GET YOUR PHIL
Hands up who was stunned that Barcelona did not announce the signing of Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool at 7pm yesterday, despite The Sun exclusively claiming they would?
Lovely. To be fair to Neil Custis, perhaps in the rush of transfer deadline day he forgot to point out it would be on Friday, not Thursday, that the deal would be confirmed. The Spanish transfer deadline closes 24 hours after the Premier League one, and so Barcelona are continuing to plan deals.
The Daily Express, who obviously know, say the La Liga club ‘remain hopeful’ of signing Coutinho, and will make a fourth offer of £148m to a club who can no longer replace him.
The headline on the story is ‘Philippe Coutinho could complete Barcelona move tomorrow’. And he could, to be fair. But he won’t.
MESUT AND TIE
But what happens when Barcelona finally realise that Liverpool aren’t actually joking about not selling Coutinho? They identify alternatives; they look to Arsenal.
But the Gunners players the Spanish club will target might not be the one you think. Radio station Cadena COPE claim that Barcelona ‘think of Mesut Ozil as an alternative’.
Arsenal might have pretty much messed Manchester City about all summer over Alexis Sanchez, but they will obviously do a deal for Ozil despite no longer being able to replace him. The north Londoners value the Germany international at around £55.2m.
Speaking of Sanchez, this transfer deadline day’s ‘David De Gea fax machine’ moment is courtesy of Arsenal and Manchester City.
City apparently ‘blame’ Arsenal for the collapse of the deal, having had an offer for the Chilean international accepted at 10am. The Gunners failed to find a replacement however, and so pulled the plug.
The Daily Mirror say City first made contact in May, so have been left rather annoyed by Arsenal playing silly beggars for the intervening months, before finally entertaining a sale in the final week, then realising it was a little too late to do business.
City, of course, will try to sign Sanchez next summer. And probably succeed. But in a weird development, a number of outlets, The Metro among them, claim that the Mirror say City will try and sign him on loan in January. There is no such mention in the Mirror’s website story. Just wait until we buy the newspaper later…
AND THE REST
Ross Barkley turned down a move to Chelsea partly because Everton refused to let the 23-year-old midfielder speak with Tottenham… Juventus have the basis of an agreement in place with midfielder Emre Can’s representatives, if the 23-year-old decides not to renew his Liverpool contract… Everton wanted to sign former Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen on loan from Barcelona, but the Spanish side refused to release the 31-year-old… Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud, 30, did not complete a move to Evertonbecause his wife rejected it… Bournemouth had a £25m bid for Leicester City winger Demarai Gray, 21, rejected… Tottenham playmaker Marcus Edwards, 18, turned down several loan offers in an attempt to fight for a spot in the first team… Bournemouth turned down a £15m bid from Championship club Wolves for their 24-year-old striker Benik Afobe.