Chelsea are keen but we really want to see Marc Cucurella playing for Pep Guardiola. Chelsea can have Frenkie De Jong, just for the giggles.
Here are five deals we’re definitely here for this summer…
Marc Cucurella to Manchester City
Watching Cucurella scuttling up and down Brighton’s left flank was one of the joys of last season. After arriving from Getafe for £15million a year ago, the Spaniard took to the Premier League like a duck to water. A duck with lovely, flowing locks.
The ‘do meant you couldn’t miss him, but Cucurella quickly stood out for reasons beyond his barnet. Defensively, he made the fourth-highest number of tackles in the league, and offensively, he flew forward, never at anything less than warp speed. His energy was infectious and his influence on the Seagulls was such that he was named Player of the Season by the supporters and his team-mates.
So it is understandable that Brighton want top dollar for Cucurella. Given what Pep Guardiola has spent before on full-backs, the Seagulls are right to ask for £50million. Just as it is City’s right not to meet that demand. But it would be very much worth their while. And since they have already sold Oleksandr Zinchenko for £30million, they have weakened their own bargaining position.
And now here come Chelsea, not just to f*** with City, though the Blues’ approach certainly achieves that aim while generating a bidding war for Cucurella. One that City should be more minded to win than they apparently are.
Of course, if Cucurella stays at Brighton, that’s cool. Doubtless he’ll be brilliant again and the Seagulls will enjoy another fine season. They probably will thrive even if he goes. And the 24-year-old belongs on the Champions League stage. We just think he’d be more fun for his Catalan compatriot at City than Chelsea.
Frenkie De Jong to Manchester United
Erik ten Hag certainly wants this to happen. The new Manchester United boss is desperate for a reunion with the former Ajax midfielder.
De Jong is pivotal to the plan Ten Hag has for United and the way he wants them to play. As a midfielder, De Jong doesn’t score many goals or claim bundles of assists, but Ten Hag recognises that the Holland star sets the tempo. “He’s the player who supplies the team-mates who give the assists or who can score goals from their position,” said Ten Hag when De Jong was being utilised as a no.10 at Barcelona.
Ten Hag even used De Jong as a centre-back at Ajax in an effort to improve their build up play from deep and, apparently, there isn’t another player in the world that might be available who could do the job as proficiently.
So it’s a shame De Jong seemingly doesn’t want to join United. Quite rightly, he’s digging in his heels while he waits for money owed to him by Barca but even then, word is he doesn’t fancy living in Manchester.
We reckon he should open his mind to the prospect. If for no other reason so that United can have no excuses and we can see how good both De Jong and Ten Hag are when they have everything in place. Otherwise there is a very real prospect of McFred living to fight another season.
Frenkie De Jong to Chelsea
Just for the LOLs. De Jong is obviously loathe to relocate to the north west of England but, apparently, he might consider London. Just imagine all the boiled p*ss in Manchester at the sight of Ten Hag’s most-wanted lining up in blue against McFred and United.
It would also be absolutely hilarious if he stubbornly refused to leave Barcelona given they seem to have already banked and spent the money already. Just not on paying De Jong or his team-mates the deferred wages they are owed.
Cristiano Ronaldo to Sporting Lisbon
We know Ronaldo wants a move. We also know now that almost no one wants to give him one – not Manchester United nor any of the clubs he might consider joining. So at some point during the coming weeks, one party will have to suck it up.
It could be Ronaldo, if he is made to stay at Old Trafford with his tail tucked between his legs. It might be United, who may have to take a hit to get the 37-year-old distraction away from Ten Hag while he begins his rebuild in earnest.
That being the case, a loan move back to Sporting would tick a lot of boxes for Ronaldo. It would enable him to go ‘home’ to where he began his career, while also keeping him the Champions League.
There was some excitement at the reported sighting of one of Ronaldo’s cars being spotted at Sporting’s stadium, but the player’s response was simply to cry ‘fake’ news. Going back to the Portuguese league might not be what Ronaldo had in mind when he declared his intention to leave United, but with no other options, aside from Saudi Arabia, a romantic return may be the best way for him to save face and the Red Devils – and the rest of us – to move on. He’s only been back a week, but already he must be making Ten Hag’s t*ts itch.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Crystal Palace
It’s not Wan-Bissaka’s fault he was promoted way above the level his talent merits. We’ll blame the transfer brains-trust that watched 804 right-backs and decided he was the best of the lot.
After a bright start to his United career, when slide tackles were still a novelty down Old Trafford’s right flank, Wan-Bissaka’s prospects have nose-dived. It soon became clear that the £45million man had none of the other tools in his locker that a modern-day full-back needs to thrive at a club expected to attack, leading to him being steadily sidelined by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Ralf Rangnick kept him there and Erik ten Hag wants rid completely.
Where next? The only obvious solution is a return to Palace, where he made his name, at home in the Eagles’ defence. Would Palace take him?
On loan, probably. With long-serving Joel Ward and Nathaniel Clyne, it feels as though Patrick Vieira is making do at right-back at present. The Eagles boss is keen for his defence to be comfortable in different shapes, and he wants Palace to be on the front foot. Maybe Wan-Bissaka isn’t that suited after all.
But we can all envisage him rediscovering some form and happiness back at Selhurst Park. United just have to accept that they will take a huge hit, however Wan-Bissaka departs.