Gossip: £30m/£57m Liverpool target is Ramsey replacement

Matt Stead

It wouldn’t be a gossip column without a Paul Pogba update, would it? The Frenchman played for Manchester United – who do not have the balls to sack Jose Mourinho – on Tuesday. Ten minutes before kick-off, the Daily Telegraph dealt a blow to his hopes of leaving.

Sam Wallace has crunched the numbers, and he has found that Barcelona’s projected €633million wage bill leaves just €11m in profits, and that without the €222m sale of Neymar – a big chunk, in all fairness – their ‘wages to revenue ratio would have stood at 89.5 per cent’.

With a transfer fee of at least €150m, as well as Pogba’s wages and Mino Raiola’s share, there is reasonable to suggest that Barca ‘can’t afford Paul Pogba’.

The good news comes from The Sun, who exclusively claim PSG want to sign the Frenchman. Hasn’t that been common knowledge for about two years?

On Sunday, it was claimed that Aaron Ramsey was ‘excited by the prospect of playing under Jurgen Klopp’. The midfielder once seemed set to sign a new contract with Arsenal, but a collapse in negotiations means he is now destined to leave in the summer.

How will Arsenal replace him? By targeting a player wanted by Liverpool for bloody ages. Because that is how the transfer merry-go-round works.

According to the Daily Star, Arsenal ‘have already found a replacement’ for Ramsey in the form of Piotr Zielinski, he of Napoli fame. A price of £30m is mentioned, but only in the headline. Sounds completely and utterly legit.

They attribute their claims to SportMediaSet, whose extensive story can be posted in its fully translated form here:

‘Arsenal has now resigned itself to losing Aaron Ramsey due to expire in June 2019 and is looking for a replacement. On Unai Emery’s notebook there is also Piotr Zielinski, a Polish midfielder who Napoli has no intention of giving up.’

No mention of £30m, you’ll notice. And there is an insistence that Napoli ‘has no intention of giving up’ the Poland international. Again, the Star omit that slightly important piece of information.

Still, he was worth £57m and Jurgen Klopp was ‘enthralled’ by him last month, so yeah.

Liverpool have also long been linked with Adrien Rabiot, but it seems as though another north London side are interested in him too. The Daily Mirror report that Tottenham ‘are ready to enter the bidding’ for the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder.

As with Ramsey, Rabiot’s deal expires next summer, meaning he can discuss pre-contract terms with any foreign club from January. PSG, for their part, have been rejected by Rabiot enough times to just give up – they ‘are resigned to losing the player’.

But they do at least want to procure a fee if they can, meaning a January sale is possible. Tottenham didn’t spend a thing in the summer; they should have enough money saved up.


Arsenal forward Danny Welbeck is set to follow Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey out of Arsenal on a free transfer next summer. The 27-year-old England international is in the final year of his deal and there in no agreement over a new contract… Manchester City have been scouting Hoffenheim youth team midfielder Ilay Elmkies. The 18-year-old Israeli scored against City’s development side at the weekend… Juventus defender Daniele Rugani’s contract talks with the club have stalled, which could give Chelsea hope of signing the 24-year-old Italy international… Chelsea will offer Brazil midfielder David Luiz a one-year contract extension. The 31-year-old’s deal expires at the end of next season.