KEEN ON KANE
Remember when Harry Kane stated earlier this week that he “‘would love to be a one-club man”? Well either The Sun or Real Madrid missed those particular quotes, because by Sunday morning, he is bound for Spain.
In fact, Neil Ashton exclusively reports that the Tottenham striker will move to the Bernabeu next summer. Real ‘are convinced’ that they will get their man. Props to Ashton for having Zinedine Zidane as a source.
Ashton does add that Tottenham have ‘no intention’ of selling their best player, and could easily hold out for a world-record fee if they did. Perhaps he actually has read the Kane interview from this week mind you, but his interpretation was merely that “the England striker insists he is happy at the club”.
But it is claimed that the ‘appeal’ of Real ‘is impossible to turn down’ for any player. It remains to be seen whether that rule counts for someone who has emerged through his club’s youth development system, has a young family and is unlikely to want to uproot them.
Real Madrid will not stop there, and nor do The Sun. This time it’s Paul Jiggins with an exclusive, claiming that Real Madrid want Mauricio Pochettino to replace Zidane when the Frenchman leaves. How do they have so many contacts inside the European champions? So impressive.
Jiggins claims that Real are ‘eyeing’ Pochettino as a ‘potential successor’ to Zidane after he ‘impressed Bernabeu chiefs with the way he conducted himself before, during and after Tuesday’s 1-1 Champions League draw in Spain.’ It would be weird if they weren’t keeping tabs on one of the best young managers in world football.
It should be said that Real have ‘absolutely no plans’ to part ways with Zidane – again, a no-brainer – but that Real ‘fear’ he may ‘call it a day’ at some point. How very vague.
Club president Florentino Perez has ‘told pals’ that Pochettino would be his first choice if Zidane were to leave right now, but again, there really is no indication that the Tottenham manager would be receptive to any approach at the minute.
COME BACK, CARLO
‘Carlo Ancelotti favourite to replace Antonio Conte at Chelsea – Exclusive’ reads the headline on the Daily Express website on Sunday morning. Are we just ignoring the three late goals they scored against Watford on Saturday in a spirited performance to rescue three points.
According to Colin Mafham, the out-of-work manager ’emerged as favourite to do an Italian job on Antonio Conte’ last night.
By the second paragraph, all becomes clear: ‘Bookmakers William Hill followed the nervy 4-2 win over Watford by making Ancelotti 15/8 favourite to take over from his unsettled countryman.’
Guys, you can’t claim an exclusive on betting odds. You just can’t. At least make an effort.
AND THE REST
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is interested in Benfica’s Spanish left-back Alex Grimaldo, 22… United are also prepared to offer Real Madrid and Brazil midfielder Casemiro, 25, a huge salary to convince him to leave the Bernabeu for Old Trafford… Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez could get £500m in the next two transfer windows if British businesswoman Amanda Staveley is successful in buying the club… West Ham want former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini – in charge of Russian side Zenit St Petersburg – to replace Slaven Bilic if the Croat fails to turn around the Hammers’ poor form… Alternatively, if West Ham decide to sack Bilic, they could face a battle with Leicester City in their pursuit of another ex-Manchester City boss – Manuel Pellegrini… Barcelona are preparing to offer 30-year-old Argentina forward Lionel Messi a lifetime deal at the club… Manchester United are trying to sign Spain Under-21 midfielder Carlos Soler, 20, from Valencia in a £30m deal… Newcastle want to bring 30-year-old France midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa back to St James’ Park from Paris St-Germain.