Premier League - Paper Round: United target £60m Pogba

Manchester United are ready to bring Paul Pogba back to Old Trafford but will have to pay £60m for the privilege; Mario Balotelli is heading to Arsenal; and Didier Drogba is coming back to Chelsea - all the stories from the papers.

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Premier League - Paper Round: United target £60m Pogba
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Paul Pogba, lors de France - Pays-Bas (2-0), le 6 mars 2014.

United chasing £60m Pogba deal – France international Paul Pogba left United for Juventus for a knockdown fee in March 2012 after deciding to leave the club because of a lack of options. Now Sir Alex Ferguson’s reluctance to trust the midfielder is set to cost the club dear, as new manager Louis van Gaal now wants to bring him back to the club, with Juventus asking £60m for a player who is set to take the World Cup by storm. According to the Sunday Express: “The Dutchman, who is said to have a £200m warchest for new players, also has his eyes on Roma’s Dutch playmaker Kevin Strootman and Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels. United believe Pogba would like to return to England to be closer to his brother Mathias who is at League One Crewe.”

Paper Round’s view: Paying £60m for a player you let go for a fraction of the price just two years before is extraordinarily bad business, and rather embarrassing, but Pogba is one of the best young midfielders in the world and having him in the team would make United a much more formidable force next season. Time to cough up and admit you were wrong first time around.

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Balotelli to land at Arsenal – Gunners fans will be delighted to open their papers to discover they are set to sign two new strikers this summer, according to the Mail on Sunday. Their first choice is a certain Mario Balotelli, currently playing in Italy with AC Milan but getting the itch to shower tramps in tenners in England again. The paper says: “Ahead of England’s opening World Cup game against Italy it can be revealed that middle men are trying to piece a deal together to see Arsenal secure the services of Balotelli in a £20million deal.” Loic Remy could also join him at the club.

Paper Round’s view: Yes, please. Balotelli is box office and, more importantly, he is a fantastic talent who would make Arsenal a far stronger team – if Arsene Wenger can get him to focus all his efforts on the pitc,h of course.

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Drogba set for Chelsea return – The Sunday Mirror reports Chelsea are poised to bring Didier Drogba ‘home’ this summer as the striker will return to the club as a player, but with a view to a coaching role. The paper reports: “The 36-year-old striker is out of contract at Galatasaray, and the Blues boss Jose Mourinho has never disguised his hopes of re-signing the powerful Ivory Coast star. And the reunion could arrive soon after Drogba completes his World Cup duties in Brazil.”

Paper Round’s view: If there was any doubt left, this move will surely spell the end of Romelu Lukaku’s time at Chelsea. Why bring back an ageing Drogba when they have a top young talent in their ranks? It doesn’t make much sense, but then football doesn’t always subscribe to logic. In terms of romance, this has the makings of a deal to get supporters excited ahead of the new season.

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Lampard targeted for China switch – According to the Mail on Sunday, after leaving Chelsea on a free transfer Frank Lampard is wanted by former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson, who currently manages Chinese side Guangzhou R &F. Eriksson revealed: “I have suggested to the club they take Frank Lampard. He would be great in China, he is a football man, very proud and clever so if he thinks he can go on for another year or two, he will not go just for a holiday.”

Paper Round’s view: Lampard is much better off accepting the offer on the table from New York City FC and playing in MLS than he is in China. It’s a bold move by Eriksson but one which is surely doomed to failure.

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