it doesn’t seem worth it. The club should focus on people like Haaland or Benfica striker Darwin Nunez.
Chelsea hunt for Rudiger replacement
Chelsea are beginning to make plans for a life without German central defender Antonio Rüdiger. The 29-year-old will leave Stamford Bridge as a free agent this summer after his contract expires in West London. The Blues will be forced to duck into the transfer market to sign a new centre-back, especially as Andreas Christensen is also expected to leave for free at the end of the season. Goal report that Chelsea have put together a transfer shortlist that includes Sevilla’s Jules Koude, Paris Saint-Germain’s Presnel Kimpembe and Atlético Madrid’s Jose Gimenez.
Paper Round’s opinion: Kounde seems to be the name that pops up quite a bit. Chelsea were linked with the French defender last summer but failed to negotiate a deal before the window closed. Blues boss Thomas Tuchel is expected to make Kunde his priority in defense this summer. Realistically, the West London club need to bring in two new centre-backs to replace Rudiger and Christensen, so it will be interesting to see if they bring in two big names or spend a lot on one and then invest in a future star. It will be a tough job to replace Rudiger’s presence, especially if they want to compete for silverware next season.
Wan-Bissaka faces possible homecoming
Crystal Palace are investigating the possibility of bringing Aaron Wan-Bissaka back from Manchester United on loan for the 2022-23 season. The 24-year-old moved to Old Trafford in 2019 for around £50million, but struggled to find a consistent level of form in Manchester. The Athletic reveal that the Eagles are considering the possibility of bringing Wan-Bissaka back to South London in a bid to improve their options as a right-back. It is likely that any possible deal would be a loan rather than a permanent transfer.
Paper Round’s opinion: This would be an embarrassing deal for Manchester United. The Red Devils parted ways with £50million three years ago to bring Wan-Bissaka to Old Trafford and now there are rumors the right-back could be loaned to Crystal Palace. We have seen a similar situation in the past with Wilfried Zaha, who failed to make a name for himself at Manchester United and eventually returned to Selhurst Park. Could the same thing happen to Wan-Bissaka? Realistically, we won’t know anything until future manager Erik ten Hag comes in and assesses his team.
Saints warn rivals about Ward-Prowse
Southampton are poised to reject any approach to club captain James Ward-Prowse this summer. The Mail reports that Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur are snooping around the Saints skipper, but the club will make sure their rivals know he can’t be bought at any price. The England international has four years left on his current South Coast contract meaning Southampton will not be under any pressure to sell Ward-Prowse. The Mail says the opportunity to join a club that competes in Europe could turn the 27-year-old’s head, but he’s unlikely to push for a transfer.
Paper Round’s opinion: Ward-Prowse is enjoying another brilliant individual campaign for Southampton, but his side are wallowing in 13th place in the Premier League. Ralph Hasenhuttl’s team has only won nine league matches in 34 games this season. It’s getting a bit repetitive for Ward-Prowse, so it would be completely understandable if he wanted to push for an exit. It doesn’t seem like that’s in his character, especially as he’s captain of his boys’ club. However, it would be interesting to see how he performs at a higher level – and whether that would affect his chances of being a consistent member of the England squad.
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