Gossip: Di Maria return; Griezmann, Auba updates

Date published: Monday 26th September 2016 8:44

Angel Di Maria Manchester United

HOW TO SOLVE CHELSEA’S PROBLEM? DI MARIA
Anyone who has watched Chelsea this season will know their main weakness. The Blues have scored ten goals in the Premier League, yet have conceded nine – only six clubs have a worse defensive record.

Antonio Conte has found the solution: Sign Angel di Maria. According to Spanish outlet Don Balon… *sigh*… Chelsea could offer the Argentinean winger a route back to England. Di Maria is unhappy in France – some things never change – and is open to a return.

The Daily Star are kind enough to translate some of the best bits:

‘Antonio Conte is reportedly a huge admirer of the 28-year-old and will plot a move for Di Maria next summer.

‘Don Balon also claim the PSG ace is convinced he will shine if given another crack at the Premier League.

‘Di Maria reckons he would take the league by storm if he was under the guidance of a top coach.’

‘…BLAST at Louis van Gaal…’

 

GRIEZMANN BOOST
Did you know Antoine Griezmann split with his agent? Considering you clearly read transfer gossip columns, and it happened almost a fortnight ago, you obviously do. The Independent, despite reporting on the story a little late, believe this is a ‘boost’ for Manchester United.

‘Antoine Griezmann has separated from his agent in a move that will boost Manchester United’s hopes of signing the Frenchman,’ reads the first paragraph. That, coupled with the fact that the Atletico Madrid forward rejected PSG this summer, means a switch to Old Trafford could materialise. Somehow. We’re not really sure how; it isn’t exactly explained.

As has been widely reported, the Independent confirm that Griezmann is United’s primary target for next summer’s transfer window. ‘With Griezmann going it alone, United may feel they now have a better chance of persuading the player to move to Old Trafford – without an agent suggesting him otherwise,’ they add.

They tell us nothing we did not already know. It’s a bit of a non-story. But ‘Manchester United transfer news’ and ‘Griezmann’ is in the headline, so lovely.

 

AUBA UPDATE
This one is also really weird. The headline on The Sun’s website reads: ‘Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Real Madrid: Prolific Borussia Dortmund striker eyeing move to Bernabeu.’

With Borussia Dortmund facing Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday, it sure would be strange for their best striker to be talking up a move to the Spanish giants. And in Aubameyang’s defence, he really, really doesn’t. ‘When talking about his side’s chances in their Champions League clash against Madrid on Tuesday, the 27-year-old striker refused point blank to comment on speculation of a move there,’ writes John Hutchinson.

Again, it’s an absolute non-story. The crux of the transfer rumour is that the Gabon international told his grandfather he would become a ‘Galactico’ one day. They are the only quotes in the story, and Aubameyang said them in July. Weird.

 

BONUCCI BATTLE
We end with a Daily Star exclusive: Both Chelsea and Manchester City want Leonardo Bonucci in January, and he will cost £50m. We are not sure which bit of that is ‘exclusive’.

City need the Italy international because Vincent Kompany is a walking injury. Chelsea need him because, well, have you seen Gary Cahill?

The problem is that Juventus are ‘in no rush to cash the £50m cheque’. They have just received a world-record transfer fee, after all.

 

AND THE REST
Chelsea’s defensive horror show at Arsenal has convinced Antonio Conte he needs to reshape the Blues’ defence…Wayne Rooney has no interest in leaving Manchester United despite losing his place in Jose Mourinho’s starting XI…Granit Xhaka is expected the be handed the opportunity to cement his place in Arsenal’s starting XI with Francis Coquelin sidelined…Stoke will consider appointing for Hull boss Steve Bruce if they sack Mark Hughes following the club’s poor start to the season…Former Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski has suggested Bastian Schweinsteiger could move to the MLS after being frozen out at Manchester United…Swansea’s American owners are keen on appointing former USA manager Bob Bradley with Francesco Guidolin’s future in doubt.

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