BAGGIES BID BIG FOR SCHNEIDERLIN
This isn’t just rumours of interest, this is the Daily Telegraph’s John Percy claiming that West Brom have made an actual £18m bid for Morgan Schneiderlin. The surprisingly eighth-placed Baggies are getting big ideas and want to break their club transfer record again, just a few months after paying £13m for Nacer Chadli.
‘West Brom recognise that Everton could be a more attractive proposition, with Schneiderlin also playing under Koeman at former club Southampton, but are determined to make a serious play for the 27 year-old,’ writes Percy.
And why the f*** not?
PSG TARGET WENGER (AGAIN)
‘PARIS SAINT GERMAIN are preparing ANOTHER move for Arsene Wenger,’ reads the back page of The Sun. And apparently ‘this time the French champions are confident they can finally land the Arsenal boss’. And why are they so confident? Well ‘the question is whether he still has the appetite to put up with the microscopic scrutiny of his methods’. Because of course he would be under no scrutiny at all if he took a job with one of the world’s richest clubs for whom domestic glory is basically no glory at all.
It all feels a little bit forced and convenient on a day when newspapers are struggling for a back-page story. Mark Irwin – a journalist who has written extensively on Wenger’s failings – does not even claim that he has inside information from PSG, but has put together long-standing interest from the French club, Arsene Wenger’s reticence about a new deal and anger from supporters and come up with an EXCLUSIVE back page that will not be proved right or wrong until the summer. By which time nobody (but us) will remember what The Sun wrote in December.
LIVERPOOL WANT HART
We address this one here. It’s another back-page exclusive. Isn’t it odd that these big exclusive stories appear when there’s little actual news around?
VAN DIJK FOR MAN CITY?
We’re not sure this counts as news as this has been talked about for weeks, but the Daily Mail’s back page claims that ‘MANCHESTER CITY are planning a £50million swoop for Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk’. Well of course they are; he has been the stand-out centre-half of 2016. Apparently ‘discreet’ talks have taken place. Not all that discreet then.
The Saints are understandably reluctant to sell mid-season but a bid of £50m might chance their mind – that’s quite the hike on the £13m they paid Celtic for the Dutchman. This could have a knock-on effect for Manchester United as Southampton will not sell both Fonte and Van Dijk in January and leave themselves with Maya Yoshida.
AND THE REST
Middlesbrough, West Ham United, West Bromwich Albion, Sunderland, Aston Villa and Newcastle United are among the sides said to be keen on Robert Snodgrass…Simone Zaza’s reported West Ham exit could be the first of several. Adrian, Jonathan Calleri and Gokhan Tore could follow the Italian striker out the door, while Ashley Fletcher might be sent on loan in order to gain experience…Real Madrid are confident of signing Thibault Courtois from Chelsea…Antonio Rudiger, Simon Kjaer, Michael Keane and Nicklas Sule have all been linked with Chelsea.