Gossip: Real ditch Salah for fellow Liverpool hero, Auba swap

Matt Stead

Real Madrid will at least pause their pursuit of Mo Salah as they target outgoing Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards in the summer.


He has come an awful long way from the ‘laptop guru’ with a penchant for ‘air-conditioned offices’. Michael Edwards, perhaps the sport’s first star sporting director, has been earmarked as the solution by Real Madrid.

So intense is their admiration for the departing Liverpool mastermind that ‘a change in the club’s direction’ will see Real target Edwards first instead of the players he has brought to Anfield, such as Mo Salah.

And they are ‘hopeful’ they can convince Edwards to take the role with the M.O. of ‘revolutionising one of football’s greatest names’, bringing their transfer philosophy more in line with that of Liverpool in a system that the 41-year-old ‘is naturally seen as perfect for’.

This all comes exclusively from The Independent, who add that Edwards has ‘greatly impressed’ Florentino Perez with his work as part of Liverpool’s ‘now cutting-edge recruitment department’. We can foresee no problems with taking one cog out of that machine and expecting it to work just as well.

Liverpool chief Michael Edwards


Speaking of cogs, Wayne Rooney had his car ‘daubed with obscenities’ and ‘giant penises’ over the weekend after allegedly parking it at a busy Christmas market in Cheshire. That has little to do with Everton perhaps appointing him as manager but still.

The Sun report on a potential ‘sensational return’ to Goodison Park for the 36-year-old. While Everton are ‘desperate’ for Rafa Benitez to make a decent fist of it, there is a need to establish ‘a contingency plan’ in case of failure. Rooney ‘is on their radar’ after his fine work with Derby.

‘Unofficial communication lines’ are present between club and manager, whatever that means. Farhad Moshiri slid into his DMs under an alias? Maybe. And while Rooney has often underlined his commitment and loyalty to Derby, he ‘would find it very difficult to turn down’ an approach from his boyhood club.


The future of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is likely to rumble on well into next month, with Mikel Arteta pretty non-committal when it came to the immediate destiny of the now former Arsenal captain.

Barcelona’s current fetish for 30-something Premier League forwards could well extend to the Gabon international, with The Independent saying that Aubameyang is an option. The ‘potential complication’ of his wages may prove problematic, although ‘intermediaries have floated the idea’ of a swap deal with the similarly remunerated Ousmane Dembele.

The Daily Telegraph add that Aubameyang himself ‘has been left in the dark’ when it comes to whether he will play for Arsenal again or not, with the striker ‘shocked at the severity of his punishment’. Poor fella.