MOURINHO TO PARIS
Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear. Many people went rather big on the ‘Jose Mourinho to Manchester United’ reports, didn’t they? The Sun claimed an agreement between the two parties as far back as December, and the Portuguese’s transfer shortlist has already been REVEALED countless times.
So it would be quite the spanner in the works if Mourinho was to move elsewhere, wouldn’t it? The Daily Mail report that Paris Saint-Germain are a serious contender for his signature in the summer, with Laurent Blanc’s future uncertain. How convenient of this to emerge after Manchester United reached the FA Cup semi-finals, granting Louis van Gaal a stay of execution as manager.
‘Paris Saint-Germain is considered to be a serious option for Jose Mourinho if the French champions part company with Laurent Blanc in the wake of their Champions League exit,’ writes Matt Barlow, who adds that Mourinho has previously ‘frowned upon’ the chance of managing in France due to the lack of competition. A wage upwards of £15million a year will help, as will a shot at winning the Champions League with a blank cheque book.
Of course, the key is the ‘if’ – ‘if Laurent Blanc leaves’. The Frenchman signed a two-year contract in February, and has already won Ligue Un for the 427th time. Imagine the pay-off.
OLD LADY FANCIES BENTEKE
Would you define it as a ‘shock’ if Christian Benteke were to leave Liverpool this summer? The £32.5million striker has dropped to fourth-choice striker at Anfield, and has not started a Premier League game since January 2.
Would you define it as a ‘shock’ if Juventus wanted to sign Christian Benteke this summer? The Italian side have four strikers in their first team, but Alvaro Morata and Simone Zaza are being linked with a move away, and Mario Mandzukic will turn 30 next month. Benteke is a similarly tall b*stard, and is over four years younger.
TalkSPORT would define it as a ‘shock’ if Juventus moved for Benteke. They accredit Calcio Mercato with the claim that The Old Lady will bid £20million for the 25-year-old, and Liverpool would surely be happy with recouping a decent amount of their original outlay. Snap their hands off, Jurgen.
£50m FOR PAYET
‘West Ham transfer report: Barcelona plotting sensational £50million move for Hammers sensation Dimitri Payet,’ say talkSPORT.
Payet is 29. He signed a five-year deal in February. He pays his taxes. Barcelona are not short of tricky attacking midfielders. Nope.
Who will dethrone Angel di Maria as the most expensive transfer ever made by a British club? Sergio Ramos, according to the ever-reliable Spanish outlet Don Balon.
Their claim, in conjunction with The Metro, is that Ramos will attract a bid of over £63million for his services in the summer. But it won’t be Manchester United who make the bid.
No. It will be Chelsea. And according to The Metro, he will be ‘replacing current right back Branislav Ivanovic’. Something tells us that Ramos, who hasn’t played as a right-back for around eight years, might play as, y’know, a centre-half. Which is what he is. Chelsea will not break their club record for a right back.
AND THE REST
Barcelona star Sergio Busquets will join Pep Guardiola at Man City…United States manager Jurgen Klinsmann on Wednesday denied reports suggesting he was being lined up to take over from Roberto Martinez at Everton…Chelsea’s Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard, 25, has denied speculation suggesting he has already signed a deal to join Real Madrid in La Liga…Paris St-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 34, says he has received lots of offers from the Premier League but is only interested in joining a club with trophy-winning potential…Arsenal duo Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, 22, and Kieran Gibbs, 26, are reluctant to leave the Gunners this summer despite their lack of first-team football…Incoming Chelsea boss Antonio Conte wants to bring in his own director of football – Roma’s Walter Sabatini – when he takes over at Stamford Bridge…Premier League leaders Leicester City are interested in signing 18-year-old AC Milan midfielder Manuel Locatelli but they face competition from Arsenal…Gianluca Lapadula’s 21 goals for Pescara in Italy’s Serie B this season have made the 25-year-old striker a target for Tottenham and Leicester…Vincent Kompany will not be sold by incoming boss Pep Guardiola this summer, according to the Manchester City captain’s agent…Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United are all tracking Marquinhos, 21, with the Brazilian defender understood to be unhappy at Paris St-Germain…Charlton defender Regan Charles-Cook, 19, is attracting interest from Premier League sides Arsenal and Liverpool.