Liverpool to swoop for Barkley: Liverpool are to start a bidding war with arch rivals Everton in the summer as they try and tempt England starlet Ross Barkley away from Goodison Park with a £38 million offer, according to the Daily Star. Despite Everton’s insistence that Barkley will not be for sale in the summer, Liverpool are hoping to lure the 20-year-old across Merseyside for what will be a club-record fee. Brendan Rodgers’ side could face stiff competition for Barkley’s signature, with the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City both keen on acquiring the midfielder’s services. However, if the Reds are able to wrap up their first league title in 24 years then Barkley could be tempted into the switch.
Paper round’s view: This certainly would ruffle a few feathers on Merseyside wouldn't it? Barkley, who has earned rave reviews this season following a string of fine performances that have seen him tipped to represent England at the World Cup in the summer, would become the first player since Abel Xavier to make the switch from Everton to Liverpool. Barkley is an Everton fan, so the potential transfer could be scuppered by his loyalties to the Toffees, but the chance to join the (potential) Premier League champions and play alongside the likes of Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez might make the pill a little easier to swallow for the England starlet.
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Man United eye Klopp as Moyes replacement: Manchester United bosses are considering a summer move for Borussia Dortmund’s Juergen Klopp, should they decide to replace under-fire David Moyes, a report in the Mirror states. It was reported last week that the United board met Dutch manager Louis van Gaal to discuss a potential summer move, though the Mirror understand Klopp would be their first choice to succeed Moyes at the helm. Klopp has excelled during his time at Dortmund, steering them to back-to-back Bundesliga titles in 2010/11 & 2011/12, as well as a Champions League final last year. However, with a number of key players in recent season transferring to rivals Bayern Munich, it is believed that Klopp feels his time with the club is up and could be looking for a new challenge.
Paper round’s view: It has been reported that United are set for a £200 million squad overhaul in the summer, and whether the United hierarchy see Moyes as the man to utilise that whopping sum of money in the right manner remains to be seen. During his time with Dortmund, Klopp has spent very little money, but has still turned the Bundesliga outfit into domestic champions and European contenders. His tactical nous, likeable, yet well-respected character and aggressive style of football has seen the German quickly become one of the most revered managers in European football and it would come as no surprise if Klopp was the man to replace Moyes at Old Trafford. That said, Klopp has been linked with a few jobs recently, including the Barcelona post:
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Arsenal eye Madrid pair: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is lining up a double swoop for Real Madrid pair Casemiro and Alvaro Morata, according to the Mirror. Brazilian starlet Casemiro joined the Spanish giants from Sao Paolo in the summer for £5 million, but, whilst he has impressed when he has played, the 22-year-old has found game time hard to come by and could look for a way out of the Santiago Bernabeu. The Mirror also reports that the Gunners are keeping tabs on Casemiro’s Madrid team-mate Alvaro Morata. The Spanish under-21 striker would cost Wenger in the fee of around £12 million, but would add some much-needed firepower to the Arsenal front line.
Paper round’s view: It’s no secret that Arsenal need to bolster their squad in the summer. As the North London club do every season – they have put up a good fight this year, only to see their title ambitions fade away during the business end of the campaign. A real lack of strength in depth and, in some cases, a lack of quality in certain areas of the field means that Arsenal’s wait for a Premier League title goes on. The little-known Casemiro has featured just 10 times for Madrid in the league since his January 2013 move, but has impressed. Whether the youngster could cut it in the Premier League at such an early stage in his career remains to be seen. The same goes for Morata, though the Spaniard has had much more playing time with the Galacticos, and, at 6’3”, looks to have the physical capabilities to deal with England’s top flight.
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Chelsea want Everton youngster Stones: Chelsea have joined the race for highly-rated Everton defender John Stones, reports the Daily Mail. The 19-year-old joined the Toffees from Barnsley in 2013 for a relatively pricey £3 million, and has quickly been converted from a full-back into a solid centre-half. The England U-21 international has been tipped as an outsider to make England boss Roy Hodgson’s World Cup training squad and has attracted interest from a number of Premier League clubs. Arsenal have been reportedly keeping tabs on the youngster, though Chelsea have now made public their interest and looks set to step up their bid to acquire Stones’ services in the summer.
Paper round’s view: The in-demand 19-year-old is certainly one for the future, but, with the likes of John Terry and Gary Cahill holding down regular spots at the heart of Chelsea’s defence, could be made to wait for his opportunity should he make a switch to Stamford Bridge. Jose Mourinho’s Blues may struggle to prize Stones away from Everton, with the Toffees adamant that their youngsters are not for sale. Roberto Martinez’s men are currently vying for a Champions League spot and could be given a real boost in the summer by TV money – should they secure a top-four berth – which would mean their hand may not be forced when it comes to selling players.
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