City could face Prem points deduction after FFP breaches - Paper Round
Manchester City could be deducted points in the Premier League, but it won't stop them spending. Chelsea join race for Lyon star and Harvey Elliot is set to sign a new contract at Liverpool. It's Friday's Paper Round...
City could face points deduction after FFP breaches
Manchester City are the subject of a "three-pronged investigation" by the Premier League, which could add more punishments to their existing two-year Champions League ban, according to the Mail. The domestic inquiry will look at City's wage bill increases between 2013 and 2016, potential false information in their accounts and the club's recruitment of youth players, including any breaches of third-party ownership. Potential sanctions range from fines to a transfer embargo, or even a points deduction. The Mail believe it is unlikely that City will be stripped of any previous Premier League title wins.
Paper Round's view: Manchester City might've beaten Real Madrid at the Bernabeu on Wednesday, but the celebrations will be over by now. The club officials will be desperate for the Financial Fair Play problems to be resolved. City are adamant that they have done nothing wrong and have submitted an appeal, but the problems keep on coming. A domestic investigation is more hassle for the club, but if they are innocent they have nothing to worry about. Only time will tell. However, club officials will be very aware that the whole situation will be affecting all the staff and players throughout the entire inquiry.
...but that doesn't stop City's plan to keep spending
The thought of a potential points deduction hasn't stopped Pep Guardiola and his recruitment staff from planning summer transfers. According to the Sun, the Premier League side are weighing up a £30 million move for Everton centre-back Mason Holgate at the end of the season. Holgate has attracted the attention of Guardiola with his impressive performances since Carlo Ancelotti took charge at Goodison Park. The 23-year-old defender can also play at right-back and in defensive midfield. The Sun state that City could even offer John Stones back to his former club as part of a potential deal.
Paper Round's view: City are crying out for a couple of new centre-backs, but is Holgate really the answer? The club need to adhere to the league's home-grown quota, but - no offence - spending £30 million on Holgate seems like an odd decision. Aymeric Laporte is one of the best centre-backs in the world and he is desperate for a top player to join him in the heart of the City defence. Stones has failed to kick on at the Etihad and Nicolas Otamendi's time at the club seems to be up. Signing some new defenders is a priority for City, but the recruitment team need to sign a ready-made centre-back who will be a game-changer as they look to bring the league title back to Manchester next season.
Chelsea join race for Lyon star
Chelsea have already confirmed the summer signing of Ajax midfielder Hakim Ziyech, but they aren't finished just yet. The Sun report that the west London club have joined Manchester City and Juventus in the race for Lyon star Houssem Aouar. The report states that Chelsea have already submitted a £43 million bid for the Frenchman and "discussions between the various parties are underway". Ahead of Wednesday's Champions League tie against Juventus, Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas stated, "I would like to see Aouar at Juventus in the future and I hope that that is also his ambition".
Paper Round's view: The Chelsea recruitment team is looking very organised ahead of the summer transfer window. The Blues' winter window was a shambles as the club successfully appealed their transfer ban, only to end January without any new signings. However, Ziyech is done and now Lampard is looking to Lyon for some fresh meat. Chelsea are said to be interested in the French club's forward Moussa Dembele, but Aouar could make it a double swoop from the Premier League side. Aouar is a talented player and if Jean-Michel Aulas is touting him out to Juve, he might just be on the move this summer.
Elliot to sign new deal with Liverpool
Liverpool youngster Harvey Elliot is set to sign a new three-year contract at the club, despite only joining the Reds from Fulham last summer. According to the Mail, the 16-year-old is set to rewarded by Jurgen Klopp after impressing his manager with his "rapid progress" during his debut season at Anfield. Elliot has made six appearances this season, including one in the Premier League, despite his young age. It is also being reported that the playmaker could receive a call-up for the England under-21 squad next month for the 2021 European Championship qualifiers.
Paper Round's view: There's no denying that Harvey Elliot is top prospect. He is only 16 years old. Sixteen. And he's already getting a new contract at the Premier League leaders after impressing one of the best managers in world football. Securing his signature last summer was a real coup for Liverpool, but tying him down to a new contract shows what their transfer policy is all about. The club have spent lots of money on keeping their current stars, instead of scouting for new players to add to their squad. A lot of clubs could learn a lot from the way Liverpool is run.