THE SPLURGE, PART 1
After the success of his exclusive on Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic both returning early from injury to face Newcastle, Neil Custis is high on the thrill of sports journalism. And so when the Sun on Sunday needed a big story to carry them through the weekend, their journalist-in-the-know was more than happy to deliver.
‘Gareth Bale and Antoine Griezmann lined up by Manchester United in incredible £136m spending spree’ reads the headline to his latest scoop. United are ‘not put off’ by Bale’s injury record, and have ‘reopened talks’ with Atletico over Griezmann.
With regards to Bale, Custis concedes that Spurs have ‘first refusal’, and would also be interested if Real Madrid were willing to sell for around £50m. Which does seem unlikely.
As for Griezmann, his release clause remains at £86m, but the two clubs discussed ‘a lower fee’ at a recent ‘get together’. And that sounds really lovely.
Still, £136m for both Bale and Griezmann would be quite wonderful business. Where would Lukaku/Ibrahimovic/Martial/Rashford fit in?
THE SPLURGE, PART 2
Don’t expect that to be the end of United’s spending. If reports are to be believed, Jose Mourinho has a wedge of pocket money to spend next summer.
According to the Sunday Mirror, much of that could go on Tottenham left-back Danny Rose. And Mourinho won’t even wait until the summer to make a bid; a £40m January offer is being tabled.
Luke Shaw could also be offered as a makeweight, and that really might just tempt Mauricio Pochettino. Rose would also get his wages doubled and join a squad he would not have to Google.
The 27-year-old was left out of the matchday squad to face Arsenal on Saturday, in a game that demanded 16 Conclusions.
Elsewhere in United land, Calciomercato say that a move for Willian could still come to fruition. Busy b*stards.
CITY FITS PATRICK
Let’s finish with something a bit mental, shall we? Manchester City want Patrick van Aanholt, if another Sun on Sunday exclusive is to be believed.
Mike McGrath brings us the news that, with Benjamin Mendy sidelined until April at the earliest, Van Aanholt is a ‘shock name’ being lined up by Pep Guardiola.
Guardiola is ‘desperate for left-back cover’, even with Fabian Delph holding his own in the role. Danilo can also fill in, but Palace have Van Aanholt, Jeffrey Schlupp, Joel Ward, Pape Souare and Jairo Riedewald able to contend for a left-back role, so City want to even the score somewhat.
Aaron Martin and Ryan Bertrand are also under consideration, but Van Aanholt is the cheap option at £12m. He can certainly do the attacking, but is he tactically inclined? That’s a rhetorical question.
AND THE REST
Everton want to bring in Watford boss Marco Silva because they believe the Portuguese will help attract players of the calibre of Paris St-Germain’s 30-year-old Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani to Goodison Park… Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is set to stay at the club until at least 2020. Portuguese Mourinho has another 18 months to run on his contract – plus the option of a further year… Big-spending PSG are thought to want Mourinho, but the French giants would have to pay £30m in compensation to prize him away from Old Trafford… Real Madrid are planning a £53m move for Manchester City’s 29-year-old Argentina forward Sergio Aguero, but it could depend on whether Arsenal and Chile striker Alexis Sanchez, 28, joins Pep Guardiola’s side from the Gunners… Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool are monitoring Shakhtar Donetsk’s Brazil winger Bernard, 25, who is out of contract this summer… Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo, 32, may not be interested in a move from Real Madrid to play in the United States because long-term rival and Argentina forward Lionel Messi, 30, is also not keen on a move from Barcelona to Major League Soccer… Manchester United have renewed their interest in West Ham midfielder Domingos Quina, with scouts watching the 17-year-old score for Portugal Under-19s against Spain this week.
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