Gossip: Varane, Fabinho, Berahino, Sissoko

Date published: Saturday 3rd September 2016 9:17 - Matthew Stead

With every club now having named their 25-man squads for the Premier League, and the transfer window having been gently closed, not slammed shut, sides are now busy already making plans for when they are next able to sign players.

Manchester United bought only four players in the summer – fewer than most sides – but spent more than everyone else, Manchester City aside. And they will be monitoring the progress of two more players ahead of possible January moves.

The first is Fabinho, according to the Manchester Evening News. The Monaco right-back was linked heavily to Old Trafford for most of the summer, but a move never came to fruition. ‘Tentative enquiries’ were made, but he remained in France, but he now ‘tops the list of potential winter targets’. Much of that could depend on how Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian fare.

The second is Raphael Varane. Obviously. United ‘were interested’ in the Real Madrid centre-half this summer, but Zinedine Zidane persuaded him to stay in Spain. He has since started each of the club’s first three games of the season.


Saido Berahino had a quiet summer, didn’t he? The West Brom striker had no outbursts on Twitter, and went on holiday just as the window closed. He will remain at The Hawthorns.

For now, at least. Stoke are prepared to return for the 23-year-old in January, making that three successive windows in which they have attempted to sign him.

“We will just have to see how that plays out,” chairman Peter Coates said, “and we don’t know what West Brom’s strategy will be on that one either.

“Obviously we had the long saga with Berahino, which didn’t happen in the end, but we are more than pleased with Bony coming in and we believe he will be a good signing.”

How often would he even play now Wilfried Bony is there?


No, not that one. Although that sure would excite Tony Pulis.

Instead, it is Momo Sissoko who the Baggies want. That is Momo Sissoko of former Liverpool and Juventus fame, the one with the crazy eyes. He is out of contract after leaving Shanghai Shenhua in the summer, and will play for West Brom in a friendly this weekend.

The midfielder has been training in France with Nancy, but it is understood that he wishes to return to England. Hull and Sunderland are also interested.


Yaya Toure’s agent Dimitri Seluk says the 33-year-old midfielder is “pleased” to stay at Manchester City, despite his lack of first-team opportunities under new manager Pep Guardiola…Zenit St Petersburg midfielder Axel Witsel, 27, regrets not moving from the club during the transfer window, when he was a reported target for Everton and Juventus…Swansea City missed out on the chance to sign 22-year-old defender John Stones from Barnsley, three years before he made a £50m move to Manchester City from Everton.

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