EXCLUSIVE (BUT NOT QUITE)
Ladies and gentlemen, John Cross has an exclusive. A ruddy big one. In block capitals and red writing and everything. It looks like Tuesday is fun day in the Crossy household.
‘Manchester United are ready to break the bank to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – and make him one of the biggest stars in the world,’ Cross screams from the rooftops. Aubameyang is in fine form for Dortmund this season, scoring 27 goa…
Wait, hold on. This all looks very familiar. Manchester United want Pierre-Emerick Aubamayeng? Exclusively so? As exclusive as it was when the Mail on Sunday reported it on, well, Sunday? Excellent work all round.
Anyway, Cross adds that Aubameyang has been identified as United’s ideal target this summer, and they are willing to pay £60million for him. The Gabon international will also be the recipient of a lovely £200,000-a-week contract.
‘United still believe that a move to Old Trafford is appealing to the biggest stars in world football even if they have to pay huge prices to get them,’ writes
Ed Woodward Cross. The press release continues: ‘Arsenal have been on his case but have been scared off by Dortmund’s demands – but that will not deter United. They have got serious cash to spend and want to rebuild their squad even though doubts over the manager remain a huge issue.’
Forget the league table, United have loadsa money. And they want to spend it. On players who would not sign for them if they don’t qualify for the Champions League. Lovely.
WHAT’S THE MATA?
The winter transfer window may be over, but still preach caution. Lock your doors, seal your windows, turn off your electronic devices. Something Fichajes is (still) going on. Still? Christ.
The Daily Express attribute the Spanish website with their claims that Atletico Madrid want Juan Mata. The story seems to boil down to the fact that Jose Mourinho is the favourite to become Manchester United manager in the summer, and the Portuguese sold Mata when Chelsea boss. This is all new news to us. How have Fichajes managed to ascertain it?
In other news, the direct translation of ‘Fichajes.net’ from Spanish to English is ‘transfers.net’. Would you trust a website called ‘www.transfers.net’? No. Of course you wouldn’t. But it sounds all sexy with a continental name, doesn’t it? More people need to be aware of this.
‘Has Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli played his last match for AC Milan?’ asks the Liverpool Echo. The question comes after AC Milan coach Sinisa Mihajlovic criticised Balotelli’s work rate (along with numerous other players) during their last Serie A match.
Mihajlovic added that said players “will no longer set foot on the field”, which obviously places Balotelli’s season-long loan at the Italian club in serious jeopardy. The Echo report that there is no release clause in the deal, and that Liverpool ‘may be forced to seek another loan deal’ in the summer when he returns. Or Jurgen will transform him into the world’s finest striker. There will be no in between.
AND THE REST
Southampton are ready to cash in on £30million-rated Sadio Mane this summer, with Manchester United and Manchester City interested…Chelsea forward Eden Hazard, 25, says he would struggle to turn down the chance to move to Paris St-Germain in the transfer window…Manchester City are facing a fight to keep their best young players amid fears their first-team pathway could be blocked if Pep Guardiola brings in high-profile targets Paul Pogba, 22, Luis Suarez, 29, and 27-year-old Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski…Turkish side Besiktas are considering a summer approach for Roma’s 29-year-old former Manchester City forward Edin Dzeko…Newcastle boss Steve McClaren’s future could be decided in the club’s next two games at Stoke on 2 March and at home to Bournemouth three days later.