West Ham name their summer fee for Declan Rice, handing Manchester United a dilemma, while Paris Saint-Germain are set for crunch Mauricio Pochettino talks – both in all the latest Paper Talk.
WEST HAM NAME DECLAN RICE FEE
Declan Rice will cost £150million this summer, with West Ham demanding a British record transfer fee for the midfielder according to a report.
The 22-year-old has become the leading light at the Hammers following his rise from the club’s youth ranks. He initially hoped to make it at Chelsea, but the Blues let him go. Nevertheless, Rice’s West Ham form has also seen him become a vital England international.
The midfielder’s early career has piqued transfer interest in him – and a battle at West Ham’s end to tie him to a new contract.
The Daily Mail has now reported, though, that the Hammers have accepted defeat in convincing Rice to sign an extension.
As a result, they are preparing to sell him – but he will not come cheap. Manager David Moyes insisted in February that the £100million valuation last summer was a “sales” price. Indeed, the latest report claims that West Ham now want £150million.
Manchester United are reportedly the leading contenders to sign Rice. They are increasingly likely to lose Paul Pogba this summer as a free agent this summer.
And Rice is keen on a move to Old Trafford, but wants to know if United can afford his new price tag.
Joe Cole says Manchester United should not sign Declan Rice or Jude Bellingham
Joe Cole thinks Manchester United should sign John McGinn instead of Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham
The Red Devils also want a striker this summer and so the Daily Mail claims that they are in a transfer dilemma.
Nevertheless, United may yet end up being the only serious bidder for Rice, so West Ham could drop their price.
Chelsea are long-term admirers of Rice. However, their off-field issues are currently restricting their transfer power.
Rice has played 28 of 29 Premier League games this term, captaining the side on all but one occasion. He has also starred in the club’s run to the Europa League quarter-finals, where Lyon await.
PAPER TALK – PSG SET TO DISCUSS POCHETTINO STRUGGLES
Paris Saint-Germain chiefs will sit down over the international break and analyse what has gone wrong with Mauricio Pochettino‘s team in the past few weeks.
The Argentine is under major pressure and reportedly facing the sack from the French capital club.
PSG were dumped out of the Champions League by Real Madrid at the last 16 stage, despite leading 2-0 on aggregate. Indeed, Karim Benzema stole the show in the second leg to put Pochettino’s future in major doubt.
What’s more, PSG have lost three of their past five Ligue 1 games. The results have not dented their title charge much, but they have put a fresh stain on the manager’s record. PSG also lost to Nice in the Coupe de France last 16 to further hamper the club’s progress.
According to RMC Sport, PSG have chosen not to sack Pochettino now while a number of players are on international duty.
They will instead use the break to work out how they can solve the recent problems at the club.
Nevertheless, Pochettino is reportedly on borrowed time. The PSG hierarchy plan to act on his future after the international break.
They need to be in advanced negotiations with a successor before pulling the plug on their current manager. However, they do not want to leave it too long.
Pochettino is a leading contender for the Man Utd job after Ralf Rangnick steps down as interim boss.
TOTTENHAM LOAN STAR’S REVIVAL PRAISED
Spain Under-21 head coach Luis De la Fuente has praised Tottenham loanee Bryan Gil for rediscovering form at Valencia.
Spain hopeful Gil only signed for Spurs last summer from Sevilla, but struggled to have an impact under Nuno Espirito Santo.
As such, current boss Antonio Conte sent him back to Spain in January until the end of the season.
Gil has since played seven La Liga games for Valencia and starred in their run to the Copa del Rey final, where they will play Real Betis.
De La Fuente told Super Deporte: “I have always demanded opportunities for these players, confidence and continuity.
“Now he has found it in Valencia. If you trust them, they never fail. They are top players.
“He has the opportunity. They trust him, and he has spectacular mental strength. He hasn’t reached his ceiling yet.”
Gil will make a summer return to Tottenham, where his contract only expires in 2026.