EVERTON PUT A PRICE ON LUKAKU
And that price is said by the Daily Mirror to be 80 million Euros, which converts to around £65m. That would make him the fifth most expensive player in football history behind Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Luis Suarez. Which sounds pretty fair for a 22-year-old who has already scored 119 senior goals. Manchester United, Chelsea (weird, but it could happen), Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are all said to be interested in the impressive Belgian.
Poor John Stones; his chances of leaving Everton this summer are dwindling away. Perhaps he could put in another accidental transfer request?
IT’S 2014 AGAIN AT ARSENAL
According to the Daily Telegraph, Arsene Wenger ‘wants to rebuild the spine of his team at the end of this season’ (which we all know will absolutely not happen if Arsenal end the season strongly and come within a whisker of winning the title) and he is ‘determined to land a top-class striker’. The name mentioned once again is Juventus striker Alvaro Morata, who could cost Arsenal £30m if Real Madrid choose to exercise their right to buy him back from the Italian club for £23m.
Hmmm. Will Morata really be the difference between finishing second/third and the Premier League title? The 23-year-old Spaniard has scored only six goals in Serie A this season – half the haul of Olivier Giroud in a pretty poor campaign.
Also mentioned in the report are Borussia Monchengladbach’s Granit Xhaka and Roma defender Kostas Manolas, who was close to joining Arsenal two years ago.
Arsenal are said to be willing to listen to offers for Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (strongly/bizarrely linked with Manchester City) and Kieran Gibbs, though we suspect no other club would come close to matching Walcott’s £140,000-a-week wages.
HAZARD UP FOR SALE?
Well, well. From the best player of 2014/15 to the scapegoat for much that has gone wrong at Chelsea at 2015/16, to 2016/17 at another club, according to The Sun. They say that the Belgian ‘is set to be the first casualty’ of the Antonio Conte reign but can he really be called a ‘casualty’ if he leaves a team outside the Champions League for either Paris Saint-Germain or Real Madrid? That sounds very much like ‘beneficiary’ rather than ‘casualty’ to us.
Hazard could leave Chelsea for as little as £50m, with The Sun adding some fanciful talk about a possible swap deal involving James Rodriguez, because that if definitely going to happen.
AND THE REST
Manchester City spies were in Spain on Thursday night to watch Villarreal centre-back Eric Bailly against Sparta Prague in a Europa League quarter-final…Daniel Trickett-Smith has been told to look for another club – four years after a £1m deal took him to Anfield…Real Madrid will make a desperate attempt to steal Jose Mourinho from Manchester United’s clutches should they be eliminated from the Champions League next Tuesday…Tottenham are to offer Mauricio Pochettino £5.5million-a-year deal to keep him at White Hart Lane.