PHILIPPE COUTINHO NOT FOR SALE
Basically, you can have 427 reports from Brazil, Mexico and Spain saying that Philippe Coutinho is on his way to Barcelona, but the most compelling reports come from those close to Liverpool, and Andy Hunter of the Guardian is one of those reporters who has a direct line to Anfield. His take? ‘Liverpool’s determination to keep Philippe Coutinho has not altered despite indications Barcelona are prepared to pay £100m for the Brazil international.’
Or, as Jamie Carragher puts it: “If Liverpool lose Philippe Coutinho this summer, there will be riots. The fans will turn on the owners.”
All of which makes us wonder whether Liverpool will ‘do a Man United’ with Ronaldo and ask the Brazilian to give them one more year.
AFTER WALKER, WILL IT BE ROSE?
Kyle Walker has already gone in search of more money/chance of winning major trophies, and Danny Rose could well be next. The Daily Mirror report: ‘Tottenham are facing a fresh fight to hang on to left-back Danny Rose.’ They cite interest from Manchester United and Inter Milan in the England left-back who could probably double his £70,000-a-week wages if he left north London.
They write: ‘Left-back remains a position which United still have question marks over, with Daley Blind and Matteo Darmian filling the role during pre-season in the absence of Luke Shaw.’
Maybe that’s why Jose Mourinho is prepared to ‘fight’ for Gareth Bale.
CHELSEA TO SPEND, SPEND, SPEND
Antonio Conte said he wanted new players and the Daily Telegraph claim he will not have to wait long, with Paris Saint-Germain right-back Serge Aurier the likely first player through the door. More interesting though is the fact that Chelsea are likely to make a ‘firm enquiry’ for Virgil van Dijk after his transfer request. They believe that Southampton’s unwillingness to do business with Liverpool could put them at an advantage.
Finally, Chelsea do need reinforcements in midfield, with Danny Drinkwater, Ross Barkley, Antonio Candreva and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain the names mentioned by Matt Law. They certainly need somebody to fill the void left by Eden Hazard.
AND THE REST
Southampton are planning to sign Middlesbrough’s 24-year-old centre-back Ben Gibson as a replacement for Van Dijk…Stoke City hope to announce the £7m signing of Porto centre-backBruno Martins Indi before Saturday’s Premier League opener at Everton…Leicester City are set to announce the signing of Coventry City’s Leicester-born forward George Thomas…Turkish side Trabzonspor want to sign Tottenham’s France midfielder Moussa Sissoko on loan…Celtic and Nice want to sign Manchester City’s former Fulham midfielder Patrick Roberts…