EVERY BUGGER IS LEAVING LEICESTER
We’re starting with the Daily Star, which really should come with a health warning, because they are predicting an exodus from the King Power this summer, involving at least five first team players.
‘Riyad Mahrez to quit Leicester: Algerian off with £100m worth of talent – EXCLUSIVE’ reads the headline, and it’s Mahrez who is the headline name. Dave Armitage writes that he will ‘spark a £35m auction’ with Paris St Germain and Marseille both interested.
The other names mentioned are Kasper Schmeichel, Islam Slimani, Ahmed Musa and Leonardo Ulloa. So two of their most expensive signings and two of their best players, then?
The Star reckon that Leicester can hope to get £100m from the sales of those players. Given that they spent £46m on Musa and Slimani, they’d want at least that. It hasn’t gone well for those two.
ARSENAL WANT LEMAR
To the Daily Mirror now, and an exclusive from John Cross on Arsenal’s transfer hopes. You may remember last month that Cross wrote how Arsenal were targeting Alexandre Lacazette, Moussa Dembele, Kieran Tierney and Wilfried Zaha. You can now add Thomas Lemar to that list.
Cross says that Wenger has been interested in Lemar for some time, and has seen him impress at Monaco after moving from Caen in 2015. After Monaco’s success in the Champions League this season, the midfielder is likely to cost close to £30m.
NEWCASTLE WANT MAN CITY TRIO
No sooner had it become clear that Rafa Benitez will be staying on as Newcastle manager and will also have a sizeable transfer budget, the transfer rumours started flowing in. By Thursday morning, three different Manchester City players had been linked with a move to St James’ Park.
In the Daily Mail, Dominic King writes that Benitez is looking to sign Eliaquim Mangala and Fernando, and has even held discussions with Txiki Begiristain. Fernando has fallen out of favour under Pep Guardiola (because he he isn’t very good), while Mangala has been on loan at Valencia, who do not want to take up the option to sign him permanently (because he isn’t very good).
Elsewhere, the stories linking Newcastle with a move for Yaya Toure won’t go away, but it’s worth saying that the Ivorian has now been linked to at least eight Premier League clubs already, and his departure from Manchester City has not even been confirmed yet.
AND THE REST
West Ham have offered Pablo Zabaleta the chance to make a new start away from Manchester City… Everton are showing interest in Middlesbrough midfielder Marten de Roon, who has impressed following his £12m move from Atalanta… Watford have expressed an interest in signing Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen on loan… Liverpool midfielder Kevin Stewart is attracting interest from Sunderland, Stoke and Burnley… West Brom are eyeing up a move for Middlesbrough centre-back Ben Gibson… Crystal Palace have joined the chase for Brighton ‘keeper David Stockdale.