The last we heard, United were trying to haggle over an initial Jadon Sancho fee. Chuba Akpom has made a breakthrough in talks.
Charlie Wyett of The Sun has a barnstorming exclusive for the football world on Friday morning:
‘JOHN STONES could be set for a reunion with former boss David Moyes at West Ham as Manchester City begin a clear-out.’
Oh, the fond memories they will share and look back on. Shame Stones has never played a single game for Moyes. What a ‘reunion’.
Hungry like the Wilf
‘Wilfried Zaha fears being priced out of transfer again as Crystal Palace demand £70m… with 25 per cent owed to Man Utd’ – Mark Irwin, The Sun exclusive, July 30.
‘Man Utd set for significant transfer windfall as Wilfried Zaha clause close to being triggered’ – Rich Jones, Daily Mirror, July 30.
‘Man Utd will land £17.5m transfer windfall from Wilfried Zaha move as Crystal Palace ‘demand £70m for star winger” – Anthony Chapman, The Sun, July 31.
You do realise you are just quoting yourselves, guys? Seemingly not, going by the second paragraph.
‘The Mirror claims United will cash in if Zaha leaves Selhurst Park this summer – thanks to a clause inserted in the deal taking him back to Palace in 2015.’
No, no. You claimed that. Exclusively. A few hours ago.
‘And they are apparently seeking a whopping £70m for his signature.’
According to your own well-paid and presumably well-sourced journalist, yes. Still, at least you got twice the mileage out of the exact same story.
Jet fuel can’t melt clickbait themes
Speaking of mileage…
‘Man Utd target Jadon Sancho pictured on private jet after Liverpool transfer admission’ – Daily Mirror.
‘Jadon Sancho to Man Utd: Dortmund star snapped on private jet amid £60m agreement claims’ – Daily Express.
‘Jadon Sancho pictured on private jet as Man Utd remain confident of summer transfer’ – Daily Star.
‘Man Utd ‘confident’ of Jadon Sancho transfer this summer as Borussia Dortmund star jumps on luxury private jet’ – The Sun.
Unless former Arsenal and current PAOK striker Chuba Akpom is Jadon Sancho’s agent, him being ‘pictured’, ‘snapped’ or jumping on a ‘private jet’ for a holiday bears no correlation to his future club. But you already knew that.
Finished with Akpom
That Mirror story is particularly questionable. King of clicks Jake Polden kicks us off nicely with an opening paragraph that gives nothing away.
‘Jadon Sancho has been pictured on board a private jet.’
He absolutely has. No arguments there. Spot on.
‘The Dortmund star is jetting off on holiday now that the season has finished, and was joined on the aircraft by former Arsenal striker Chuba Akpom.’
See, that’s not really what your headline was alluding to. You said he was seen on a plane ‘after Liverpool transfer admission’. The implication is obvious. Yet Liverpool are not mentioned in any way until the sixth paragraph.
Before then, we are told that Sancho ‘is expected to sign for the Old Trafford club this month’.
Hold on…this was published on July 30. So Sancho is ‘expected to sign’ for Manchester United by Friday? Those negotiations were rapid. Akpom is better than Jorge Mendes and Mino Raiola combined.
Can't wait to see 300 words of exposition under a 'Grealish posts cryptic social media hint' headline on 427 different websites. https://t.co/QqTZwtDjHp
— Football365 (@F365) July 30, 2020
And so it came to pass…
‘Jack Grealish’s cryptic response to Man Utd transfer speculation’ – Daily Mirror.
‘Jack Grealish posts cryptic response to Manchester United links on Instagram’ – Metro.
”He’s here to stay’ – Aston Villa fans are loving Jack Grealish’s cryptic tweet’ – Birmingham Mail.
‘Jack Grealish sends cryptic social media message amid Arsenal transfer links’ – Football.London.
‘Jack Grealish posts cryptic tweet after Arsenal ‘register interest’ in Man Utd transfer target’ – Daily Star.
‘Jack Grealish has posted a cryptic tweet that assumingly (?) relates to his future’ – The Sun.
‘Aston Villa star and Man United target Jack Grealish has posted this cryptic tweet on social media amid the growing speculation surrounding his future’ – talkSPORT.
Close enough. But what could it possibly mean when the subject of constant rumours posts a picture of himself sticking fingers in his ears? It really is a mystery for the ages.
Glen Johnson is having none of it. He thinks those Arsenal links in particular are poppycock, explaining the following to Football.London.
“They’re going to need players who know the Premier League. Some players come from different leagues and underestimate the Premier League, it can be very tough and difficult. I think they’ll need to go for more established players within the Premier League.
“I don’t think [Grealish would be a good signing]. He’s only had one season in the Premier League so that’s not established at all. I wouldn’t be going for Jack Grealish if I’m Arsenal.”
Which you’re not. Because that would be weird. Although if you were an entire football club, you’d know Grealish has made 70 career Premier League appearances. That’s equivalent to almost two campaigns for someone who has “only had one season” in the top flight.
Who should Arsenal target instead? Johnson never says. But considering some of their more promising players in 2019/20 were Emiliano Martinez, Bukayo Saka, Kieran Tierney, Dani Ceballos and Gabriel Martinelli, the idea that “they’re going to need players who know the Premier League” sounds a little suspect.
The thing is, Johnson finishes with this:
“I think he’s a great player but I don’t think he fits at Arsenal and, financial wise, they’re not going to get that done anyway.”
Which is absolutely fair enough and the reason Arsenal probably won’t sign him. But let’s not pretend it’s down to a 24-year-old club captain with more than 200 professional games lacking experience.
Least surprising first six words to a headline of this or any other day
‘MARTIN SAMUEL: Mike Ashley was right’ – Daily Mail.
Football365 shithouse headline of the day
‘Arsenal ‘to conclude deal’ for winger soon after FA Cup final’
Said ‘winger’ being trialist George Lewis, who ‘will initially link up with the under-23 side if a transfer is completed’.
A close runner-up
The headline to this Mediawatch. The absolute state of that. No wonder Neil Custis hates us.
Recommended reading of the day
Ewan Murray on Celtic and a two-team league.
Matt Pyzdrowski on David de Gea.