Christensen leaves Chelsea Court at Wembley
Andreas Christensen has ‘shocked’ his Chelsea team-mates after making himself unavailable for selection on the day of the FA Cup final. The 26-year-old previously felt unwell during the week and ruled himself out of the trip to Wembley – despite being declared fit to play. Christensen “disappeared from the team hotel on Saturday morning” which left his Chelsea teammates “shocked and confused”. The Danish defender is set to join Barcelona this summer as a free agent after failing to reach an agreement to extend his contract at Stamford Bridge.
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Paper Round’s point of view: There may be more to this story, but it doesn’t look good for Christensen just yet. Chelsea were already short on centre-back options and launched 22-year-old Trevoh Chalobah into defence. Christensen left his coach and teammates behind in an important game simply because he was absent this summer. Surely every professional footballer wants to play in the cup final. It does not mean anything. Even if he was really injured, he should have stayed with the team at the hotel and then gone to the game to support his teammates.
Paul Pogba could be set for a sensational return to Juventus this summer, according to Goal. The Manchester United midfielder will leave Old Trafford as a free agent at the end of the season after failing to agree a contract extension with the club. Goal reports that Pogba’s entourage will meet Juventus on Monday to explore a potential deal which could see the World Cup winner return to Turin. Juve face fierce competition from Paris Saint-Germain, who will be able to meet Pogba’s eye-watering salary demands of €11m net per season.
Paper Round’s point of view: Pogba has struggled to find a consistent level of form during his time in England but he will be confident he can join one of Europe’s top clubs this summer as he knows he is still an elite footballer. He just needs to regain his confidence. This could be an advantage for Juventus. Pogba was happy in Turin. He felt at home. Sentimental reasons could push Pogba to return to Juventus this summer before PSG. However, France is also his homeland. It will be interesting to see if Pogba regains his previous form when he leaves United.
De Jong wants to stay at Barca
Frenkie de Jong has informed Barcelona that he doesn’t want to leave the club this summer, despite reports linking him with a Premier League move. The Dutch international has been linked with Manchester United, Manchester City and Bayern Munich, but De Jong hopes to stay at Barcelona beyond the summer. Barca boss Xavi is also keen on keeping the 25-year-old and he has told De Jong he wants him at the club next season. However, Barcelona board view De Jong as a potential sacrifice due to his high transfer value.
Paper Round’s point of view: Basically, it looks like the Barcelona board think De Jong is expendable due to the emergence of Pedri and Gavi – so they are now ready to sell the Dutch midfielder this summer in order to raise money from transfer to strengthen elsewhere. It’s an easy position to take now, but the club must remember that Sergio Busquets turns 34 this summer and De Jong is an ideal candidate to be the heir to the Spanish throne. Xavi wants to keep De Jong, so the club should work with him to find a solution to their summer transfer budgeting issues.
Lewandowski closes in on Barca move
Robert Lewandowski is closing in on a summer move to Barcelona, according to Spanish outlet Sport. The Bayern Munich striker announced his desire to leave the Bundesliga club on Saturday and all parties are keen to resolve the situation as soon as possible. Lewandowski’s agent Pini Zahavi plans to hold a meeting with Bayern and will later discuss with Barcelona the possibility of a move to Camp Nou. The 33-year-old striker is expected to demand a transfer fee of around €40m if he moves this summer.
Paper Round’s point of view: This transfer has been rumored for some time, but Lewandowski’s admission over the weekend of wanting to leave Bayern Munich in pursuit of a new challenge really kicked things off. The Bundesliga champions won’t want to lose their talisman – especially without a real plan to replace him this summer. Lewandowski is under contract until 2023, so Bayern could decide to keep him for another season and then allow him to leave for free next summer. We saw the same with the Poland international at his former club Borussia Dortmund before his move to Bavaria.
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