Manchester City to offer Erling Haaland £500,000-per-week contract to beat Real Madrid and Barcelona – Paper Round

Manchester City plan to make Erling Haaland the highest-paid player in Premier League history if he is to join from Borussia Dortmund this summer. The Mail reveal that the current league leaders are prepared to table a contract worth more than £500,000 per week in order to pip their rivals to the signing of the in-demand striker. Manchester City are growing in confident that they will secure Haaland’s signature in what would be a spectacular summer transfer. The Mail state that Pep Guardiola’s side are the “frontrunners” in the race to sign the Dortmund forward.

Paper Round’s view: It is being reported that Haaland is available for a cut-price fee of around £63 million due to a release clause in his Borussia Dortmund contract. However, the finances will soar much higher than the transfer fee alone. The club that secure’s Haaland signature will end up paying extraordinary fees to his father and representative Alfe-Inge and to his agent Mino Raiola… and then comes the contract. The problem with ‘cheap’ transfer fees is the contract. Haaland will be offered a record-breaking salary to sign with Manchester City and the club will pay it just so they can beat their rivals to the transfer. Let’s hope he delivers the titles that the club expects…

Erling Haaland will demand a release clause in his contract if he completes a summer transfer to Manchester City from Borussia Dortmund. The 21-year-old is keeping his options open due to interest from a handful of Europe’s top clubs, including Manchester United, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain, but the Sun state that Manchester City are in “pole position” to win the race for Haaland’s signature. The report reveals that the Dortmund striker’s desire for a release clause in any potential Manchester City contract is in a bid to keep his options open in the future, due to his ambitions to play in Spain at some point in his career.

Paper Round’s view: Release clauses are not something you usually see in English football – especially at top clubs. They are more common for players who are hoping to make the step up towards a domestic rival competing at the top end of the league table. Haaland’s demand would be strange, but City could oblige. Surely it would be north of £150 million. We would likely see something similar to the release clause that saw Neymar move to PSG back in 2017. The Norwegian striker is still only 21 years old, so has plenty of time to play in La Liga. Maybe Barcelona will be a force again once Haaland is ready to move on from Manchester City…

Arteta says Arsenal best they have been for two years ahead of Liverpool test

Barcelona have completed the signing of AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie on a free transfer. The Ivory Coast international is set to move to Spain this summer upon the expiration of his contract at San Siro. Spanish media outlet AS confirm that Kessie has signed his contract with Barcelona and is expected to be swiftly followed by Chelsea centre-back Andreas Christensen – who is also out of contract this summer. Barca boss Xavi was keen to win the race to sign the 25-year-old as he believed his squad “lacked a midfielder with Kessie’s versatility”.

Paper Round’s view: It’s clear that signing players for ‘free’ is a key part of Barcelona’s transfer policy. Last summer we saw the Blaugrana sign Eric Garcia, Sergio Aguero and Memphis Depay, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Dani Alves both joined on free transfers in the winter window. Finances are tight at the Catalan club and Barca are very much part of the race to sign Erling Haaland, so signing Kessie and Christensen makes complete sense. Both are fairly young but have plenty of experience playing for elite-level clubs. It’s smart business that could really help Barcelona in their rebuild.

Arsenal could be set to meet Alexandre Lacazette’s contract demands following a string of impressive performances. The 30-year-old striker is out of contract this summer and has already rejected a one-year extension in north London. The Frenchman’s former club Lyon are sniffing around Lacazette and are ready to table a three-year contract. However, the Mirror report that Gunners boss Mikel Arteta wants Lacazette to stay in the Premier League. Arsenal are willing to offer a one-year contract with the option to extend for another year and the potential for a more lucrative salary if they make top four this season.

Paper Round’s view: Lacazette has proven his importance to this Arsenal side since club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang departed in January. The French forward inherited the armband and really looks like a leader out on the pitch. His unselfish playing style allows youngers like Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard to thrive in attack. Lacazette has given Arteta the blueprint for a future striker, but it would be sensible to keep the experienced forward in north London during the transition. Arsenal are short on attacking options so will need at least one new striker this summer, but keeping Lacazette would mean the Gunners would only need one new face in attack.