When Zinedine Zidane left James Rodriguez out of his matchday squad for the Champions League final earlier this month, the reaction was predictable. The Colombian would surely leave Real Madrid, but it was not a case of which club would look to sign him. It was only ever a case of which Premier League club would look to sign him.
Manchester United, Chelsea and even Liverpool have been linked for some time, but the Daily Mirror, in conjunction with the People, have thrown Arsenal’s name into the mix.
Arsene Wenger has apparently ‘put Rodriguez on his wanted list’ for this summer, in a move that would cost the Gunners £50million, a huge amount considering the pay per head of the Arsenal squad.
It is thought that the 25-year-old wants to leave the Spanish capital in search of guaranteed first-team football in a World Cup year. Who would he start in place of at Arsenal?
ALEKSANDR THE GREAT
Russian outlet sport.ru add another name onto that Arsene Wenger wanted list. They report that the Gunners are interested in CSKA Moscow midfielder Aleksandar Golovin.
Chelsea have also been linked with the 21-year-old, but it is thought that Arsenal could win this particular race by signing Golovin for £10m before loaning him back to CSKA for another season. Funny if Wenger would consider that one of his maximum three signings.
OX IN THE BOX
But unfortunately for Arsenal (and for the rest of you who were expecting this gossip to feature other clubs), two in means two out at the Emirates Stadium.
First, Chilean journalist Fernando Solabarrieta, ‘much-respected’ according to The Sun, who have definitely heard of him, has news on Alexis Sanchez. And his claim is that Manchester City have won the race to sign the striker.
We can’t find any actual quotes from Solabarrieta himself stating this, including in the article that The Sun link to. It is also worth remembering that he is the ‘much-respected’ journalist who reported that Arsenal were going to sign Arturo Vidal two summers ago.
Next is the claim from the Daily Express that Liverpool want Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. That in itself is nothing new, but this is still a story you want to hear about. Trust me.
It is a Sunday, which of course means that rugby journalist Neil Fissler has a football transfer exclusive. And that is that Liverpool are willing to pay £40m to sign Oxlade-Chamberlain.
That would be a club-record fee for the Reds, spent on a player who has one year remaining on his contract with his current club.
This absolutely will (not) happen.
We finish with Liverpool, who really do not like Southampton.
According to Duncan Castles, writing for The Times, the Reds ‘have expressed their interest’ in signing Dusan Tadic. Oh boy.
The 28-year-old is thought to have a £13m release clause in his St Mary’s contract. What’s more, a source ‘close to the player’ reportedly claims that the Serbian ‘would welcome the move’ to Anfield.
So that’s a Southampton player actively wanting to leave to join Liverpool, who are fully aware of how much he will cost. That sounds like a transfer that can be completed with absolutely no issues.
AND THE REST
Striker Alvaro Morata, 24, has urged Gareth Bale to join him in making the switch from Real Madrid to Manchester United this summer…United’s hopes of signing Morata could be complicated because of friction between them and Real Madrid over goalkeeper David de Gea, who has regularly been linked with the Spanish club…Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 35, is set to join MLS side LA Galaxy following his release by Manchester United…Chelsea are keen to sign Real Madrid’s 25-year-old Colombian attacking midfielder James Rodriguez and the Spanish club are willing to sell…Paris St-Germain’s new sporting director Antero Henrique has made contact with Monaco over a bid for their coveted 18-year-old striker Kylian Mbappe…Leicester winger Riyad Mahrez, 26, has an offer from Arsenal but is waiting for a rival bid from Barcelona, his preferred destination…Inter Milan want £44m for Croatia winger and Manchester United target Ivan Perisic, 28…Manchester United’s deal for Benfica defender Victor Lindelof means United have called off their pursuit of Burnley centre-back Michael Keane, 24.