WENGER MAKES GORETZKA TOP TARGET
Having been initially told that Arsenal would go back in for Thomas Lemar, with a £80m asking price no barrier to Arsenal’s ambitions, that was very quickly scaled back last month. No sooner had the dust settled, but we’re being told that Arsenal’s top midfield target is actually a free transfer deal.
Still, it would be a doozy. Leon Goretzka is out of contract at Schalke next summer, something that has put just about every elite club in Europe on alert. The Daily Mail claim that Arsene Wenger has made Goretzka his priority.
That’s lovely, but Manchester City, Juventus and Barcelona all also have reported interest in the Germany international. Given that Arsenal walked away from Lemar because of the competition from Champions League clubs, they can surely only hope to sign Goretzka if they qualify for that competition next season.
PARDEW FOR WEST BROM
He is still an awfully long way from getting the job, but it’s Alan Pardew who has taken the first step to becoming West Brom’s new manager. We can’t quite get our heads around that one.
Pardew was sacked by Crystal Palace having won six of his 36 matches played in 2016, and burned every possible bridge at Newcastle United before leaving. It is true to say that he plays an expansive style of football, but surely there are countless better options than Ol’ Chunky?
Still, the Express & Star report that Pardew is towards the top of West Brom’s shortlist, to the extent that the club have begun initial discussions with Pardew about taking over. Well, well.
REAL MADRID TO SELL EIGHT, INCLUDING BALE
We love these spurious Spanish media reports claiming that Real Madrid or Barcelona will have massive clear-outs, and purporting to name every player affected. And by ‘love’ them, we mean grow really weary of them.
Anyway, Diario Gol have produced another of them. We’re barely even arsed about passing on the message, so much does it look like guesswork. Anyway, your list in full: Lucas Vazquez, Dani Ceballos, Marcos Llorente, Kiko Casilla, Achraf Hakimi, Jesus Vallejo, Gareth Bale and Luka Modric.
Of those lot, only Bale and Modric will cause anything other than mild reaction. And given that we’ve been told that Bale is leaving approximately 500 times in the last three years, we’ll probably just believe it when we see it.
AND THE REST
Nacho Monreal reckons Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil will stay until the end of the season… Thibaut Courtois has put Real Madrid on alert by shelving contract negotiations… Louis van Gaal has not been approached by Everton… Manchester City are battling to keep young winger Javairo Dilrosun.