EXCLUSIVE NUMBER ONE
Will Edinson Cavani ever escape his handsomely-paid hell at Paris Saint-Germain? Since joining the French giants in 2013, Cavani has found opportunities as a central striker difficult to come by. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has seen to that. The Sweden international tops the Ligue Un scoring charts with 23 goals in 27 games, with Cavani diligently completing his duty as the bridesmaid, ranking second with 12 strikes. Ibrahimovic’s form has forced Cavani either on the wing – he has made 15 appearances starting on the left of a three-man attack – or on the bench, where he has been a substitute eight times. In only seven games has he started centrally.
Cavani’s desire to be the main man is obvious. Barely a week passes by without a rumour linking him to another major European club, and Sunday is no different. The Daily Star on Sunday runs with the EXCLUSIVE that Manchester United or Chelsea ‘must pay’ £40million to sign him.
It takes three paragraphs for Paul Hetherington to inform us that United ‘will not meet PSG’s valuation’ of the striker, mainly due to the fact that he is 29 and therefore has no re-sale value. Right then.
…AND NUMBER TWO
Another EXCLUSIVE now. This one comes from John Richardson of the Sunday Express, who wants us to know that Michael Carrick is the subject of an incredibly underwhelming transfer tug of war.
According to Richardson, Arsenal and Newcastle will battle with Chinese Super League clubs to sign Carrick, whose contract at Manchester United expires in the summer. We’re not sure how this qualifies as an EXCLUSIVE, considering all three have been constantly linked with the 34-year-old for about a month.
Carrick will be offered wages of £500,000 a week by certain Chinese clubs, adds Richardson. That is mental.
MAHREZ TO BARCA
It seems that the predictable by-product of Leicester’s success will soon come to pass. The Premier League table-toppers are ‘already becoming resigned to losing’ Riyad Mahrez, apparently.
The claim comes from Andy Dunn of the Sunday Mirror. He tells us that Barcelona are interested, and although Leicester are planning to double Mahrez’s wages, the Algerian’s interest has already been piqued.
Mahrez currently earns £35,000 a week at the King Power Stadium, but Leicester are planning to offer the 25-year-old £75,000, similar to the deal Jamie Vardy signed recently. However, with Barcelona circling, it is believed that Mahrez wants to leave.
Mahrez ‘has his heart set’ on leaving for the Nou Camp, even despite the prospect of considerably less game time. Mahrez accepts he will play less with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar providing his rivals for starting positions, as opposed to Marc Albrighton and Jeffrey Schlupp.
One final word from the Mirror now, who claim that Tottenham will offer Mauricio Pochettino a new contract, essentially telling Manchester United and others to bugger off.
A new contract ‘looks a certainty’ for Pochettino, writes Steve Stammers. United have been linked with the Argentinean for a number of months now, while he is also on a list of candidates to become Chelsea’s next permanent manager. Would he leave the club in second to join ones in fifth or 12th anyway?
AND THE REST
Chelsea and Arsenal have been told by Gonzalo Higuain’s agent to forget trying to sign the Napoli striker…Arsenal, Liverpool, Spurs, Leicester, Southampton and Crystal Palace are all monitoring Newcastle goalkeeper Freddie Woodman, 18, whose contract expires in the summer…Tottenham will attempt to ward off interest in Hugo Lloris by offering the goalkeeper £100,000-a-week if the France international helps the north Londoners qualify for the Champions League…Premier League target Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is eyeing a “dream” move to Real Madrid…Hull want to sign loanees Isaac Hayden and Nick Powell permanently from Arsenal and Manchester United, respectively…John Obi Mikel’s resurgence under Guus Hiddink means the Nigerian is likely to be offered a new contract at Stamford Bridge…Arsenal, Manchester City and Watford are battling 17-year-old Mali striker Aly Malle.