COUTINHO DOOR OPENS!
Or at least that’s the translation of the headline on the front of Mundo Deportivo this fine Monday morning. Barcelona scout Robert Fernandez was at Wembley on Sunday to watch Coutinho in action (though as he was reportedly at the Bernebeu last week to watch Harry Kane et al, maybe that’s where his interest really lies) and the Spanish newspaper claims that Barcelona will ‘relaunch the operation’ to sign Coutinho this week and that Liverpool have a commitment to let him leave.
They quote Jurgen Klopp (and we are grateful to Sport Witness for the translation) as saying, when asked about Coutinho: “I have no idea. We’ll see. We don’t talk about things like this. Can you imagine what it would be like if I said ‘yes, we have an agreement to let him out’? Right now, the one hundred percent truth is that nobody thinks about this. We do not talk about it, why should we?”
It’s not bizarre that Liverpool may have agreed to let Coutinho leave, but it is bizarre that the price being mentioned is still an initial £71m with an extra £26m to come.
CASEMIRO FOR MAN UNITED?
Why Casemiro would leave Real Madrid for Manchester United is the biggest question on our lips, but there are reports in both England and Spain that the Brazilian midfielder is a target for Jose Mourinho, with the Manchester Evening News – citing reports in Spain – claiming that Casemiro will be offered ‘a wage packet close to that of top earner Paul Pogba in a bid to convince him to move’. So maybe that is the answer.
Paris St Germain are also said to be interested in Casemiro and they could presumably match the £290,000-a-week wages on offer at United.
The Sun claim: ‘During his time in Madrid, Mourinho worked with Casemiro and achieved La Liga glory. This is perhaps why he is prepared to offer the Brazilian £290,000 a week at Old Trafford.’ That is of course nonsense as Casemiro joined Real Madrid in 2013, just as Mourinho was leaving.
THESE ARE DESPERATE TIMES SO BALE TO CHELSEA…
We don’t like to cite Don Balon but a Monday in October is classic Don Balon territory. And Google Translate gives us a great opening paragraph: ‘Antonio Conte believes that his Chelsea lack a player that marks differences so that he does not have to depend so much on the geniuses that can be extracted from the top hat tactically.’
So that’s Gareth Bale to Chelsea then. Apparently Antonio Conte wants him to form part of a front three with Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard. Well of course he does.