LIVERPOOL GO GERMAN
This whole ‘Mario Gotze to Liverpool’ thing is actually happening, isn’t it? The little chipmunk ‘has fallen out of love’ with current club Bayern Munich, and is looking for a reunion with former Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp. Lucky boy.
The most recent claims come from the Daily Mirror – although they are being reported pretty much everywhere – and concern Bayern’s desire to ensure they recoup some of the £30million they spent on signing the German international in 2013.
Gotze has one year remaining on his current deal at the Allianz Arena, but the World Cup final-winning goalscorer is refusing to extend that contract. There is ‘massive interest’ globally in the 23-year-old, but it is thought that the Klopp factor will be key. They are still texting, after all.
In other news concerning Liverpool signing a German international from a Bundesliga club, Jonas Hector has recently emerged as an Anfield target. He is a real-life left-back, which is an added bonus.
Hector earned his 11th Germany cap at the weekend and, although he was part of a defence which conceded three goals to England, he impressed. Liverpool scouts were sent to watch him, and appear satisfied that he could be a useful addition.
Cologne defender Hector recently discussed the links to Liverpool, and the 25-year-old is not only a left-back, but also a holding midfielder. The Mirror report that he will cost the Reds £12million. For a Germany regular in a major tournament summer? Sure.
It’s a strange world where West Ham are being linked with Zlatan Ibrahimovic. It’s an even stranger world when it’s not a completely outlandish transfer rumour.
Hammers co-chairman David Sullivan has decided to stoke this particular fire, telling talkSPORT: “We have a list of about ten strikers all over Europe, and most of our money will go into signing a striker.
“I’d love Ibrahimovic from PSG, but whether he’d come to us I don’t know. I know he’s 34 but he’s a fantastic player.
“There are a number of top Premier League players we may be bidding for, top goalscorers, but I can’t name them. I can’t comment on players from other teams.”
The Sweden international’s contract at PSG expires in the summer. He is a wanted man. Perhaps West Ham should just settle for re-signing Dean Ashton?
— BT Sport Football (@btsportfootball) March 28, 2016
£50m FOR LUKAKU?
How much is Romelu Lukaku worth? The striker cost Everton a club-record £28million in summer 2014. He has scored more goals before the age of 23 than Cristiano Ronaldo, Michael Owen, Fernando Torres, Wayne Rooney and Florent Sinama Pongolle, and he only reaches that age in May. He is a fully-fledged Belgium international, and has scored 130 goals in 310 career appearances. And if you sign him, you’re signing Daniel Storey, too.
According to the Mirror, £50million might not even be enough. Manchester United and Chelsea are again linked with Lukaku on Tuesday morning, but that claim is that Everton will fight to keep their asset even in the face of a gargantuan fee. Well, obviously.
Lukaku may want Champions League football, but he has three years left on his contract at Goodison Park. The club have proven that they will not sell an asset if they do not want to. Only a bid ‘well in excess’ of £50million could persuade Everton, say the Mirror.
AND THE REST
Chelsea will move for AC Milan’s 17-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma if Thibaut Courtois, 23, leaves Stamford Bridge this summer…Tottenham Hotspur are considering a move for Bournemouth winger Matt Ritchie, 26, in the summer…England striker Wayne Rooney, 30, may have less than a month to prove his fitness to manager Roy Hodgson as he bids to return to Manchester United’s starting line-up on 16 April against Aston Villa following a knee injury…Manchester City and Liverpool are ready to double 23-year-old Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s wages but will have to pay his £63m release clause.
Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo, 26, plans to return to his native Argentina to play for Estudiantes when his contract expires in 2019…Swansea City want their former manager Brendan Rodgers, 43, to return to the Liberty Stadium…Sunderland will demand almost £6m for midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini, 30, this summer…West Bromwich Albion defender Gareth McAuley, 36, who is out of contract in the summer, is discussing extending his five-year stay…Southampton manager Ronald Koeman will be offered a five-year deal to keep him at the club. The Dutchman has just one year left on his current deal at St Mary’s.