Gossip: The most ridiculous player swap ever proposed

Matt Stead

YOU KANTE BE SERIOUS
Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve done it. We’ve found the most ridiculous proposed swap in football history.

Now, Sky Sports do clarify that Barcelona ‘have proposed a cash-plus-player deal’, meaning that this is not a straight player swap. But unless the ‘cash’ involved equates to all of the money in the world, they’re absolutely mental. Because they want to trade Andre Gomes for N’Golo Kante.

Kante is currently at the World Cup with France, and has been one of their better players. He won the Premier League title with Chelsea last season, and with Leicester the season before. He is one of the best pure defensive midfielders in world football, if not the best.

Gomes started 12 games for Barcelona this past season, failing to earn a regular starting place. He described life in the Nou Camp as “hell” in March, such has been the complete failure of his move from Valencia.

Barca value Gomes at around £17.5m, so must have an absolute bucketload of cash lined up. Kante has three years left on his Chelsea contract, the Blues will be reluctant to lose one of their two most important players, and the midfielder is unlikely to kick up a massive fuss to get his own way, even if he does want to leave.

Just no.

 

HAZARD WARNING
It seems that Maurizio Sarri will have a busy first few days as manager. His appointment was announced on Saturday, and the first email in his inbox is likely to concern Eden Hazard.

The Daily Telegraph say Chelsea are ‘facing a fight’ to keep both the Belgium and his compatriot Thibaut Courtois. The former is still mulling over the offer of a new £300,000-a-week contract, and Chelsea ‘will seek talks’ with him when he returns from the World Cup.

The Blues hope the promise of Jorginho, Daniele Rugani and Aleksandr Golovin, as well as the arrival of Sarri, can persuade him to stay.

Real Madrid and Barcelona are both interested. Even with just two years left on his current contract, Chelsea value Hazard at around £200m.

 

THE CHOSEN IVAN
It was always going to happen. Jose Mourinho probably knew that. As soon as he praised Ivan Perisic, explaining why the winger is “different to the others”, he was basically fanning the flames of speculation.

Manchester United have not been linked with Perisic in some time, but Paris United have corrected that. They suggest Fali Ramadani and Pini Zahavi are expected to travel to Manchester soon to hold discussions over the player.

It ‘would further push Anthony Martial’ towards the exit door. But there is no mention made of the five-year contract Perisic signed with Inter Milan in September. Funny that.

 

AND THE REST
Maurizio Sarri and Napoli midfielder Jorginho, 26, were at Stamford Bridge on Friday evening to complete their moves to Chelsea from the Italian club… Chelsea have held talks about a signing Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain, 30, and want any deal to involve Blues striker Alvaro Morata, 25, going the other way… Tottenham look set to miss out on Bordeaux forward Malcom, 21, with Inter Milan favourites to sign the Brazilian on an initial loan deal… Leicester are ready to offer England defender Harry Maguire, 25, an improved contract – taking his weekly wage from £45,000 to about £75,000 – in an attempt to ward off interest from Manchester United… Lazio’s Brazil midfielder Felipe Anderson, 25, is expected to complete a move to West Ham in the next few days, after having a medical on Friday.