UNITED HOLD TALKS WITH JAMES RODRIGUEZ
The name’s Bond, spurious rumours about James Rodriguez.
Daily and Sunday Express man John Richardson must have a contacts book the size of East Anglia. The following is a list of his ‘exclusives’ since mid-November:
‘Exclusive: Chelsea ready to launch £40million bid to sign French star Antoine Greizmann’
‘Exclusive: Middle East owners lining up £10million deal for Brendan Rodgers’
‘EXCLUSIVE: Pep Guardiola names Man United target top of his summer wishlist at Man City’
‘Exclusive: Manchester City holding off Liverpool and Arsenal to sign Spanish star’
‘EXCLUSIVE: Barcelona prepare incredible summer swoop for Arsenal and Everton stars’
‘Exclusive: Man City’s Pellegrini top man for Chile with Chelsea target Sampaoli on way out’
‘Exclusive: Arsenal set to lose Aaron Ramsey to Barcelona this summer as chase intensifies’
‘Exclusive: Louis van Gaal: I need to bring Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United’
‘Exclusive: Newcastle and Tottenham battling to sign Michy Batshuayi from Marseille’
We’re not sure what the significance of a capital letter ‘EXCLUSIVE’ is.
Sunday’s latest offering is this: ‘Exclusive: Manchester United hold talks to sign £63million Real Madrid star.’
Our favourite line of the entire thing is the very first one: ‘Manchester United have been in talks over signing Real Madrid’s unsettled striker James Rodriguez.’
We suppose this is an ‘exclusive’ after all. Everyone else would call him a midfielder.
UNITED WANT RICARDO RODRIGUEZ
‘Louis van Gaal wants Wolfsburg full-back Ricardo Rodriguez to solve his defensive crisis,’ reads the first line in The Sun’s story on Manchester United transfer plans.
‘Manchester United have sent scouts to watch the £20million-rated Switzerland star TWICE recently and he is high on LVG’s wishlist,’ it continues.
1) Is two times really enough to merit capital letters? If anything, were United to pay £20m having watched him twice, that’s surprisingly few, not many.
2) So Van Gaal wants this deal to solve his ‘defensive crisis’. Yet the crisis has come about with Ashley Young and Marcos Rojo sustaining injuries. But the first of those injuries (Rojo’s dislocated shoulder), only happened on December 4.
Rodriguez has only played two matches since December 4, due to the Bundesliga’s winter break. The first came the day after Rojo’s injury, so would require quick work on Van Gaal’s part. The second was a 16-minute performance against Manchester United. Does that really count?
LIVERPOOL WANT KASPER SCHMEICHEL
Kasper Schmeichel is on Liverpool’s wanted list, writes Neil Moxley in the Sunday People. Jurgen Klopp has repeatedly insisted that he does not want to buy a new goalkeeper, but still the stories keep on coming despite Simon Mignolet’s new deal.
In fact, Moxley admits that a deal is unlikely. He says that Liverpool made enquiries about Schmeichel, with Leicester telling them that the goalkeeper was not going anywhere in January. Liverpool will therefore go back in for him at the end of the season.
Moxley also writes that Manchester United would like to sign Schmeichel. Someone has got some good PR.
SPURS WANT KANTE AND VARDY
Sticking with Moxley, and his claim that Tottenham want to sign Jamie Vardy and N’Golo Kante from Leicester. Poor Leicester must wonder what they’ve done.
Again, the story is that Spurs are ‘watching’ both players. Given that Leicester have played Tottenham three times in the last few weeks, they haven’t really had much choice.
Moxley says that Kante would be of greater interest to Spurs than Vardy, using the fact that Leicester have four other central midfielders as evidence of a move: Danny Drinkwater, Matty James, Andy King and Gokhan Inler.
Again, two things:
1) James hasn’t played a minute of Premier League football this season, and Inler reportedly wants out.
2) If four central midfielders is enough for Leicester to let him leave, why would Spurs want Kante? They have Dele Alli, Mousa Dembele, Tom Carroll, Ryan Mason, Nabil Bentaleb and Eric Dier.