Not gone well for him, has it? Since leaving Barcelona in mid August, Pedro has started 13 Premier League games for Chelsea, scoring twice and assisting twice. He has started just once in the Premier League, and failed to become a regular fixture during a season of upheaval at Stamford Bridge.
Well, according to Catalan newspaper Diario Sport, Pedro fancies the opportunity of returning to Barca on loan for the rest of the season. Of course he does. According to the Spanish outlet, Luis Enrique has turned down the chance to re-sign the winger, as he instead favours a move for Nolito. Poor Pedro.
Manchester United are struggling for goals. They have scored 24 in the Premier League, with only 10 sides scoring fewer. Their top goalscorer is Anthony Martial, with five strikes to his name. Each of the four sides above them have scored at least 10 more goals. In short: they need a bit more firepower.
So where does Louis van Gaal look next? Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo are constantly linked with a move to Old Trafford, but news is that Bale ain’t leaving. Even Ronaldo looks likely to stay at the Bernabeu, especially with Rafael Benitez’s sacking. So who is left?
Thankfully, the Daily Star have Friday’s hot take. In an exclusive from their man Jeremy Cross, Eden Hazard is next on the United shortlist.
According to Cross, United have been told there is ‘no chance’ of signing Bale from Real Madrid after the relationship between the two clubs broke down over the botched David de Gea deal, and that Hazard is Van Gaal’s next alternative.
Cross reports that Hazard has ‘already made up his mind’ to leave Chelsea, and that United will join Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain in that chase.
A ‘United source’ told the Star: “The club has to be realistic and realise that signing Gareth Bale or Cristiano Ronaldo remains a long shot, which means alternative targets come into the equation. Eden Hazard is certainly one of those and the type of player United need if they want to start winning trophies again.”
‘Sources’ speak in such a weird fashion to newspapers, don’t they? No-one uses these words in informal conversation.
Anyway, Hazard has a £65million valuation, and will solve United’s goal crisis, having completed 30 games in all competitions without a goal. He has four assists in that time.
IS KANE A REAL BOY?
From one dead cert to another, the Daily Telegraph are reporting that Real Madrid are ‘monitoring’ Harry Kane.
Sam Wallace has the exclusive track this time, with the Chief Football Writer claiming that Kane is being considered in ‘the long term’. It is a claim built mainly around the fact that Spurs would find selling Kane to Real ‘more palatable’ than the alternative – letting him leave for a domestic rival. With the striker contracted until 2020, Spurs do, of course, have no inclination to sell one of their best players.
But Spurs do have a history of selling their stars to the Spanish giants. Luka Modric and Gareth Bale made their way to Madrid in consecutive summers, and the Telegraph report that Kane could follow them if he continues his progress. It’s all very spurious.
LOAD OF BOLL-OX
We brought you the Hazard news from the Daily Star earlier, with the Belgian being tracked by Manchester United. Well The Sun think they know who his replacement could be.
It’s a hat-trick of exclusives, too. Shaun Custis is the man this time, and he claims that Arsenal winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is wanted by Chelsea.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has resided very much on the periphery of Arsenal’s title challenge this season. He has made 17 appearances in the Premier League, but started only six games. The England international has provided no goals or assists either. Still just 22, he is caught at a crossroads, and Custis believes that Chelsea could offer him an alternative route.
It seems to be based mainly on the fact that Jose Mourinho is a fan of Oxlade-Chamberlain’s, thereby his former employers must be. A watertight argument, certainly.
We finish with news from those ever-so-mysterious foreign lands. Liverpool want Mario Gotze, apparently.
Well, Jurgen Klopp in particular wants Mario Gotze. German newspaper Bild run an exclusive claiming that the Bayern Munich forward is the player Klopp wants from the Bundesliga more than any other. Their reporter, Jorg Weiler, is a close acquaintance of the Liverpool manager, but he provides the sobering caveat that Gotze is valued at at least 50million euros, which equates to around £37million.
Gotze’s deal at the Allianz Arena runs out next summer, and while he was one of our five underused players from Europe’s elite who could move this January – he has played seven Bundesliga games this season – he would surely attract more suitors than Liverpool. He and Klopp share an excellent relationship from their time together at Borussia Dortmund, but still.
As an aside, the German international is out for around three months with an injury. He’d fit right in at Anfield.
AND THE REST
Sevilla’s Poland midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak says Arsenal remain interested in signing him…Chelsea will go back to Everton with £40m for John Stones in the summer but face competition from Barcelona…Lazio have told Manchester United to make their move for Felipe Anderson…Manchester United are ready to test Everton’s resolve with a £40m summer bid for free-scoring Romelu Lukaku…Cardiff have put a £10m price tag on goalkeeper David Marshall – a target for Everton…Stoke are interested in Porto midfielder Giannelli Imbula…Carlo Ancelotti rejected the chance to rejoin Chelsea as manager in November, before his move to Bayern Munich was announced…Borussia Dortmund could be tempted if Arsenal bid £60m for newly-crowned African Footballer of the Year Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang…Manchester City are in talks with Central Coast Mariners over Australian midfielder Anthony Caceres…Stoke are considering a record bid for West Brom striker Saido Berahino…Napoli have rejected a £14m Swansea bid for forward Manolo Gabbiadini.