Slight difference of opinion
‘Manchester United’s long-term interest in Cristiano Ronaldo would hit the buffers were Jose to be hired. Their relationship soured hugely at Real Madrid and, with Paris Saint-Germain having pursued him for so long and so persistently, the move to Ligue 1 would make the most sense’ – Ed Malyon, Daily Mirror.
‘The budget is so big this summer that United already have their beaks into Cristiano Ronaldo, yet again. Real Madrid have quoted £80million for the winger. Meet that and Ronnie returns. Mourinho’s frosty relationship with Ronaldo, exposed at Real Madrid, will be set aside if the deal is done’ – Neil Ashton, The Sun.
Please release me
‘Vardy can leave Foxes for £20m,’ reads the headline on the back page of the Daily Mail.
‘Jamie Vardy is available to Champions League clubs for £20million this summer,’ the piece begins. ‘Vardy had the release clause inserted into the contract he signed in February.’
Can we get this whole Vardy release clause thing sorted once and for all?
On March 10, Sky Sports reported that ‘Jamie Vardy does not have a release clause in his contract with Leicester City, according to Sky sources’.
On March 8, The Times reported ‘exclusively’ that there was a ‘£30m buyout clause in Vardy contract’.
On May 18, ‘Bleacher Report Insider’ Dean Jones ‘revealed that the coveted striker has a £25 million release clause in his contract’.
So he’s either not got a clause, got one for £20m, £25m or £30m. Glad that’s clear.
The Sun’s Neil Ashton is not angry with Manchester United, he’s disappointed. Actually, scratch that, he’s angry and disappointed. And angry again.
‘Ed, meet your new best mate, Jorge Mendes,’ Ashton begins. ‘By hiring Jose Mourinho, Manchester United have given the self-styled, super-agent the keys to the Old Trafford safe.’
So far, so fair enough.
‘And anyone who can kick a ball and is on the books of this notorious fixer, will be punted United’s way.’
We look forward to seeing Hugo Viana and Helder Postiga joining United.
‘The Portuguese agent, is a man obsessed with money. Sadly Mourinho has gone that way as well. It is when Jose is out on the grass that he is the master tactician.
‘But the motivation must be trophies, to build a formidable and relentless attacking unit. He was supposed to do that when he returned to Chelsea in 2013, proclaiming to be ‘The Happy One’. It did not last for long.’
Mourinho has plenty of flaws, but accusing him of being obsessed with money over trophies is more than a little unfair. If anything, Mourinho’s reputation is of a man with too fierce an obsession with winning.
‘It did not last long’ at Chelsea. It’s an interesting way of selling Mourinho winning the Premier League title in his second season at Stamford Bridge, in spite of how things turned out.
Former Manchester United player Paddy Crerand has a weekly show on Manchester United’s official television channel MUTV. Monday’s edition was pulled after Crerand used the show to criticise the BBC’s Dan Roan for reporting that Louis van Gaal was set to lose his job.
“Where do you get that rubbish from?” Crerand asks Roan. “I’ve just been down outside the United dressing room and saw [Manchester United vice chairman] Ed Woodward hug Van Gaal. Do (you) make them up or think I’ll say something I know nothing about?
“I get the daily newspapers and look at the date and that’s the closest they get to the truth. They guess about everything.
“Information? Information from who? This is the big excuse everyone makes, ‘I can’t tell you who told me’, and all that crap. I don’t understand. Do they pluck it from fresh air? He is probably guessing. I have just been down the stairs and seen Ed Woodward hug Louis Van Gaal.”
Nailed it, Paddy. Until 8.30pm, at least.
Scraping the barrel
‘Andy Carroll risks the wrath of US law enforcement with his latest act of public bravado,’ reads the headline on the Newcastle Chronicle website. Mediawatch suggests that you strap in for this one – Andy Carroll has gone rogue.
The gist is that Carroll has filmed himself giving food to homeless people in America somewhere, the bastard. In some places in the USA this is illegal.
The following might be Mediawatch’s favourite ever non-story paragraph:
‘Last we heard from the big man before this video, he was on his way to New Orleans. We can neither confirm or deny whether it is illegal to feed homeless in New Orleans, whether he’s even there or whether what he’s doing is illegal at all.’
It isn’t illegal to feed the homeless in New Orleans, for what it’s worth. And since when was giving food to homeless people an act of ‘public bravado’?
Changed your tune
‘Every time I hear which three England players will miss out on the Euros, Danny Drinkwater’s name crops up – and that has got me raging,’ writes Ian Wright in The Sun.
‘In fact Drinkwater should be one of the first three in the final party, rather than heading on his hols while the rest head to France. If he is not, it will be one of the most unfair — and baffling — decisions I can remember. Whether that comes at the expense of Jordan Henderson, Fabian Delph, whoever, is not my problem.’
Strong talk from Wright, so we’ll let you guess who said the following less than eight weeks ago:
“I’d still have Jordan Henderson – he’s done enough. We haven’t seen enough of Drinkwater. Noble is playing better than Henderson right now, but I think Henderson is a player [Hodgson] likes. Noble is doing everything, but Hodgson isn’t seeing it.”
Those last few weeks of the season went really well.
Make your minds up
‘Revealed: The real reason Man United didn’t sign Renato Sanches’ – Daily Star, May 10.
‘Man United insider: This is the real reason why we didn’t sign Renato Sanches’ – Daily Star, May 11.
‘Renato Sanches: This is why I turned down Manchester United move’ – Daily Star, May 23.
Update of the day
BREAKING: Jose Mourinho close to agreeing personal terms with @ManUtd.
More on #SSNHQ
— Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) May 24, 2016
Colour us shocked.
Recommended reading of the day
Chris Evans on Mustapha Bundu
Swiss Ramble on Brentford
Sid Lowe on Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho