BARCELONA GO FROM COUTINHO TO WILLIAN
Well well. After Philippe Coutinho’s move from Liverpool never got off the ground with Jurgen Klopp refusing to countenance any deal, there are now reports that they have changed their top transfer target in a bid to spend their Neymar money before the window closes.
France Football claim that Chelsea midfielder Willian is their new target, but Barcelona are surely not going to have any more success there. Willian is more important than ever for Chelsea, and Antonio Conte will probably explode if another member of his first-team squad is sold without players coming in.
The report says that Barcelona officials are in contact with Willian, but would he even be a good signing for them? He’s 29 and has a contract to 2020. It would have to be a sodding large bid.
BUT COUTINHO TO MAKE STATEMENT OF DISCONTENT
However, the Coutinho saga isn’t quite over just yet. Sorry, we wish it was too.
Yahoo Sport claim that Coutinho will make a public statement to voice his disapproval at how Liverpool’s owners and manager have handled Barcelona’s interest. Basically, he’s about to passive aggressively throw his toys out of the pram.
“Coutinho is willing to say that Liverpool is making his life miserable and that he wants to leave,” Yahoo quote a source close to Coutinho as saying. “He has been very patient, but at the end of the day it is his option as a player to leave the club – and he wants to do exactly that.”
He’s going to kick himself when he realises that it was him who signed the contract that keeps him at Anfield.
OH GOOD. MESSI TO MAN CITY… NEXT SUMMER
You know that the Premier League’s biggest clubs are slowing down their business for the summer when you start reading the transfer stories about next summer, and that is exactly what has happened on Thursday.
The Sun have gone big on claims that Lionel Messi’s father is already in discussions with Manchester City about a free transfer move next year. Barcelona’s shoddy recent administration means that Messi is actually out of contract next summer, and can therefore begin to start official talks with any club outside of Spain from January onwards.
Jorge Messi has reportedly spoken to Txiki Begiristain, but that is not to say that a deal will be easy. Messi has repeatedly said he will stay at Barcelona for the rest of his career, and the least he might do is sign a new deal, thus meaning any interested club would have to pay his £263m release clause. Doing that for a 30-year-old? Good luck.
AND THE REST
Manchester City are back in for West Brom defender Jonny Evans with a £22m bid…Chelsea are back in for Danny Drinkwater with a £32m bid…Stoke have been linked with Brugge centre-back Bjorn Engels…Leicester will hold off any attempts to sign their star players as transfer deadline day approaches…Chelsea are chasing three English signings including Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Danny Drinkwater and Ross Barkley.