Gossip: Mikel, Van Dijk, Diego Costa, Pulisic

Date published: Tuesday 29th November 2016 12:02

MANCHESTER UNITED TARGET MIKEL
We start with an exclusive in The Sun, and it comes from the mouth of Neil Custis. I’m wary of getting too excited here, but he SAYS THAT MANCHESTER UNITED WANT TO SIGN JOHN OBI MIKEL.

Now, we can’t truly buy into that. Mikel is 29, and his contract will run out at the end of this season with Chelsea not interested in renewing it. With Morgan Schneiderlin, Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Michael Carrick already at Old Trafford (with plenty of those struggling for minutes), is Mikel really the answer? No, no he isn’t.

Custis uses Mourinho’s previous signing of Mikel as evidence of the move, but that was ten years ago. ‘He needs that type of player to give £89m Paul Pogba freedom to roam,’ he writes. ‘That type,’ I agree with, as in ‘a defensive midfielder’. It’s the identity of that player that I’m struggling with.

 

 

EVERTON WANT VAN DIJK FOR £40M
To the Daily Mirror now, and their claim that Everton manager Ronald Koeman is aiming to sign Southampton central defender Virgil van Dijk in January.

Firstly, it’s no surprise that Everton would be interested. Koeman knows better than anyone how good Van Dijk is and, after the takeover, Everton have plenty of money to spend.

That said, surely Van Dijk would aim a little higher were he to leave Southampton? Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool have all been linked with a young-ish defender who has already forged a reputation as one of the Premier League’s best centre-backs.

 

INTER WANT DIEGO COSTA FOR £50M
Oh hey there ballsy transfer rumour, come on down. It’s been a while since we’ve had a transfer rumour trail, but Tuesday brings one. The Sun say that Talksport say that Don Balon say that Inter want to sign Diego Costa.

1) The story hints that the bid would come next summer, which makes it flimsy at best.
2) The bid relies on Inter making Diego Simeone their manager next summer. 3)
Using Costa’s apparent desire to join Atletico Madrid in the summer as evidence of a move to Inter is a little presumptive.

Move along folks, nothing to see here.

 

LIVERPOOL STEP UP PULISIC CHASE
The rumours linking Liverpool with Christian Pulisic won’t go away, and Tuesday brings another batch of stories. The Daily Mail say that Liverpool will step up their interest in the Borussia Dortmund midfielder ‘in the wake of Philippe Coutinho’s injury’.

Erm, Coutinho is only out for six weeks. Even if Liverpool signed Pulisic on the first day of the January transfer window (and they won’t), he’s hardly likely to cover for the Brazilian’s injury.

Impressively, the author also uses Danny Ings’ long-term injury as evidence for a move. Yeah, there’s nothing like your fourth-choice striker getting injured to make you need a midfielder.

Liverpool might well want Pulisic, who would cost at least £25m. We’re just not sure he a) joins in January and b) is signed because of Coutinho’s six-week layoff.

 

AND THE REST
West Ham are locked in talks with Simone Zaza’s advisers – hoping to remove the hefty appearance clause in his contract… Crystal Palace are weighing up a January swoop for Senegal international midfielder Papa Alioune Ndiaye… Roma are chasing Manchester United’s outcast winger Memphis Depay for a possible January transfer window swoop… Struggling Hull City are ready to boost their survival chances with a move for Portuguese winger Renato Santos… West Ham have been hit by another major injury blow with striker Diafra Sakho possibly out for three weeks with a hamstring problem.


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