MOURINHO WANTS RAKITIC…
It is never made clear quite why Barcelona would be open to selling one of their starting central midfielders who has played in nine consecutive victories, but this is the gossip column and it does not bow to logic. So if the Daily Star are reporting that Diario Gol are reporting that Manchester United want Ivan Rakitic, then who are we to argue?
They claim that United will dangle the quite considerable carrot of Anthony Martial under the noses of Barcelona and suggest a swap deal. That Martial lad has been rather brilliant this season, you know.
BARCA BACK FOR COUTINHO
You may have read that Barcelona claim to be ready to return for Philippe Coutinho in January. Well, the Daily Mail have put a figure on it and say that £120m will be the figure offered. We can all expect that to be turned down, with Liverpool said to be ‘furious’ with Barcelona for making another public statement.
One interesting aside in that Mail piece is that Tottenham are expected to resurrect their move for Barcelona’s Andre Gomes in January, with the Spanish club making it clear that they need to sell as well as invest.
MATA TURNS DOWN CHINESE MOVE
‘Juan Mata has rejected the chance of a mega-money move to the lucrative Chinese Super League,’ according to the Daily Mirror. The Spanish midfielder has apparently been offered what the Mirror call a ‘huge hike’ on his £165,000-a-week wages but is set to stay at Manchester United instead, with all parties ready to trigger a one-year extension to his contract.
Meanwhile, Ander Herrera will get a brand new contract to reflect his worth to the club, which is a bit rich considering he has apparently been relegated to fourth-choice central midfielder.
AND THE REST
Liverpool striker Danny Ings is a January target for Rafa Benitez at Newcastle…PSG rght-back Dani Alves has said that it would be “great” if his club could sign striker Alexis Sanchez…Crystal Palace will resist any renewed approach from Leicester for 26-year-old winger Andros Townsend…