ARSENAL AND LIVERPOOL INTERESTED IN RAKITIC
The arrival of Philippe Coutinho will have ramifications at Barcelona, if reports in Spain are to be believed. We’re massively suspicious about the accuracy of reports in Diario Gol, but they do say that Ivan Rakitic is making preparations to leave after Coutinho’s arrival.
The report says that Liverpool, Arsenal and Juventus are the three clubs most interested in the midfielder, and Liverpool would surely make a load of sense. However, it also says that Rakitic is not going to decide anything until after the World Cup. The theory is that if he and Croatia do brilliantly, the number of suitors will only increase.
FELLAINI WILL BE LEAVING OLD TRAFFORD
Marouane Fellaini is a strange one. He was signed for a lot of money (at the time) and was wholly useless for his first two years at Manchester United. Then, under Jose Mourinho, Fellaini has improved and his status at Old Trafford increased immeasurably. Just as that has happened, he has started making noises about leaving.
The Sun’s Neil Custis has an exclusive, claiming that Fellaini has told Mourinho that he wants to leave United for a new challenge. Given that the Belgian is out of contract in the summer and is therefore now free to discuss and agree a summer move abroad, that challenge may soon be identified.
Custis says that Mourinho has been trying to convince Fellaini that he does not need to leave United and is wanted by the club and the manager, but to no avail. It is thought that an offer to continue his £120,000 weekly wage was on the table.
ARSENAL STEPPING UP EVANS EFFORTS
Arsene Wenger may have said that Arsenal are not close to signing any new players because “we have signed a Greek boy”, but at least one newspaper believes different.
Writing in the Times, the well-connected Gary Jacob and Paul Hirst report that Arsenal are stepping up their efforts to sign Jonny Evans from West Brom. Watching Per Mertesacker and Rob Holding flounder against Nottingham Forest will do that.
The problem Arsenal have is that Manchester City also want Evans, and he lives in the area. However, the Times do point out that Evans realises first-team football is far more likely at Arsenal. At the age of 30, does that swing the deal?
LOTS MORE ON SANCHEZ TO MANCHESTER CITY
But you can go here to read all about that. Enough to make a column of its own.
AND THE REST
Valencia will rival West Ham and Crystal Palace for the signing of Francis Coquelin…Leicester are prepared to let Kelechi Iheanacho leave for less than the £25m that paid for him in the summer… West Ham are interested in Anderlecht midfielder Leander Dendoncker… Newcastle striker Aleksandar Mitrovic is in talks with Bordeaux over a move… Cardiff want to sign Gary Madine from Bolton… Derby are in talks with Stoke over the future of manager Gary Rowett.