‘AYEW MAD?’ ASKS MONK
Despite his protests to the contrary, one has to believe that Jurgen Klopp is drawing up a shortlist for his first transfer market in charge of Liverpool this winter. Reports claimed last week that Swansea striker Andre Ayew had emerged as a surprise target alongside Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but the manager of the former has moved to dismiss any rumours.
Ayew is a known life-long Liverpool supporter and Klopp twice tried to sign the forward during his time at Dortmund, but, basically, Monk doesn’t care one jot.
“The speculation starts earlier and earlier every year, but I don’t think about it,” said Monk, speaking before Swansea’s clash with Stoke on Monday.
“There is no point in me focusing on things like that, things are not reality. The things I need to concentrate on are the things in front of me that are reality.
“Until anyone comes to me and says anything concrete it is not worth thinking about.
“It is part of the game, players get linked everywhere, every year. That is part of the job and I never focus on that.
“It is not my concern if he is a Liverpool fan or not. I could say there are 1,000 players I admire in the game, but is there any point in that?”
There we go then.
BERAHINO BATTLE IN JANUARY
It’s pretty much accepted that Spurs are likely to renew their interest in West Brom striker Saido Berahino come January, but could they face Premier League competition for the Englishman’s signature. Yes, yes they could.
Well, according to Italian website Tuttomercatoweb. We’re not entirely sure why an Italian website would know anything about two English clubs trying to sign an English player from another English club, but, y’know.
Anyway, Berahino has scored three of West Brom’s seven total league goals this season, a contribution of 42% of the goals to his side’s cause which is bettered by only Odion Ighalo at Watford (83%), Georginio Wijnaldum at Newcastle (50%), Jamie Vardy at Leicester (47%) and Callum Wilson at Bournemouth (45%). As a result, everyone’s (predictably) pretty much forgot he threatened to go on strike just a month ago, and now he is certain to be in-demand come January.
The club to rival Spurs will, according to Tuttomercatoweb, be Manchester United. If Berahino had problems keeping Peace with Jeremy, it really would be quite entertaining to watch his relationship with Louis van Gaal unfold/unravel if they were to work together.
EDEN HAZARD -> REAL MADRID
Eden Hazard was dropped to the bench for Chelsea’s win over Aston Villa. Eden Hazard was then name-checked by Jose Mourinho in his post-match quotes, with the Portuguese telling the Belgian to improve his work-rate. Eden Hazard has now been linked to Real Madrid. Transfer window gossip in a nutshell.
What makes this even worse is that Fichajes.net are the ones accredited with this rumour. We’re spoiling you this morning with the Spanish website alongside Tuttomercatoweb, you lucky sods.
I would usually now turn back to the rumour itself, but there isn’t much to add. Fichajes simply say Hazard is a priority signing for Real next summer, but that he won’t come cheap if Chelsea even want to sell.
MOURINHO ‘SCOUTS’ THREE PLAYERS
…is the gist of what Sky Sports are saying this fine Monday morning. They use quotes from Shakhtar Donetsk boss Mircea Lucescu, who claims he spoke to Mourinho and discussed three players who the Chelsea boss has been scouting personally.
The game in question was the European qualifier between Spain and Ukraine, and the players in question are Yevhen Konoplyanka, Andriy Yarmolenko and, weirdly, Brazilian Alex Teixeira, who his manager seems to have randomly crowbarred into a rumour. In the words of Lucescu himself:
“Mourinho is interested in Yevhen Konoplyanka. I was at Ukraine versus Spain with Mourinho and he is interested in some players.
“Perhaps it is Yarmolenko or Teixeira, if not, then it is Konoplyanka.”
Sky believe Konoplyanka is the man on Mourinho’s wishlist, and considering Yarmolenko has just signed a new contract with his club and Teixeira isn’t exactly of the required standard, they’re probably not far off.
AND THE REST
Radamel Falcao could ask Chelsea to cancel his season-long loan in January…Marseille would like to sign David Ospina should he decide to leave Arsenal…Leicester City are set to up their £8million bid for Sporting Lisbon winger Andre Carillo in January…Bolton boss Neil Lennon is interested in Carlton Cole if Celtic snub him…Fans called for David Moyes’ sacking in English as Real Sociedad suffered another defeat yesterday.