Gossip: Neymar, Payet, Laporte, Pellegrini

Date published: Wednesday 10th February 2016 12:30

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ANOTHER NEYMAR EXCLUSIVE
While every other back page in the world leads on Jose Mourinho confiding in his friends that he believes he will be Manchester United’s next manager, The Sun go in a different direction. Were they not in on the secret chat?

Instead, Antony Kastrinakis has ‘ANOTHER EXCLUSIVE’ for us. The man really is shameless.

Over the last two weeks, we’ve had ‘exclusives’ on United wanting to sign Neymar and Manchester City wanting to sign Neymar, so what are we missing? Yes, you’ve guessed it: United AND City want to sign Neymar.

The fee mentioned is roughly the same as it was before, but if you push the two clubs together you get a new exclusive, see? We’re presumably ignoring such things as what Neymar wants (to stay at Barcelona, according to his father) and what Barca want.

 

CITY TO BID BIG FOR PAYET?
Well this would be a bit weird, but it’s another ‘exclusive’ from The Sun. We don’t want to be mean to Duncan Wright, but his record on ‘exclusives’ isn’t exactly faultless.

Still, let’s carry on regardless. The Sun claim that Pep Guardiola is looking to make Dimitri Payet his first signing as Manchester City manager, and will pay up to £30m for the midfielder. They will apparently face competition from Chelsea for the Frenchman.

Two things:

1) Why wasn’t Payet on that list of transfer targets produced by The Sun last week if Guardiola wanted to make him his first signing? Either he was omitted in error, or Pep has only just decided on his list and therefore last week’s was guesswork.

2) Are City really going to pay £30m for a player who turns 29 in March?

 

UNITED TO OPEN LA PORTE
It’s the first time I’ve been able to crowbar GCSE French into poor pun, so let’s run with it. Manchester Evening News report that Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte heads the list of central defenders Manchester United wish to buy.

They say that United are pushing on with their current transfer plans despite the uncertainty over Louis van Gaal’s employment, with Laporte, John Stones and Raphael Varane the three options to partner Chris Smalling.

Let’s be honest, Laporte has just signed a deal with Jorge Mendes. He’s going to moving somewhere soon for a whacking great fee.

 

CHELSEA AREN’T CONSIDERING PELLEGRINI
News from Stamford Bridge now, and it’s not particularly surprising. We couldn’t see Roman Abramovich appointing a cast-off from another Premier League team, and reports on Wednesday say exactly that.

The Daily Mail reckon that Pellegrini has no chance of landing the Chelsea gig, but also that Abramovich is unsure about Diego Simeone. The Russian apparently has reservations over Simeone’s playing style.

It can mean only one thing: Kevin Keegan to Chelsea.

 

AND THE REST
Riyad Mahrez is in line for a new contract in the summer following his huge impact in Leicester’s title charge…West Ham striker Nikica Jelavic is set to become the latest player to swap the Premier League for football in China…Danny Drinkwater is line for a first England call-up for next month’s friendly matches against Germany and Holland…Remi Garde last night warned Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner: Show me the money this summer or I’m off…Ed Woodward could face a grilling from investors about the financial impact on Manchester United should the club fail to qualify for the Champions League…Juventus are preparing an offer to sign Colombian winger Juan Cuadrado permanently from Stamford Bridge.

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