WHO WANTS RAFAEL?
You can have him for less than £10m, according to the Manchester Evening News, who say that ‘two mystery Premier League clubs’ have logged their interest in the Brazilian.
Galatasaray, Napoli and Fiorentina are also said to be interested in Rafael but let’s idly speculate about those mystery Premier League clubs. West Ham and Stoke are our opening bids.
AND REPLACING RAFAEL…
…at Manchester United could be Paris Saint-Germain’s Gregory van der Wiel, with Le Parisien claiming that discussions have begun.
The price is said to be £9m for Van der Wiel, who obviously played under Louis van Gaal at international level.
DOWNING IN BORO TALKS
Nine months ago, Stewart Downing was making his England return; now Sky Sports are claiming that Middlesbrough are in talks with his agent about a return to the Riverside.
But will he drop down a division when – according to the Sunderland Echo – he is a target for Dick Advocaat.
VILLARREAL FIND SOLDADO TOO EXPENSIVE
He is desperate to return to Spain and Tottenham are desperate to sell, but Mundo Deportivo claim that there may be a Spanish fly in the ointment: an £11m asking price.
Villarreal are said to be interested but not at that price, which still represents a massive hit on the £26m paid by Tottenham.
BORINI FEE AGREED
We’d quite like another English club to make the mistake of spending actual money on Fabio Borini, but it seems like Lazio might be the ones to make the error.
Italian newspaper Leggo (we’ll ignore the fact that that is definitely made up) report that a fee has been agreed between Liverpool and Lazio. They believe that the deal will initially be a loan move.
You know what that means, don’t you? Borini gets Champions League football while Liverpool miss out.
BEGOVIC GOING TO… SOMEWHERE
‘Manchester United to ‘hijack’ move for £8m Chelsea target Asmir Begovic’ – Independent, 11.18am.
‘Chelsea expect to clinch £8m Asmir Begovic signing despite late interest from Manchester United’ – London Evening Standard, 11.20am.
Well cold water got poured onto that particular rumour in the space of two minutes, didn’t it? The big spoilsports.
RAHMAN AGREES ROMA MOVE
The future of Augsburg left-back Baba Rahman has been greatly discussed over the last few weeks, but Sky Sport Italia believe that they have got the inside track.
Although they admit that a fee has yet to be agreed with Augsburg, the claim is that Rahman has decided that Roma is his next preferred destination. Augsburg are thought to be holding out for close to £18m. That’s sky high.
The Ghana international has just completed his first season in the Bundesliga, and was thought to be interesting Manchester City and Chelsea.
ARSENAL STEP UP BENZEMA INTEREST
Want your first pile of steaming bulls**t on a Monday morning? Well look no further than the next paragraph.
‘Arsenal step up attempts to sign Karim Benzema with £17.8m bid’ is the headline on the Daily Star website. Arsenal are going ‘all out’ apparently. I got arrested for doing that in a park once.
The Star are apparently using AS as their source that Arsene Wenger wants Bezema. However, on the actual £17.8m bit they link only to their own story from Sunday, which in turn links to a Metro story from Saturday, which in turn links to a Fichajes.net story from Thursday.
They’re definitely going ‘all out’.
NEWCASTLE WANT WIJNALDUM
Georginio Wijnaldum seems an extremely underrated player. He’s absolutely excellent and yet the only interest from abroad seems to have come from Newcastle. Can’t help thinking he’s better than that shambles, especially as he’s still just 24.
Anyway, De Telegraaf believes that Newcastle will make a ‘very serious’ offer for the PSV attacking midfielder.
‘Very serious’? Can imagine them clearing their throats before saying: “It is with the gravest sincerity that we formally approach you for the services of the gentleman in question. We would appreciate your response on the matter.”
LEEDS WANT PL MIDFIELDER
Fair play to Shoot magazine’s website for ensnaring us in with this one. We were always Match fans, mainly because of the Peter Fear gags, but this sort of clickbait wonder might change our mind.
