Paper Talk: Erling Haaland trail goes cold for Prem giants as £300m costs emerge; Villa’s worst fears realised as rivals make Coutinho move

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The staggering cost to sign Erling Haaland appears to have put off a Premier League giant, Aston Villa look set to lose Philippe Coutinho to a Prem rival, while Monday’s Paper Talk has updates on the futures of Edinson Cavani and Kalvin Phillips.

ERLING HAALAND TRUE COSTS COME TO LIGHT

Manchester City are likely to back out of a deal for Erling Haaland after the true costs of signing the striker came to light.

While City have wealth beyond their dreams, they have shown – like with Harry Kane last summer – they won’t be held to ransom over transfers.

That said, it was widely reported that Haaland was heading to the Etihad when the season ends. Indeed, reports in Germany recently claimed the deal was as good as done.

The 21-year-old striker is one of the most in-demand players in world football. And having scored a staggering 80 goals in 82 appearances for Borussia Dortmund it’s easy to see why.

At the time, it was reported that any deal for Haaland would cost Manchester City in the region of £100m. On top of his £63m exit clause at Borussia Dortmund, City would also need to spend another £37m on fees which would be split between player, his father and super-agent Mino Raiola.

However, the Daily Star claims the deal will actually ending up costing City closer to £300m over five years. Citing his wages, that will cost £33m a year – or £630,000 a week – the true cost of the deal seems enough to put even City off.

Indeed, Haaland would pocket himself a whopping £165m in wages over a five-year deal. But with bonuses, and agents’ fees on top, the total bill will cost nearer £300m.

And despite their vast riches, that appears enough to even put City off.

That’s also a claim backed up by Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo. They claim City are ‘no longer favourites’ for Haaland. Furthermore, they claim Real Madrid are trying to engineer a deal that will see Haaland stay at BVB until 2023, before moving to the Bernabeu.

ARSENAL READY TO POACH COUTINHO

Arsenal are plotting a summer move to snare Philippe Coutinho from under Aston Villa’s noses.

The Brazilian has rediscovered his mojo having returned to the Premier League under Steven Gerrard.

Aston Villa's Philippe Coutinho celebrates scoring in the Premier League match against Southampton at Villa Park

Indeed, Coutinho has four goals and three assists from nine Premier League appearances to put a top-half finish in Villa’s sights.

They have a £33m option to sign him permanent this summer, though Gerrard admits the deal remains complicated.

Now The Sun confirms earlier reports suggesting the Gunners are ready to swoop in.

They state the fact they can likely offer Champions League football as a factor strong enough to tempt Coutinho.

The Gunners won at Villa on this weekend to further cement their top-four hopes.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was also probed about their interest in Coutinho. And he admits the Brazilian is a player they have looked at.

“One of them,” Arteta said of Coutinho. “The team activates a lot of things when he’s on the ball so obviously it’s something we have to bare in mind.

“His ability to create goals and chances and unlock spaces when they don’t exist. That’s something he did consistently when he was at Liverpool.

“We looked at many different players with qualities that he had and at the end we went for a different one.”

CAVANI HEADING TO INTER MILAN

Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani now appears like he will be signing for Inter Milan this summer.

Edinson Cavani, Manchester United striker warms up before Premier League match at Tottenham

The Uruguayan will depart Old Trafford at the end of his contract this summer. He has regularly been linked with moves away but was persuaded to stay following talks with Ralf Rangnick.

He was expected to head for either Brazil, in his native South America, or Spain, with Sevilla and Barcelona keen.

Now, however, he appears destined instead to sign for Inter Milan.

Cavani is one of three strikers that Inter are looking to sign this summer.

They also have Ajax’s Sebastien Haller and Dries Mertens of Napoli on their shopping list.

Of the trio though, Cavani looks the easiest to sign given his free-agent status.

VILLA READY TO GO BIG FOR KALVIN PHILLIPS

Aston Villa are reportedly ready to get serious in their efforts to prise Kalvin Phillips away from Leeds  – and are said to be planning an offer that will give the Whites plenty to ponder this summer.

The midfielder remains a man in demand despite a season wrecked by injury. Indeed, he last played for Leeds back on December 5, with a torn hamstring keeping him sidelined ever since. During that time, Leeds have struggled, as often they do, without him.

His name has been linked with a plethora of sides – and recently Villa’s has been added to the list.

And with Villa backing Gerrard with serious funds this summer, The Times state they are preparing a ‘serious move’ for Phillips.

The paper claims Villa will go as high as £60m to land the man. That sort of offer is sure to give Leeds a serious headache.

Phillips’ deal runs until summer 2024 and so far, he is yet to agree a new deal.

Furthermore, they are willing to offer the player an ‘enormous salary’ to turn his head.

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