LIVERPOOL LINKED WITH LLORENTE
Not Spurs striker Fernando Llorente (that would be insane) but Real Sociedad centre-back Diego Llorente, who has a buy-out clause of £45m, which would constitute pretty good business for the Spanish club, who paid less than £7m for Llorente less than two years ago.
Everton are also said to be interested in Llorente, who could return to his first club Real Madrid for £25m. If they’re all clever, Madrid will buy him and then sell him on for £35m. Job’s a good ‘un. Everybody’s a winner. Especially Virgil van Dijk, who gets a classy defensive partner.
RAMOS OUT OF REAL MADRID?
According to the Daily Mail’s Spanish correspondent Pete Jenson, Sergio Ramos ‘will push for a move this summer’ if Real Madrid re-appoint Jose Mourinho as manager, as seems likely. He is one of several Real players who does not want the sacked Manchester United boss back at the club.
Gareth Bale is ‘another believed not to welcome the managerial change’, while Marcelo and Karim Benzema also oppose the idea. Indeed, Benzema said this weekend that the squad were united by current Real boss Santiago Solari.
CITY LEAD RACE FOR MAN UNITED TARGET
We mentioned his name when we wondered who might be Nemanja Matic’s long-term replacement at Manchester United (and he has been strongly linked with both them and Tottenham) but the Daily Express believes that City have been ‘compiling a dossier’ on Lyon midfielder Tanguy Ndombele.
City are desperate for a defensive midfielder to succeed the impeccable Fernandinho and last summer missed out on candidates Fred and Jorginho, which might well turn out to be a blessing in disguise if they can land Ndombele for a reported £50m.
AND THE REST
Pep Guardiola wants Ilkay Gundogan to bugger off if he does not want to commit…Tottenham and Arsenal have both been linked with Villarreal midfielder Pablo Fornals…Spurs are also being linked with Argentina international Giovani Lo Celso.