WILF OF WALL STREET
Is ‘furious’ worse than ‘incensed’? This gossip column thought not, but the definition for the former – ‘extremely angry’ – certainly seems more serious than the latter’s ‘make very angry’. Every day really is a school day, aside from weekends, Bank Holidays and half-terms. Lazy teachers.
Anyway, it seemed that Crystal Palace could not have been more unimpressed with Arsenal’s ‘derisory’ opening offer for Wilfried Zaha. That offer was made on Monday evening, and by Wednesday morning they are said to be ‘furious’, ‘fuming’ and ‘determined not to sell’ the winger to the Gunners.
John Cross of the Daily Mirror says Palace believe Arsenal ‘have deliberately set out to unsettle’ Zaha, and their response will be to give ‘short shrift’ to any further bids. Even if Carl Jenkinson is included ‘as one of at least two players in part exchange’, Palace’s ‘resolve’ has ‘only strengthened’.
The deal ‘looks highly unlikely’. Time for some alternatives.
Cross states that Zaha’s future has ‘become a saga very quickly’. In truth, it can barely hold a candle to that of Harry Maguire, whose official fee seems to be a Virgil van Dijk-influenced ‘more than £75m’.
The Daily Telegraph say any interested club ‘will have to pay more than £90m’ to sign the Leicester centre-half, and that ‘an acceptable fee for Maguire could even be close to £100m’. Which is only natural because ‘more than £90m’ is already pretty ‘close to £100m’.
The Sun state that Maguire has informed the Foxes ‘he wants to leave’, but the Telegraph say Leicester ‘have received no direct indication over his intentions’ as he is still on holiday, and not due back to pre-season until next week.
It is also said that Leicester ‘were bemused’ by the widespread claim that Manchester United had made an official £70m bid. There has been ‘no contact’ between the two clubs ‘in recent weeks’.
Leicester ought not to use all of their bemusement in one go, mind. Arsenal seem to have a thing for making offers worth half a player’s reported valuation, and have lived up to that reputation with a £50m bid for Maguire.
It does come from The Sun, so proceed with caution. But they suggest the Gunners will ‘be blown away’ after making ‘an enquiry’ over the England international. Arsenal ‘will only go to £50m’, while Leicester ‘are adamant they will only do business at £85m’.
Combined with United’s £70m bid and Manchester City’s offer of £65m plus £5m in add-ons, Arsenal obviously have no chance. Unless they finally manage to offload Shkodran Mustafi, of course.
AND THE REST
Real Madrid are eager to include Wales forward Gareth Bale, 29, in a potential deal for Manchester United and France midfielder Paul Pogba, 26… Manchester United have made an offer for Dinamo Zagreb’s 21-year-old Spain Under-21 midfielder Dani Olmo… Bournemouth’s Netherlands defender Nathan Ake, 24, is likely to sign for Manchester City this summer… Atletico Madrid are interested in signing Arsenal and France striker Alexandre Lacazette, 28, to replace Barcelona-bound France forward Antoine Griezmann, 28… Barcelona are ready to listen to offers for 25-year-old France central defender Samuel Umtiti, who is a target for Manchester United… Arsenal’s French defender Laurent Koscielny, 33, is wanted by Bordeaux… Aston Villa are keen on Kasimpasa and Egypt midfielder Mahmoud Trezeguet, 24.