LIVERPOOL WANT WILLIAMS
Not he of ‘Jonny’ fame. Sorry, folks.
‘Liverpool monitor Athletic Bilbao’s €20m-rated forward Iñaki Williams,’ reads the headline to a piece by Ed Aarons in The Guardian. Lovely.
Williams has scored 10 goals in 20 appearances so far this season, and, for all intents and purposes, does look really rather good. He has a €20m release clause, and broke through the youth ranks at Bilbao last campaign.
Liverpool will face competition from Madrids Real and Atletico for his signature. That ban has been predictably worth it. Arsenal and Spurs have also sent scouts, but they are not expected to follow up on their interest.
Bilbao are trying to persuade the 21-year-old to sign a new contract, but with many clubs around Europe circling, his future looks to lie elsewhere.
Hands up who thought news of Real Madrid’s FIFA-imposed transfer ban would herald the end of ridiculous rumours, at least involving the Spanish club?
Hands back down, people, because Antony Kastrinakis has a whopping great EXCLUSIVE. Oh yes.
According to The Sun’s Mr. European Football, Real are planning ‘the biggest spending spree in history’. They are still allowed to sign players in this transfer window, of course, with the ban coming into action for the next window, all the way up to summer 2017. Barcelona were hit with a similar ban in 2014, but essentially found a loophole by appealing the decision in order to push the ban back another window. The claims are that Real (and Atletico) will do the same.
Back to Kastrinakis, who has somehow got his hands on Real’s shortlist for this month. It includes Eden Hazard, Sergio Aguero, David de Gea, Paul Pogba and Robert Lewandowski. If they sign even one of those players this month I will call Neil Custis a fat man and challenge him to a weight loss competition.
Kastrinakis even knows the numbers behind the deals. Hazard will cost £80million, Aguero will cost £70m, Lewandowski £75m, Pogba £80m and De Gea £30m. Considering Real will be spending an ‘astonishing £250m’ this January, we expect they have the best negotiators in town; that adds up to £335m. Kastrinakis does add that it is ‘unclear’ whether Real will go for both Aguero and Lewandowski. How has he managed to procure this EXCLUSIVE yet not attain that vital piece of information?
Real will fund their business by selling Cristiano Ronaldo to Paris Saint-Germain for £100million. Gareth Bale will not leave (much like everyone else listed in the story).
Good of Real Madrid to work out their transfer ban plans, and the many players they're buying, so quickly, and then tell The Sun.
— Sport Witness (@Sport_Witness) January 15, 2016
It’s only an ‘incredible raid’ because it’s a load of b*llocks.
MONEY PROBABLY CAN BUY YOU STONES
According to the Daily Star, Real won’t stop there in their rendition of panic shopping just before a snowstorm hits. Their man David Woods reckons Everton defender John Stones could also be on their shortlist.
The claim is buried in the Star’s story, nine paragraphs in:
‘Spurs striker Kane, Chelsea’s Footballer of the Year Hazard and Everton centre back John Stones are high on Madrid’s shopping list, along with long-time target, Manchester United keeper De Gea.’
That is literally the only mention Woods provides of the players Real will look to sign.
A few paragraphs below, Woods adds:
‘It looks unlikely any of these high-profile transfers will go through in this window, but the all-powerful Bernabeu outfit are sure to turn up the heat in the summer.’
LEICESTER WANT SAIDO
Where better to finish than with Darren Lewis of the Daily Mirror? Leicester want Saido Berahino, he reckons.
Lewis’s second paragraph, an absolute piece of art, reads: ‘The Italian (Claudio Ranieri) is (has) prioritised a striker and a defender this month for his Premier League co-leaders (they’re second on goal difference, not leaders) and is ready to join the race for West Brom frontman Berahino to strengthen his options in attack.’
Lewis adds that Stoke, Chelsea, Newcastle and Spurs are interested in Berahino, who is ‘expected to leave this month’. This comes less than two days after The Sun said that West Brom would not allow Berahino to leave until the summer.
The 22-year-old has now been linked with Arsenal, Leicester, Manchester City, Tottenham, Manchester United, Stoke, Liverpool, Everton, Chelsea, Norwich and Newcastle this past year.
AND THE REST
Liverpool and Tottenham are monitoring 20-year-old Yasin Ben El-Mhanni…Chelsea are close to signing Brazil striker Alexandre Pato, 26, from Corinthians for £10million – but look likely to sell Loic Remy first…Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich believes his chances of landing top managerial target Diego Simeone have been improved after the Argentine’s current club Atletico Madrid were given a transfer ban…West Ham are hoping to beat Everton to a deal for Leeds’ 22-year-old English right-back Sam Byram…Leicester City are close to signing FC Copenhagen’s 21-year-old Ghana defender Daniel Amartey for £5m…Newcastle are ready to make a £12m bid for Tottenham’s 24-year-old England winger Andros Townsend…Arsenal could make the most of Real Madrid’s transfer ban by poaching Alvaro Morata from under their nose…Liverpool target Salvatore Sirigu has said he will listen to ‘serious offers’ as his time at PSG appears to be drawing to a close.