MOURINHO WANTS KANE AT UNITED
It’s fair to say that Jose Mourinho is stepping up his campaign to be chosen as the next manager of Manchester United. Miguel Delaney has the exclusive story that Mourinho would target Harry Kane should he be named as Louis van Gaal’s replacement.
That’s all very well, but there is little indication (as Delaney himself says) that Tottenham have any appetite to sell Kane, nor too that the player wants a move away from White Hart Lane. Why on earth would you at the moment?
However, the fact that Mourinho is making transfer plans is a clear tactic to put pressure on a Manchester United board that are coming under fire for both their inaction on the Van Gaal debacle and poor record in the transfer market. You can hardly blame him.
CHANGING OF THE GARDE AT VILLA
It really hasn’t gone well for Remi Garde at Aston Villa. It’s difficult to criticise him too much for a sorry situation for which at least five different parties are to blame, but Villa turned to him at a time of crisis. Rather than steer them away from the iceberg, he’s ploughed straight through the middle.
Garde has now been in charge for 23 matches, winning only three and drawing seven. That 13% win percentage isn’t doing him any favours, and the Sunday Mirror say that he will be sacked in the next 48 hours, four months after being appointed.
The salient question is who in the name of all that is holy would want to take over at Villa Park now? This is a club that has started a very messy descent, and nobody quite knows where the bottom of the cliff is. As Garde has found out, it’s mightily difficult to inspire this squad of players, many of whom won’t fancy Championship football.
There truly is only one true candidate: Steve McClaren. Oh yes, he’s been out of the game too long.
JUVENTUS WANT BENTEKE
To the Sunday People now, who claim that Juventus want to make a £25m bid for Liverpool striker Christian Benteke. We’re told that Juve made a bid in January, but Jurgen Klopp dismissed it out of hand.
The paper say that Juventus are long-term admirers of Benteke, and see him as the perfect replacement for Mario Mandzukic. Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata might be the answer to that particular question, but hey.
Let’s say it now: If any club in the world offers Liverpool £25m for a striker who they paid £32.5m for and has flopped completely since, they should take the money and run away as fast as their little legs can carry them.
…OH, AND ALEXIS SANCHEZ TOO
Arsenal face a battle this summer to keep hold of Alexis Sanchez, with Juventus keen to bring the 27-year-old Chile international back to Serie A. The Sunday Mirror claims the Italians are monitoring the progress of contract talks between former Udinese frontman Sanchez and the Gunners.
Sanchez – signed from Barcelona for £35million two years ago – has been a major success at the Emirates, and Arsenal are keen for him to extend his deal to keep him at the club for the next four years.
But Juventus – who went out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage last week in a dramatic defeat against Bayern Munich – have Sanchez high on their wanted list. And they would match the fee Arsenal paid to Barcelona to get their man. Sanchez was last week reported to have issues with manager Arsene Wenger about the amount of game time he is given.
Atletico Madrid are also keen on Sanchez, but Wenger is hopeful that he will stay on a long-term basis.
AND THE REST
Pablo Zabaleta has admitted that Manchester City stars have been unsettled by looming arrival of Pep Guardiola… Mauricio Pochettino has alerted his Spurs chairman Daniel Levy to one of Argentina’s brightest young stars in Jonathan Calleri… Manchester United are chasing Valencia’s 22-year-old midfielder Andre Gomes… Pep Guardiola could make Bayern Munich’s £10m-rated Sebastian Rode one of his first signings at Manchester City… Juventus will target Arsenal’s 29-year-old French striker Olivier Giroud if they fail to sign Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani, also 29… Napoli will try to sign Everton striker Romelu Lukaku, 22, if they sell Gonzalo Higuain… West Ham have agreed an £8.5m deal to sign Besiktas’s 24-year-old winger Gokhan Tore this summer.