ARSENAL IN POLE POSITION
Happy ‘Leicester might win the Premier League’ day. As unlikely as that scenario sounded back in the summer, the Sunday People provide us with something even more batsh*t mental: Arsenal will sign a world-class striker at the end of the season.
Steve Stammers tells us that Arsenal will move for Robert Lewandowski – if the Polish striker decides to leave Bayern Munich. Considering the 27-year-old insisted he is happy in Germany four days ago and has three years remaining on his contract at the Allianz Arena, that is a fairly substantial ‘if’.
That does not deter Stammers. Just as he claims the £50million price tag ‘would not deter’ Arsenal. That would mean Arsene Wenger breaking the Gunners’ club-record transfer fee. Imagine what the swathes of A4 sheets would protest then.
As an aside, Stammers also credits Wenger with an interest in Borussia Dortmund midfielder Julian Weigl. He is good at the football.
Over to the Sun on Sunday now, and Mike McGrath has a juicy Manchester United exclusive. He claims that the Old Trafford club are considering making a £65million move for Antoine Griezmann.
Atletico Madrid striker Griezmann has also been linked to Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich, with his 30 goals in 50 games attracting attention from Europe’s biggest clubs.
McGrath claims that United will move for the French international regardless of the future of manager Louis van Gaal. Jose Mourinho, Van Gaal’s supposed successor, is a keen admirer of Griezmann’s, but the club want the forward to become part of a ‘major revamp’ this summer.
The Sun on Sunday’s man cannot help himself with regards to the Mourinho rumours, adding:
‘Mourinho and United have spoken this season and there is believed to be an option for the ex-Chelsea boss to back out of a deal if there is no Champions League football.
‘Finishing outside the top four, though, may not put Mourinho off the chance to restore the fallen giants.’
So the two parties ‘have spoken’, there is an ‘option’ for Mourinho to back out of the deal they have struck, but the Portuguese ‘may not’ even take said option if applicable. Excellent work.
MOURINHO UPDATE PART 427
One final word on Mourinho now, as the Daily Mirror provide us an update on his and Manchester United’s current situation. Because we have obviously been lacking in updates on that for the past six months.
‘Jose Mourinho will pick up a bumper payday from Manchester United – even if he never works for them,’ writes Derick Allsop. He claims that the manager and the club struck a deal which includes a ‘substantial compensation clause’ if Mourinho is not manager next season. Are the papers already planting the seeds just in case the Portuguese is not appointed? (Hint: Yes).
On Van Gaal, Allsop writes:
‘The Dutchman could yet save his job by winning the FA Cup and sealing a Champions League place for next season.
‘The compensation agreement will be derided by many, but it has served to ward off interest in Mourinho from other clubs including French champions Paris Saint-Germain.’
Can anyone else hear something reversing?
AND THE REST
Gareth Bale is on the wish list of incoming Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, but Real Madrid are hoping a pay rise of around £50,000 a week will see the Welshman extend his contract until 2021…Arsenal will this summer will attempt to sign young Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney, who has also attracted interest from Liverpool and Manchester City…Leicester midfielder N’Golo Kante has emerged as a major target for Manchester United, with a deal involving Andreas Pereira possibly on the cards…Leicester are eyeing a sensational swoop for Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho if N’Golo Kante departs…Leicester want to sign Rennes striker Ousmane Dembele, 18, Jagiellonia Bialystok goalkeeper Bartlomiej Dragowski, 18, and 21-year-old Feyenoord midfielder Tonny Vilhena this summer…Leicester will begin to prepare for the Champions League by offering Claudio Ranieri and Riyad Mahrez lucrative new contracts…West Ham plan to hold talks over Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette as they prepare to break the club’s transfer record to mark their arrival at the Olympic Stadium…Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew is planning to launch an ambitious summer raid for West Brom striker Saido Berahino…Hugo Lloris is set to give Tottenham a new boost by committing himself to the club for the next five years…Manuel Pellegrini wants another managerial role in the Premier League after his Manchester City contract comes to an end…Aston Villa want Nigel Pearson as their new manager but are delaying an announcement to focus on a proposed takeover.