MAN UNITED CHASE DEMBELE OF THE WEEK
He is the two-time winner of our ‘Dembele of the week‘ award and Manchester United are reportedly interested, with the Daily Mail claiming they sent scout David Friio to watch him score twice for France’s Under-21s against England on Monday night. They claim: ‘Manager Jose Mourinho is understood to be a fan of Dembele and watched him three times last season prior to his move to Parkhead.’ Apparently, he sees him as the new Didier Drogba. Well, he is big, black and a striker.
Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Bayern Munich were also in attendance at the game as Europe’s big clubs collectively realise that they might have missed a trick when they allowed him to join Celtic for a nominal £500,000 in the summer. A January transfer seems out of the question, with Dembele keen to play for at least a season for Celtic. He’s enjoying himself – he has so far scored 16 goals in all competitions this season.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror claim that United will not allow Memphis Depay to join Everton on loan as he would prefer him to go abroad.
SMALLING AND DARMIAN OUT, RIGHT-BACK IN
According to the Daily Star, Jose Mourinho ‘has decided Smalling and Darmian do not feature in his long-term plans and will send them packing’. The idea that Matteo Darmian is surplus to requirements is not surprising, but Smalling? He has really tumbled down the reckoning since being the main man under Louis van Gaal.
The man Mourinho wants – at least according to the Star – is £25m Napoli star Elseid Hysaj, an Albanian who is a specialist right-back but can operate at centre-half. Another name mentioned elsewhere is Paris Saint-Germain right-back Serge Aurier. Apparently they had him watched for the Ivory Coast against France on Tuesday night.
STURRIDGE LINKED WITH MILAN
This is new. After being linked with West Ham, Crystal Palace and Tottenham, Daniel Sturridge is now apparently a target for AC Milan, and calciomercatoweb claim that Jurgen Klopp has given his approval for the England striker to leave the club. Which is clearly absolute nonsense. The price they are citing is around £28m but they are claiming a January transfer can only go through if they sell Carlos Bacca.
AND THE REST
West Ham are trying to cut short the loan deal of Simone Zaza…Chelsea striker Bertrand Traore, 21, is wanted by French side Lyon…Bournemouth are watching Portsmouth’s 19-year-old striker Conor Chaplin’s progress…Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Dominic Solanke arte two Chelsea youngsters who could join West Ham on loan.