COUTINHO CHASE OVER
‘Barcelona have finally admitted defeat,’ is the opening paragraph in the Liverpool Echo, leading to thousand of audible sighs of relief. In truth, Barcelona had no option to admit defeat after their bizarre 7pm deadline had been ignored by Liverpool’s baffled hierarchy.
The Echo describes Liverpool as ‘bewildered’ by a figure of £118m which would only be reached if Barcelona won pretty much everything forever and the Brazilian himself was declared Pope. They would only have been guaranteed £82m and that would not have compensated for his loss at this late stage.
The challenge now is to re-integrate a player who has ‘seriously blotted his copybook’ at Liverpool and created an ‘infuriating sideshow’ for Jurgen Klopp when he is busy trying to, you know, qualify for the Champions League.
SPURS TO BID FOR BARKLEY
He is one of our top ten players who have ten days to make a move, and his chances of making that move have increased with the claim in the Daily Telegraph that Tottenham are ‘readying’ (what does that mean? Turning on the fax machine?) a £20m bid for the Everton midfielder.
You may remember that Everton wanted £50m earlier in the summer, but a) that was ludicrous and b) Barkley has since got injured, so Daniel Levy believes he can get Barkley for £20m with the possibility of £8m in add-ons. The problem is that Chelsea can probably beat that figure and give him £100,000-a-week wages.
MAN CITY TO GO GIBSON OVER EVANS
The suggestion that West Brom could ask for an eye-watering £30m for Jonny Evans could lead Manchester City to Middlesbrough and Ben Gibson instead, says The Independent. Though we wonder if Boro would really sell Gibson for £20m this close to the end of the window.
City want at least one centre-half as back-up to Vincent Kompany, John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi, and Gibson qualifying as a homegrown player would be a bonus.
AND THE REST
PSG are close to agreeing a season-long loan deal for Monaco and France striker Kylian Mbappe…Man United are keen on Fulham teenager Ryan Sessegnon…Arsenal will hold talks with England international midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain this week..Newcastle have ditched plans to sign Montenegro striker Stevan Jovetic…West Ham have ruled out England striker Andy Carroll, 28, leaving on loan but are open to the idea of a permanent transfer.