Crazy, crazy nights
Because there’s really nothing going on, the Daily Mirror’s Darren Lewis has gone all ‘grumpy old man’ about transfer fees. Now you might point out that nothing much has actually happened yet – what with it being June 19 – but that does not deter our man. He even comes up with a back-page story including an utterly mental suggestion that Manchester United will pay £175m plus David De Gea for Ronaldo to justify his massive grumpiness.
‘The fact that Manchester United are even thinking about it says it all.
‘Wages of £400,000 a week on top of a transfer fee of around £175million for 32-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo.
‘The idea that he could quit Real Madrid to become the ultimate trophy signing at Manchester United sums up a simply crazy transfer window within which fees are spiralling out of control.’
Can fees be ‘spiralling out of control’ when nothing much has happened yet? Or is it that reports of possibly transfer fees are ‘spiralling out of control’? Nobody has paid (or will pay, because it’s mental) £175m plus David De Gea for Ronaldo. Nobody has paid £100m for Romelu Lukaku. Nobody has paid £70m for Virgil van Dijk. How can a ‘simply crazy transfer window’ be summed up in mid-June when none of these things have actually transpired?
‘Only three times in the past five summers have English clubs paid more than £50m for a player.
‘This summer could see the entire top five go over that figure, with Ronaldo, Romelu Lukaku, Alexandre Lacazette, Virgil van Dijk and Kylian Mbappe all highly sought after.’
a) It could. But it really is a could, as no club has yet paid over £50m for a player. And at least one player on that list is highly unlikely to come to the Premier League.
b) ‘Top five’? Are we just ignoring Tottenham here for the sake of grumpy alarm?
Lewis himself writes that ‘Chelsea’s chief negotiator, Marina Granovskaia, simply does not want to go anywhere near the £100million that Everton are demanding for Lukaku’, so why illustrate your point with a picture of Lukaku and the price of £100m? It’s not going to happen. And Mediawatch will eat three hats if Ronaldo joins Manchester United for £175m plus David De Gea.
He finishes with these words:
‘After all, this is becoming such a silly season that even Huddersfield have agreed a £10m fee with City for Aaron Mooy.
‘When did you think you would ever hear Huddersfield, transfer and £10m in the same sentence?’
Erm, when Huddersfield Town became a Premier League club? Now that’s when things really did get silly.
I go weak…
One potential transfer fee that we can all agree is ridiculous is £50m for Eric Dier. And yet Martin Samuel of the Daily Mail is convinced that this is not a good deal for Tottenham…
‘Word is that Manchester United have been quoted £50million for Eric Dier this summer. Yet if Tottenham are serious about winning the title under Mauricio Pochettino, how can they put any price on the deal?
‘Tottenham have finished above United for the last two seasons but if the club reverts to solving problems at Old Trafford – harking back to the days when they sold Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Carrick – there is no way those positions can be maintained.
‘It would be a good price for Dier but, even so, strengthening a problem area for United and weakening Tottenham’s own midfield – not to mention the message it would send to essential team-mates such as Dele Alli – makes it a very bad deal.’
‘Weakening Tottenham’s own midfield’? He started 11 Premier League games there last season. The message it would send to Dele Alli is that Tottenham quite rightly believe that £50m is a big pile of money for a utility player who cost £4m.
For sale/not for sale
Oh and Martin, you might want to read the work of your own colleagues before you start talking about prices…
‘Tottenham Hotspur will not put a price on Eric Dier as they have no intention of selling the England international.’
Sorry Simon, but that doesn’t help Martin when he determined to be annoyed at any club selling anybody.
Van der Fart
The latest Daily Telegraph gallery feature (we can hear you gasp from here):
‘Cristiano Ronaldo and 17 other players we’d love to have back in the Premier League’
Yep, we’re equally desperate to see Stefan Savic and Jerome Boateng back in the Premier League too. But we can but dream.
Oh and file this paragraph on Rafael van der Vaart under ‘absolute codswallop’:
‘He is 34 so probably doesn’t have much left to give, but he had no pace to lose so may not be affected by his ageing legs. Spurs would love to have him back, though whether he could play Mauricio Pochettino’s pressing game is another matter.’
Well, he couldn’t. So they wouldn’t love to have him back at all. But Mediawatch supposes that ‘Cristiano Ronaldo and four or five players we’d love to have back in the Premier League’ simply would not pass muster. Just not enough URLs.
If you can’t beat them, have a re-design and join them. So to ESPN and their top story on Monday morning: ‘Premier League stars who could move.’
It’s a gallery of ’14 star players who could be leaving the English game’.
However will the Premier League cope with the exit of David Ospina? Can they still claim to be the biggest and the best if Moussa Sissoko leaves?
Silence is broken…
It’s not an easy life, working for a provincial newspaper/website where monitors showing Google Analytics or Chartbeat adorn the walls. You have to chase hits. And that’s how the Manchester Evening News arrive here…
‘Manchester United target Cristiano Ronaldo breaks silence amid transfer rumours.’
He did indeed break a silence…largely caused by playing an actual game of football and said:
“It was not the result we wanted. The team had the game almost won and we conceded a goal in the last minutes, but that is football.
“We are calm and thinking about the next game. There are no alarm bells ringing.”
There are in Manchester, Ronaldo.
Can I have a vowel please?
— 101 Great Goals (@102greatgoals) June 19, 2017
It’s such a small word but it really makes quite a big difference.
The Ox in the box
Dave Fraser, The Sun, June 18:
‘ARSENAL star Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has fuelled transfer rumours after growing frustrated by a lack of contract talks so far this summer.
‘The England ace, 23, has been keen to resolve his future and tie himself into a new long-term deal at the Emirates Stadium.
‘However, Arsene Wenger and Co are yet to offer Oxlade-Chamberlain a new deal, with a host of Premier League clubs monitoring the situation.’
Obviously, that made the ‘keen’ Oxlade-Chamberlain sound a little bit desperate and that absolutely wouldn’t do…
Neil Ashton, The Sun, June 19:
‘ENGLAND star Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is demanding assurances about his first-team future at Arsenal.
‘The Ox is waiting for a new contract offer from the Gunners, but he also wants a regular place in the starting line-up.
‘And the club’s answers will decide whether he stays or quits.’
Bingo, The Ox is in charge again. But Mediawatch would like to gently suggest that he waits until he actually gets a contract offer before he ‘demands assurances’ and threatens to ‘quit’. It didn’t work the last time you tried this, Neil.
‘Arsenal suffer blow as Takuma Asano fails work permit guidelines’ – Daily Express.
It’s another sodding nightmare summer for Arsenal.
From the Daily Record’s interview with St Johnstone defender Joe Shaughnessy:
‘Joe Shaughnessy sums up St Johnstone. Under-appreciated, under the radar but still getting where no one ever expected them to be.’
The fact that he is ‘under the radar’ – and possibly the reason he is unappreciated – is highlighted when the picture of him accompanying the article (tackling Jamie Walker) is of team-mate David Wotherspoon.
Obviously he wasn’t where the Daily Record expected him to be.
Thanks to today’s Mediawatch spotter Neil Mackenzie. Mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you spot anything that belongs on this page.