We can surely all agree that Liverpool have got a bargain in Alexis Mac Allister without making it all about Jude Bellingham and an ‘eye-watering fee’ that simply isn’t…
Let’s hear it for the Moyes
West Ham won a trophy on Wednesday night and it was truly glorious.
So what’s the lead headline on The Sun football website on Thursday morning?
Inside West Ham’s wild celebrations as Kurt Zouma goes topless and Wags join players as they dance at Prague hotel
Yes, because f*** the football, THERE ARE PICTURES OF GIRLS. Get your c*cks out, lads.
Except there really aren’t; the promised ‘Wags’ is actually one solitary Instagram pic of Lucas Paqueta’s (wife and?) girlfriend Duda Fournier.
What you will actually see are many pictures of David Moyes dancing. Now that’s a tough w*nk.
Behind the curveball
West Ham captain Declan Rice gave a very emotional interview after the game and of course he was asked about his future, because why let the lad have his joy with the fans he clearly loves?
He was very guarded and said: “It’s not goodbye yet, there’s loads of speculation about my future and there is interest from other clubs, but look, nothing’s happened. I’m a West Ham player, I’ve still got two years left on my contract. I love every minute of playing for this club and captaining this club, you can see the smile on my face. It’s not about that tonight, it’s about us celebrating. Let’s wait and see what happens.”
Sensible. Diplomatic. Non-committal.
You know what it wasn’t, Mirror bods? It wasn’t a sodding ‘curveball to Man Utd and Arsenal summer plans’. Not even close. But well done for shoehorning Man Utd and Arsenal and ‘transfer admission’ into a story about a proud and emotional man captaining his side to a first piece of silverware.
Imagine our surprise when just hours after this ‘curveball’, West Ham chairman David Sullivan confirmed his captain’s exit to talkSPORT by saying: “We promised him he could go. He set his heart on going. You can’t ask for a man who has committed more to us this season. You can’t keep a player who doesn’t want to be there.”
But what about his ‘transfer admission’ David? Have you not heard about the ‘curveball’?
Even worse is this from the Express:
Declan Rice ‘bored’ of Arsenal transfer talk and hints West Ham could block move
It looked like bollocks when it was published and it certainly looks like bollocks now.
Tottenham have launched their new kit and you will never guess who features heavily in the promotion?
Give up now because you’ll never get it: It’s their captain, talisman, most valuable asset and prolific goalscorer Harry Kane.
So of course this is the talkSPORT headline:
Harry Kane front and centre of Tottenham kit launch in possible hint over future
It’s a ‘possible hint’ that he is captain, fellas.
With Jude Bellingham’s name trending after the news about an agreement being reached between Borussia Dortmund, the race was on to crowbar his name into headlines from here to Timbuktu. But mostly in Liverpool.
‘Alexis Mac Allister fee may hint at what’s next in Liverpool’s Jude Bellingham transfer plan’ (Liverpool Echo)
‘Liverpool transfer news – Alexis Mac Allister announcement, Jude Bellingham move, Franck Kessie linked’ (Liverpool Echo)
‘Alexis Mac Allister and Jude Bellingham deals no coincidence as Liverpool avoid obvious transfer problem’ (Liverpool Echo)
‘Jude Bellingham calculation may add up for Liverpool as transfer ‘confirmed’ and bargain nears’ (Liverpool.com)
‘Liverpool may have just been given new $1.1bn transfer timeline for ace who beat Jude Bellingham (Liverpool.com)
The last of those headlines is a classic of the genre, detailing as it does that Gavi (who beat Jude Bellingham to the Golden Boy award last year) has a new Barcelona contract with a $1.1bn release clause. Which definitely gives Liverpool (who famously thought £85m-plus Bellingham was beyond their budget) a ‘new transfer timeline’.
Don’t be so sad…
Having spent April telling us that Liverpool had backed away from the Jude Bellingham deal because Borussia Dortmund wanted in excess of £100m (and absolutely not because they were about to lose out on Champions League football and Bellingham himself always fancied Madrid), Liverpool Echo man Ian Doyle now describes an ‘eye-watering fee of an initial £88.5million rising to £115m with add-ons’ which most neutral observers see as something of a bargain.
It was determined the money could be better spent elsewhere. Few, though, could have anticipated Liverpool then spending barely a third of the outlay for Bellingham on snapping up Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton having triggered the player’s release clause.
Ian, £35m is truly a steal for Alexis Mac Allister but there is no world in which that is ‘barely a third’ of £88.5m.
— . (@jeffpowell_Mail) June 7, 2023
And what do those two players have in common, Jeff? Anyone else thinking the key hashtag there is #England?