Jurgen Klopp is undeniably a fan of Football365. Either that, or he has a working pair of eyes and a semblance of common sense. On Sunday, Sarah Winterburn wrote that Liverpool are a club in need of extensive summer surgery. By Tuesday, the Reds are signing everyone and selling half of their squad.
The news comes from The Times’ Mr Liverpool, Tony Barrett. He reports that Klopp will oversee an ‘overhaul’ of his squad in the summer, with a number of players expected to depart. Among them will be striker Christian Benteke, who ‘will be made available for a transfer’ just one year after becoming the club’s second-most expensive signing ever.
Benteke will not be alone. Simon Mignolet’s first-team status ‘is not guaranteed’, Barrett writes. Because the best way to get that message across is to hand him a five-year deal. But Mignolet won’t be leaving. Instead, the club hope to sign a goalkeeper who can provide the Belgian competition next season. This means that Adam Bodgan is ‘expected to depart’. There will be parties in the streets of Liverpool.
Dominic King of the Daily Mail adds his two pennies’ worth. He reports that Kolo Toure, Jose Enrique and Joao Teixeira are ‘definitely leaving’. A big claim to make over three players who are out of contract in the summer and have not been offered a new deal. King also claims that Lazar Markovic will be ‘brought back’ from Fenerbahce. Because ‘returning from loan’ does not sound as drastic.
So, what in terms of incomings? While Barrett reports that ‘a number of high-profile stars are now on borrowed time’, he adds that three players in particular are on Liverpool’s shortlist to sign. They are Mario Gotze of Bayern Munich, Piotr Zielinski of Udinese, and Ben Chilwell of Leicester. It will be a busy summer.
From an ‘overhaul’ to a ‘transfer war-chest’. We’re playing transfer gossip bingo, people.
Jeremy Wilson of the Daily Telegraph writes: ‘Arsène Wenger has made the central spine of his team the summer priority when he will have a £75 million budget to spend on new players.’ Putting this through Google Translate and changing the settings from ‘bullsh*t to English’, we get: ‘Arsenal have just lost a big game and so will sign loads of players like they do every summer.’
If you can't get the journalist right, don't have a go at Wenger! Even I'm a bit bored of war chests… (Sorry!) pic.twitter.com/oE8CMYIa1L
— John Cross (@johncrossmirror) March 1, 2016
When John Cross is ‘bored’ of war chests, there is a problem.
‘Central midfield and central defence will be the priorities,’ reports Wilson, as well as Leicester left-back Chilwell, ‘and potentially a striker’. So not much. Nothing drastic. Wilson adds that N’Golo Kante, Victor Wanyama and William Carvalho ‘are being watched’, and that the club holds an interest in Watford striker Odion Igahalo and Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Wilson has plenty more in terms of players leaving. Kieran Gibbs, Mathieu Debuchy, Mathieu Flamini, Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky are all expected to depart the club in the summer, be that due to contract expiration or being patently not good enough. We’re looking at you, Kieran.
Wenger is also keen to sign a central defender, with Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker both in their 30s. Has the manager only just realised?
‘The club will also be in a position to make massive contract offers for Mesut Özil and Alexis Sánchez,’ is the final claim from Wilson. Busy times.
AND THE REST
Senior players at Manchester United believe Louis van Gaal will not be sacked mid-season, according to reports…Manchester United are ready to reward teenage sensation Marcus Rashford for his amazing breakthrough into the first team with a new £15,000-a-week deal..Antonio Conte wants to bring his younger brother Gianluca to coach with him at Chelsea…Arsenal have reportedly sent scouts to watch 16-year-old Juventus striker Moises Kean Bioty…Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland is set to to be rewarded double his wages to £50,000 a week with a new five-year deal…Antonio Conte has recommended new signings to Chelsea in anticipation of being named the club’s manager this month and they include Roma duo Miralem Pjanic and Radja Nainggolan…Malaga are keen to re-sign Manchester City’s 35-year-old Argentina defender Martin Demichelis…Sunderland will decide this week whether to sign former Arsenal defender Emmanuel Eboue, 32, who impressed while on trial.