OTAMENDI DEAL DONE
It’s everywhere so we can safely assume it is true: Manchester City and Valencia have reportedly agreed a €45m (£31.7m) fee for Nicolas Otamendi. That’s an awful lot of money for a 27-year-old. But does it matter if it wins them the title?
Contrary to earlier reports, no City player will move in the deal – Spanish newspaper AS claim that Eliaquim Mangala has been told by Manuel Pellegrini that he is part of his plans after an impressive start to the season.
FAZIO TO WEST BROM
Let us take you through how to fudge up a transfer window, Spurs style?
1) Ask your manager to identify players that he wants.
2) He replies “Mateo Musacchio and Morgan Schneiderlin, please”.
3) Go out and buy Federico Fazio and Benjamin Stambouli instead.
4) Ignore the questions and baffled looks from the manager.
5) Sit back while both players fail to settle and the manager struggles to use them. Because he didn’t want them.
6) Sell both players the next summer.
Fazio’s off to West Brom. He should never have been at White Hart Lane in the first place.
EVERTON REJECT STONES BID
Got a feeling of deja vu? Yeah, us too.
Our erstwhile colleagues at Sky Sports claim that Everton has rejected a bid of £30m for John Stones from Chelsea. To be honest we thought that had already happened, which shows what a tedious saga this is turning into.
Roberto Martinez continues to insist that Everton are not a selling club and that Stones is staying. For his part, the player has stayed very quiet indeed.
Come back next week, when we will report that a £34m bid has been rejected.
AUSTIN 4 LONDON IDST
The future of Charlie Austin has been up in the air for ages, with Newcastle long considered to be the favourites for his signature.
However, the London Evening Standard report that the striker would prefer to stay in London rather than uproot again.
QPR’s £15m valuation means that there are only so many clubs likely to sign Austin. Shouldn’t Spurs just stump up the cash, or is Berahino going to be enough? (It isn’t going to be enough).
VERRATTI AND LAVEZZI TO ARSENAL?
Yeah, so we’re throwing absolutely all of our considerable weight behind this one.
It’s most certainly bobbins, of course (there’s a Smash Hits term for you, 1990s fans) but the Daily Express claim that Arsenal will look to sign both Ezequiel Lavezzi and Marco Verratti from Paris St Germain. That would make us sweaty with excitement, which is a better look than it sounds.
Lavezzi is obviously out of favour in Paris, with lesser clubs than Arsenal (like Spurs, POW!) reportedly offered the chance to sign him. Verratti has apparently told the club that he would like to move on after slightly stalling over the last 18 months. He’s still bloody excellent, mind.
CHELSEA READY GRIEZMANN BID
The fallout from Chelsea’s poor start to the season continues. With most of the papers focusing on the impending move for Everton’s John Stones, the Daily Star go for a different tact, claiming that Chelsea will seek to sign Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid.
To be honest, it’s probably all a load of rot. The Star mention the Metro in passing, and the Metro’s piece in turn mentions the Star. There is talk over Chelsea officials flying to Madrid to thrash out a deal and a bid of £21m, but it all seems unlikely.
If Chelsea do end up signing Griezmann, can someone personally shake whoever was responsible for making the final call on Juan Cuadrado? Thanks.
EVERTON LOOK FOR STONES REPLACEMENT
With Everton intent on getting the most money possible for John Stones, the danger is that they leave it late to sell and then have no time to find replacements. The Daily Star today discusses a few possible targets.
The first is Ashley Williams, which seems mightily unlikely. 1) Why would he want to leave Swansea after declaring his intention to stay, and 2) Swansea have slapped a £25m price tag on him, which should be plenty enough to put off Everton. Williams is 30.
The other names mentioned are Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly, who could be available for £7m, and River Plate and Argentina centre-back Ramiro Funes Mori, who would cost £5.5m. Both are aged 24, and are a much more realistic fits than Williams.
ZLATAN TO THE PREMIER LEAGUE
I’m not a huge Zlatan Ibrahimovic fan boy, which seemingly puts me in a very small minority. That said, there’s no doubting that it would be great to see how he would get on in the Premier League.
The Daily Mail go big on the claim that the 33-year-old striker has been told that he can leave Paris St Germain, and is available for a cut-price fee. The paper believe that Arsenal and Manchester United will both have been alerted by the news, and well they bloody should be. Both clubs need support/competition for their existing strikers, something Ibrahimovic would certainly provide.
AND THE REST
Norwich City will let Gary Hooper out on loan but they want his £32,000-a-week salary paid in full… Southampton are set to sign Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly… Everton have made a £14m bid for Dynamo Kiev winger Andriy Yarmolenko… Tottenham have rejected a £13m bid from Juventus for Christian Eriksen… Watford have been offered France midfielder Yoann Gourcuff, who is available after leaving Lyon in the summer… Sunderland are set to offer Aston Villa defender Kieran Richardson the chance of a return to the Stadium of Light – the 30-year-old could be available for around £2m… Juventus are mulling over a move for Tottenham forward Erik Lamela as they are struggling to finalise a deal with Schalke for Julian Draxler…
Marseille want Remy Cabella from Newcastle as part of the £12m deal to sell winger Florent Thauvin… Manchester United supremo Ed Woodward checked on Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte last night… Philippe Senderos is set to leave Aston Villa, with Turkish sides Rizespor and Antalyaspor reported to have an interest… Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti has put Liverpool on red alert by admitting he is open to a move to the Premier League… Palermo are refusing to give up on signing Arsenal forward Joel Campbell, who is rated at £6m by the Gunners… West Ham have made a loan enquiry for Napoli striker Eduardo Vargas, who was on loan at QPR last season… Bournemouth are continuing to push for a deal for Crystal Palace striker Glenn Murray… West Brom want Tottenham’s £5m-rated centre-back Fazio… Manchester City are braced for interest in Samir Nasri from Inter Milan, if they fail to sign Ivan Perisic from Wolfsburg.