The Manchester United transfer ‘exclusive’ no-one needed

Matt Stead
Edinson Cavani PSG Benfica

Manchester United are not signing someone no-one expected them to. And why Liverpool wouldn’t bring in Messi or Ronaldo.


Dog’s dinner
Far be it for Mediawatch to be cynical…


…but would The Sun really have run with this story as a front-page exclusive if it didn’t offer up pun headline fodder?

It would be utterly bizarre if Premier League footballers didn’t go to measures to protect themselves, particularly in light of one of their peers being robbed at knifepoint in his own home.

And why, Richard Moriarty, do you feel compelled to add asides such as these, on Jesse Lingard – ‘who owns a £75,000 watch’ – when you know Alli was targeted for having similar jewelry? Or ‘BLING’, as your front page obviously puts it.

Add to claims of ‘several’ players ‘boasting £1million collections’, and the suggestion that they ‘also plan to stop flaunting items on social media’, and you get a healthy dose of victim blaming from the nation’s best-selling newspaper.


Pound for pound
Not that The Sun contribute in any way to the negative perception of footballers by arbitrarily assigning them numerical values designed to stoke outrage at how mere athletes can command such personal ‘fortunes’.

They’re not responsible for the despicable actions of others but they sure as hell don’t help the situation.



Reveal prep
‘Tottenham star Harry Kane reveals Dele Alli ‘shock’ and ‘anger’ after knife-point robbery’ – Daily Express website.

There’s one in the eye for everyone who assumed Dele Alli would be revealed to be ”unsurprised’ and ‘happy’ after knife-point robbery’.


A grand old Mess
Anyone even vaguely familiar with football in 2020 knows that Liverpool are great. Brilliant, even. Hell, they’re the greatest team ever and this perennially means more.

So when the Liverpool Echo publish an article headlined ‘Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and the factors separating Liverpool front three from the rest’, the world just nods in sage appreciation of their excellence.

But what are these ‘factors’ that separate a front three that actually ranks no higher than fifth for goals from any trio in a Premier League season and Messi and Mbappe?

Two things: ‘That unselfishness in working together, and the equality in talent and influence.’

That’s right. Would Liverpool swap any of Firmino, Salah and Mane for Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo? F**k no. If you sign one of the two greatest players in the history of the sport there would be no ‘equality in talent and influence’, after all.

And Kylian Mbappe, the best young player in the world currently? No thanks. There’s a chance he wouldn’t be ‘unselfish’ enough.

What is it with Liverpool and pretending that a) all Mbappe does is score goals, and b) that’s a problem?


Maddison avenue
A headline of ‘James Maddison warns Leicester they must help him win trophies as ambitious star chats to Thierry Henry on Instagram’ on The Sun‘s website is enough to catch the eye. Since when was a player with no career silverware in a position to ‘warn’ a former Premier League champion about winning trophies?

Please tell us more about this ‘stark warning’.

“It has only really come in the last year or two, but my biggest goal now is to win trophies. In my house I have a trophy cabinet and there are not many in there. There are individual awards but no trophies. I want trophies.

“When we lost over two legs to Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup semi-finals, it is a feeling I have never had before and that’s when I knew something has to change. We have Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter-finals and hopefully we get to play that.

“My mouth gets wet when I walk around the Leicester training ground and the stadium and see the pictures of them winning the league and hear the players talk about it.”

Footballer would quite like something tangible to show for promising football career. Consider yourself ‘warned’, Brendan.


Edin for a fall
Manchester United might be interested by that ‘stark warning’ from one of their targets. At least they would be if they weren’t busy not signing someone no-one thought they would realistically sign.

‘Exclusive: Manchester United stance on Edinson Cavani summer approach’ is the headline in the Manchester Evening News. This should be good.

‘Edinson Cavani is not expecting an approach from Manchester United this summer, as he ponders his future.’

‘Exclusive: Thing no-one expected to happen won’t be happening.’

‘MEN Sport understands the Uruguayan is not anticipating an offer from United…’

So the ‘exclusive’ is not Manchester United’s stance on an Edinson Cavani summer approach at all, but is rather Edinson Cavani’s understanding of Manchester United’s summer approach for Edinson Cavani.

But how stunning that a club continually telling the media of how they only want to sign young, hungry, British players won’t be pursuing a 33-year-old Uruguayan who would demand mammoth wages as a free agent.

Cavani was only mooted as a tentative target in January before United eventually signed Odion Ighalo on loan instead. Was there any suggestion since that they were interested in him beyond then?

Next week: Manchester United stance on Cristiano Ronaldo summer approach. It turns out they won’t be signing him. And nor will Liverpool. Why would they risk their ‘equality in talent and influence’?


Rover the moon
‘Allardyce recalls how volcanic ash cloud stopped Lewandowski joining Blackburn in 2010’ – talkSPORT.

Can you really claim an ‘exclusive’ about a story that has been done to death by now? You’ll be telling us that Liverpool almost signed Cristiano Ronaldo and Ronaldinho nearly ended up at Manchester United next.


‘Bring football back as quickly as human possible’ headline of the day
‘Lionel Messi snogs stunning wife Antonela but leaves fans ‘disturbed’ and worrying their KIDS took video’ – The Sun, obviously.


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