Ah, April Fool’s Day. The one day of the year when the veracity and reliability of every story is actually scrutinised.
Transfer rumours afford no sympathy for April Fool’s Day. The plough on, uninhibited, much likes Chelsea’s march to the Premier League title.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the Blues will not stop there. And while their interest in Alvaro Morata of Real Madrid fame has waned, they are ‘lining up bids’ for two others strikers.
They are familiar faces, too. Everton’s Romelu Lukaku and Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez top Antonio Conte’s transfer wishlist, according to the reliable pair of Matt Law and Sam Wallace.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking they intend on signing only one of them either. Indeed, the Blues ‘are not dismissing the prospect’ of signing both, even if the outlay would reach well over £100million.
LIFE OF RYAN
But Chelsea would not be done there. The London Evening Standard report that a new left-back has emerged as a transfer target.
You might have heard of Ryan Bertrand, who started the Champions League final for the Blues in 2012. His game time at Stamford Bridge was limited before he departed for Southampton, where he has developed into one of the best full-backs in the Premier League.
Chelsea have taken note. Conte is ‘a huge admirer’ of Bertrand, and wants his club to strengthen in the wing-back areas.
Southampton value the left-back ‘in excess of £25m’, while Manchester City are also interested.
TAKING THE MICHAEL
It isn’t quite letting Paul Pogba go for free before spending a world-record £89.3m on bringing him back four years later, but Manchester United sending £25m Burnley’s way for Michael Keane after selling him for a fraction of that in January 2015 is funny.
The Daily Mail report that Keane, who Liverpool were believed to be leading the race for, is tempting United boss Jose Mourinho with his recent performances.
The England international has earned admiring glances from Liverpool, Everton and Chelsea, for Chelsea want to sign everyone, but the temptation of returning to United to prove a point could prove decisive.
What’s more, United inserted a 25% sell-on clause when they let Keane go for £2.5m just over two years ago. That might just sway Burnley’s thinking.
AND THE REST
Paris St-Germain have let Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger know he can become their manager if he leaves the Gunners…West Ham are interested in signing Arsenal forward Lucas Perez for a fee similar to the £17m the Gunners paid for him last summer…Meanwhile, vice-chairman Karren Brady has responded to rumours about West Ham manager Slaven Bilic’s future, saying “we rate him, so we are planning to keep him”, and telling his critics to “shut up”…Howe would also be interested in bringing Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe back to Bournemouth – where he played alongside Howe on loan in 2000-01 – if the 34-year-old leaves the Black Cats…Everton midfielder Tom Davies, 18, is close to signing a new five-year contract with the Goodison Park club.