PEP’S SHOPPING LIST
The arrival of Pep Guardiola is imminent, and we have not heard too much of his transfer requests at Manchester City, have we? The Sun right those wrongs on Saturday morning.
Take one Alexis Sanchez, one John Stones and one Danny Rose, and you have the three Premier League players Guardiola will target this summer, according to Geoff Sweet. It is accepted that Sanchez and Rose will be difficult deals to strike, what with Arsenal and Tottenham reluctant to sell their first-team players, but it is a ‘formality’ that Stones will leave Everton – it is simply a matter of where he will end up.
We are then told of the rest of Guardiola’s ‘shopping list’, according to Spanish newspaper Marca. It includes Barcelona keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte, Borussia Dortmund pair Ilkay Gundogan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Thiago Alcantara of Bayern Munich. Let’s hope he’s saved up a few vouchers.
‘Fernando, Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri are prime candidates to leave,’ Sweet also suggests. Yes.
WALCOTT REJECTS LEICESTER
In what world would a player who has fallen out of favour at club level, disappeared off the radar at international level, and clearly needs a change of scenery from the side he joined in 2006 refuse to join the Premier League champions? In a world where Leicester are the Premier League champions, clearly.
According to Italian ‘transfer guru’ – the Daily Star’s description, not ours – Emanuele Giulianelli, Leicester have asked about the availability of one Theo Walcott. And one Theo Walcott has refused their advances.
Giulianelli claims that Claudio Ranieri made a move for Walcott while talks were being held between Arsenal and Leicester over Riyad Mahrez, but that the England international “is not interested”. Not interested in more regular first-team football with the Premier League champions and a top-seeded Champions League club. Granted, no-one can predict how Leicester will fare next season, but is Walcott just scared to leave Arsenal?
DON’T LET THE SON GO DOWN ON ME
We told you. We bloody well told you. According to the Daily Telegraph, Mauricio Pochettino is willing to listen to offers for Heung-min Son after a difficult debut season for the South Korean at Tottenham.
Son has scored just four goals in 28 Premier League games – although only 13 have been starts – after joining from Bayer Leverkusen for £22million last summer. Injuries have harmed his development, and he has found it difficult to secure a first-team place.
Remember when Pochettino apologised to his family after the Newcastle game? He's now literally selling his children. https://t.co/NGTbPL0yxg
— Flan (@Flannyballs) May 21, 2016
According to Matt Law, if Tottenham can recoup their initial outlay, they will sell Son. Midfielders Nabil Bentaleb and Ryan Mason could also be on their way out.
‘Pochettino hinted after the game that the display had helped to make his mind up on a couple of issues ahead of the summer and it is understood he was referring to both Son and Mason, who was also substituted at the break,’ Law writes. ‘Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is said to have been humiliated by the team’s capitulation, but has vowed to back Pochettino over any players he now wishes to sell and bring in.’
Tottenham will ask for at least £10million each on Bentaleb and Mason, which is optimistic in the extreme. The club also want ‘at least one’ midfielder and ‘at least one’ striker this summer.
AND THE REST
The father of Barcelona and Brazil forward Neymar says Manchester United made a £145m offer for the 24-year-old…Arsenal will offer Juventus forward Alvaro Morata a five-year-contract worth £155,000-a-week in order to beat Chelsea to the 23-year-old’s signature…Chelsea remain hopeful of signing Radja Nainggolan, despite the 28-year-old midfielder’s public claims that he does not want to leave Roma…Everton want more than £23m for Ramiro Funes Mori following interest from Lazio in the 25-year-old, who the Toffees signed for £9.5m last summer…Incoming Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has opened talks with Everton duo John Stones, 21, and Romelu Lukaku, 23…Stoke City have made fresh enquiries for West Brom striker Saido Berahino, 22, with manager Mark Hughes targeting British recruits this summer…France forward Antoine Griezmann, 25, is ready to sign a long-term contract at Atletico Madrid, despite interest from Manchester United…Midfielder Moussa Sissoko, 26, is being targeted by Arsenal and could be the first Newcastle player to leave following the club’s relegation from the Premier League…The Gunners are poised to make their first signing of the summer with the acquisition of 23-year-old midfielder Granit Xhaka from Borussia Monchengladbach for a fee in the region of £35m.