NO WAY, JOSE
First came the leak that Jose Mourinho was prepared to sell Chris Smalling, Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo. Then came the claim that Manchester United were interested in signing Roma’s Antonio Rudiger. Then came Duncan Castles, who continues to lay the blame for United’s struggles this season firmly at the feet of the defence. When Mourinho wants something, he is not subtle.
And what Mourinho wants is twofold. He would like not to be blamed for the current problems at Old Trafford, and he would also like a new defender. The Daily Mirror’s claim that the club are interested in signing Jose Gimenez from Atletico Madrid takes care of both of those issues.
John Cross writes the following:
‘Under-pressure United boss Mourinho has identified the Atletico Madrid centre half as his No.1 defensive target to bolster his squad at Old Trafford.
‘Uruguay star Gimenez, 21, has a £56m release clause and has been coveted by all of Europe’s top clubs but Mourinho believes he can help solve United’s defensive problems.’
Combine that with this sentence – ‘But Mourinho knows his squad needs major reinforcements with defence the biggest frustration to this season’s inconsistent results’ – and you have the perfect story for a man looking to blame someone else. A quick reminder that no side conceded fewer Premier League goals last season (35).
Gimenez is 21 and has already played 66 games for Atletico, but has found playing opportunities difficult to come by this season. Injuries and the form of Diego Godin and Stefan Savic has restricted him to just one La Liga game. Still, he’s pretty bloody good.
The Sun have a juicy exclusive now – Cesc Fabregas will not leave Chelsea until the summer at the earliest, regardless of whether he plays or not.
Fabregas has been ‘frozen out’ of the Blues side by new manager Antonio Conte, who favours the more rounded talents of Nemanja Matic and N’Golo Kante in his midfield. Considering they are fourth and one point below leaders Manchester City, it’s difficult to argue.
According to Andrew Dillon, the Spaniard ‘won’t rush’ into a decision over his future, and is content to wait until next summer to assess his options. He has started one Premier League game this season; they lost 3-0 to Arsenal.
DON’T JENKS IT
‘West Ham eyeing up potential transfer move for Arsenal ace’ is the sexy headline for a decidedly unsexy transfer story on the Daily Star website. ‘West Ham would consider taking Carl Jenkinson back on loan’ does not sound quite as appealing a story, granted.
But that is precisely what Paul Brown is reporting. Jenkinson joined the club on loan in the summer, but suffered an injury early on. Manager Slaven Bilic ‘will continue to monitor his progress’ at the Emirates Stadium with a view to him returning.
“Carl’s injury was a real shame,” a West Ham source is claimed to have said. “He was doing well at the club and we liked him. Would we have tried to sign him? Probably.”
This is big news, people.
AND THE REST
Liverpool remain keen on Ipswich teenager Andre Dozzell, and are considering a £2m bid when the transfer window opens in January…Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United are battling it out to try and prise 15-year-old Scottish starlet Billy Gilmour away from Rangers…David Moyes faces the axe if Sunderland do not beat Bournemouth on Saturday and the under-fire boss has been handed a touchline ban for the match that could save his his job…Lazio have reportedly tabled a bumper contract offer for Stefan de Vrij amid interest from Chelsea…Jose Mourinho is desperate for Manchester United to sign a top class holding midfielder after missing out on N’Golo Kante in the summer…Manchester United are reportedly ready to recall Cameron Borthwick-Jackson from Wolves…Branislav Ivanovic expects to leave Chelsea by the end of the season – but wants to stay in London…Manchester City have checked on Palmeiras’ Colombia international defender Yerry Mina.