‘Leeds eye move for former Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder,’ the headline read. If you’d have asked us to name former Arsenal and Chelsea midfielders, Steve Sidwell would have come way, way down the list. Left Arsenal having never played a league game and played 15 league games for Chelsea.
Still, the 32-year-old would be a decent signing for Leeds in the Championship. They’ll find some way to c*ck it up.
DE GEA WILL MAKE FEELINGS CLEAR
Marca are reporting that David de Gea will return to Manchester United pre-season training today, which is the line every other outlet is also running with.
However, they also claim that he will arrive at Carrington and tell Louis van Gaal that he wants to go to Real Madrid.
To be honest David, we think Van Gaal has probably guessed as much by now.
PEDRO FOR ARSENAL
There aren’t too many players who have been linked with a move to the Premier League for as long as Barcelona’s Pedro. The Independent resurrect the rumour that he will join Arsenal.
The actual line is that Arsenal have made ‘initial contact’ with Pedro’s agent, and even that is ‘according to reports in Spain’. Given that Pedro only signed a new contract a few months ago and has a release clause of £110m, we’d argue that they might want to make contact with Barcelona too.
Pedro scored just six league goals for Barca last season, but was predictably used sparingly by Luis Enrique. It’s not easy to be in a queue behind Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez.
UNITED WANT MUSLERA
Want a new name in Manchester United’s expected hunt for a new goalkeeper? Course you do.
With David de Gea on his way, the names seriously mentioned so far include Hugo Lloris, Asmir Begovic, Maarten Stekelenburg and putting faith in Victor Valdes. Enter Fernando Muslera.
According to Turkish news outlet Vatan (us neither), United are interested in making a £24.7m bid for Galatasaray’s goalkeeper. Vatan describe the bid as ‘crazy’. Given that Muslera is 29, we’re going to go with ‘non-existent’.
It’s also worth pointing out that the Daily Mirror claim that United will look to hijack Chelsea’s bid for Asmir Begovic. Going to be harsh and say he isn’t good enough to be No. 1 at Old Trafford.
LIVERPOOL TO MEET BENTEKE FEE
The supposed saga surrounding Christian Benteke and his potential departure from Aston Villa is actually very simple. If you want to buy him, you can. You just pay the £32.5m release clause and thank Villa for their custom. They won’t hear you because they will be busy counting their money.
According to the Daily Express, Liverpool will cough up that sort of cash this week. It’s an ‘exclusive’, too. That would take their summer spending to close to £80m, not including the handsome wage deals offered to James Milner and Danny Ings.
One thing is for sure: Brendan Rodgers is all out of excuses. It looks like top four, trophy or P45.
AND THE REST
Newcastle have confirmed they are in talks with PSV Eindhoven and Holland midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum over a £15m transfer…Xherdan Shaqiri wants to stay at Inter Milan and prove his worth to Roberto Mancini. Stoke City had agreed a £12m deal to sign the Switzerland international from Inter…Juventus want to land the unsettled Chelsea winger Juan Cuadrado…West Ham hope to confirm the capture of Alex Song this week…Aston Villa expect to complete the £9million signing of Lille’s Senegalese midfielder Idrissa Gueye this week…West Brom expect to land one of their major transfer targets this week – QPR winger Matt Phillips.
Liverpool’s Luis Alberto looks all set to join Deportivo La Coruna on loan, after the midfielder spent last year on loan at Malaga…Manchester United have agreed to sell young striker Angelo Henriquez to Dinamo Zagreb, where he scored 20 goals in 25 appearances on loan last season…Premier League newcomers Bournemouth are preparing a club-record £14m bid for QPR striker Charlie Austin…Tottenham must pay £18m if they want to sign 21-year-old winger Yannick Ferreira Carrasco from Monaco…Juventus defender Angelo Ogbonna is flying in to hold talks with West Ham as they close in on a move to bring him to Upton Park.