Man Utd signings inevitable after double boost over £200m strikers, with Ten Hag to ‘break Klopp rule’
Randal Kolo Muani and Harry Kane have pretty much been announced as new summer signings by Man Utd, while Erik ten Hag is daring to ignore Jurgen Klopp.
Hey, soul insister
The international break is here to scupper all the momentum of an exciting Premier League run-in, with England in action against Italy on Thursday evening.
Only one group of people are excited about the return of Gareth Southgate’s brave lions: newspaper journalists who get a trip to Naples.
Among those is John Cross of the Daily Mirror, who relishes these games more than perhaps anyone not named Henry Winter. But this is a weird old line to write:
‘Southgate also insisted that leading England to glory was still his biggest target as a manager as he looks to start with a win and to end a dismal run of not winning in Italy since 1961.’
Did he? Did the England manager really ‘insist’ that winning a trophy with England ‘was still his biggest target as a manager’? Was there ever any suggestion to the contrary?
Southgate, of course, stands on the brink of history. Oliver Holt of the Daily Mail explains everything:
‘But Southgate, who would become the fastest manager to reach 50 England wins behind only Sir Alf Ramsey if England prevail on Thursday night…’
What a bizarre way of saying he would actually be the second-fastest manager to reach 50 England wins. And even that is only technically true, considering he would be level with Walter Winterbottom – the only other coach to reach the mark – on 82 games.
Gareth Southgate has suggested that Euro 2024 success could see him extend his tenure as England manager… 🏴 pic.twitter.com/dDNCQd46QI
— The Athletic | Football (@TheAthleticFC) March 23, 2023
One Premier League club apparently has more reason than most to dread this pause of club action.
‘Brentford sweating as hidden Ivan Toney transfer clause to be triggered by England debut,’ the Daily Mirror website says.
Yeah, Brentford will really be panicking about the possibility of giving Peterborough another £1m on top of the initial £6m Toney fee which has already risen to £8m with add-ons.
It is also a clause so ‘hidden’ that it has been public knowledge pretty much since the transfer was completed in August 2020. Brentford will definitely be ‘sweating’ instead of celebrating the continued success of one of their best-ever signings.
Word to your mother
This is rather impressive stuff from the MailOnline, who are closer than ever to achieving their ultimate goal.
The SEO-stretching headline: ‘England midfielder James Maddison’s colourful bag is the latest fashion number to become a status symbol for footballers across the globe… and it’s yours for five and a half grand!’
The entirety of Oliver Holt’s article: ‘Louis Vuitton? Didn’t he play in the World Cup final? No, but the iconic designs from the French luxury fashion house which bear his name have become desirable items for footballers across the globe. Take this number sported by James Maddison as the England squad departed Birmingham for Naples. The Leicester man’s Watercolour Keepall Bandouliere Travel Bag – featuring the rainbow colour scheme of late American designer Virgil Abloh – is 50cm long, made from coated canvas with cowhide leather trim, and comes with a padlock and luggage tag. All yours for five and a half grand.’
A 30-word headline – and three bullet points amounting to another 34 words – for a 95-word story is astonishing work.
The international break transfer barrel-scraping is real, going by this selection of Sun website headlines.
‘Man Utd target Jude Bellingham sparks transfer rumour as he signs fan of rival club’s top while on England duty’ – a fine attempt at pretending Bellingham signing a Liverpool shirt is in any way an indication of his future.
‘Man Utd transfer target Randal Kolo Muani drops biggest hint yet over £105m summer move from Eintracht Frankfurt’ – said ‘biggest hint yet’ being that Man Utd transfer target Randal Kolo Muani “always dreamed of playing in big clubs”.
‘Spurs fans fear Kane will be sold after club’s pre-season tour announcement’ – four Twitter users notice that Cristian Romero, Richarlison and Heung-min Son were in a picture revealing Tottenham’s pre-season tour of Perth, but Harry Kane was not. And that is obviously how Spurs are going to report the departure of one of their greatest players ever.
Let’s just pray these next few days fly by.
‘Marc Cucurella reveals he had to Google one of Chelsea’s January signings’ is hardly an improvement from the Daily Mirror website.
Cucurella made the grand mistake of saying he was watching Argentina during the World Cup and “had to go and search on my phone” to see who “number 24” played for.
And considering Enzo Fernandez had only played for River Plate and Defensa y Justicia before last summer, when he joined Benfica before his move to Chelsea in January, that seems fair enough.
But no. How dare Cucurella not be a diligent watcher of the Argentine Primera Division. And what was he doing between last June and November if not scouring Primeira Liga squads?
Those comments hardly mark Cucurella out as the second coming of Danny sodding Rose.
Rule the world
‘Erik ten Hag would break Jurgen Klopp rule with transfer for landmark Liverpool signing,’ really does catch the eye and tick all the necessary boxes for a headline. And it absolutely has to come from the Daily Mirror website.
It is a clever way of upcycling the recent transfer story linking Marko Grujic – the first Liverpool signing made under Klopp – with a move to Man Utd. Mediawatch is a sucker for a rule-breaker.
But what is this Klopp directive which Ten Hag could breach?
Well it turns out that in 2019, the German made the following joke about a 38-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic: “If he hadn’t played for Manchester United, then we might have considered him.”
And there you go: Klopp suddenly has a transfer ‘rule’ which Ten Hag is considering ignoring. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you sex up the signing of Marko Grujic.
Most legally sound advice of the day
‘SIMON JORDAN: Antonio Conte has brought Spurs into disrepute while nuking everyone at the club and showing zero sense of his own culpability. Sack him NOW and don’t give him a PENNY’ – MailOnline.