‘How Sevilla exposed the major problem Liverpool must cope with this season’ is the headline on the Liverpool Echo.
That sends us scuttling to the match reports and line-ups, wondering whether Ian Doyle means Liverpool’s lack of cover in attacking positions, or a general lack of strength in depth without those playing international tournaments this summer. After all, Andy Lonergan and Nat Phillips started that game.
But no, it turns out that ‘the major problem Liverpool must cope with this season’ is that other teams will try to beat them.
‘Liverpool’s trophy-laden history means they have long been considered a major scalp.
‘But their Champions League triumph in Madrid last month, and the manner of their run to the final, has heightened that desire.
‘Make no mistake, Jurgen Klopp’s side are now the team everybody wants to beat.’
Give all of the trophies to Manchester City right now; they obviously have the advantage over ‘trophy-laden Liverpool’ that no f***er wants to beat them.
Tell me more, tell me more…
It’s been two weeks since Neil Custis wrote in The Sun that Manchester United were taking a ‘broken’ squad on tour; now he is he ‘sensing’ that Manchester United fans will believe in this team after spending ten minutes with Luke Shaw ‘thanks to Maui Jim, Manchester United’s Official Vision Partner’. Presumably he has now seen the light.
We can at least absolve Custis of any blame for this caption on pictures of Luke Shaw from last year:
‘SUMMER LOVING…this time last year Shaw was with pals in Ibiza – not Greece – but is now working hard with United.’
No. This time last year Shaw was working hard with United too. Those pictures were taken last June, when he was absolutely allowed to be on holiday.
‘What it will say about Gareth Bale if, at the age of 30, he makes a move to China because they have the only clubs who can match his wages at Real Madrid?’ asks Martin Samuel of the Daily Mail.
Well, it will say that Gareth Bale earns an awful lot of money, answers Mediawatch, who is still heartily laughing at the notion – espoused by Samuel – that Bale could be facing the end of his international career if he moves to China. You do know he’s Welsh, right?
What a difference a month makes…
‘MANCHESTER UNITED are back in talks with David De Gea – and confident of getting him to sign a new five-year deal. An offer of around £300,000 a week has been on the table since the turn of the year. But United are ready to increase that to £350,000 a week to tempt the Spanish keeper to stay put. That will be a huge increase on his current £200,000-a-week package – but still short of the staggering £505,000 a week that United flop Alexis Sanchez earns. The offer will be for a four-year contract – with an option on the club’s side to trigger a further year’ – Neil Custis, The Sun, June 22.
‘DAVID DE GEA wants to wear the Manchester United captain’s armband next season further emphasising his commitment to stay at the club. The goalkeeper is set to sign a new six-year deal at Old Trafford worth £375,000 a week to end any doubts about his future’ – Neil Custis, The Sun, July 22.
If Mediawatch were David De Gea, we would wait another month; by then he will be earning £400,000 a week for eight years.
Justification of the day
It’s no surprise that newspapers are dying on their arses when the Daily Mirror splash an ‘exclusive’ on their Tuesday back page that reporter Simon Mullock first broke online at 6am on Monday. Not only has the story – about Manchester City being accused of ‘arrogance’ – been ripped off and re-written a hundred times by Tuesday morning, but Pep Guardiola moved the story on overnight with his reaction. It is literally old news and the only reason it adorns the Mirror’s back page is as some sort of justification for sending Mullock to Shanghai.
Shock of the day
‘The player Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to partner Harry Maguire in Man Utd defence’ – Daily Mirror website.
Is it – and we’re really just guessing here – Manchester United’s only decent centre-half?
Too late baby now, it’s too late…
Mediawatch is admittedly getting a tad obsessed with the media’s own obsession with pretending that Harry Maguire is incredibly close to joining Manchester United. For the clicks, baby.
On Tuesday morning, The Sun online bring us this update: ‘UNITED NEWS 11am Man Utd transfer news LIVE: Pepe move close, Alderweireld clause expiring, De Gea staying, Maguire latest.’
And what is the ‘Maguire latest’? Apparently it’s that the Daily Mail claimed – at 10.30pm on Sunday night – that late Leicester owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha agreed in a conversation last summer to sell him this summer if a club met his asking price.
Late, later, latest.
On that note, the Daily Star have a punt at ‘How Man Utd could line-up with Harry Maguire and three other transfers’.
This is just speculation, of course, but they seem to think that right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka will play at right-back, central defender Maguire in central defence, winger Daniel James on the wing and central midfielder Bruno Fernandes in central midfield.
‘Juventus ready to sell Paulo Dybala to Manchester United on one condition’ – Metro.
‘Juventus prepared to sell Paulo Dybala on one condition as Man Utd and Man City circle’ – Daily Express.
‘Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ready to swoop for Paulo Dybala on one condition’ – Daily Star.
The problem? They’re all different conditions. This deal will never get done.
‘Manchester United’s incredible wealth has been confirmed with the Old Trafford club ranking as the sixth-most valuable sports team in the world.
‘The Red Devils have been valued at $3.81billion (£3.06billion) by Forbes, in the American magazine’s latest ranking of the world’s 50 most valuable sports teams.’
It’s one hell of a way for talkSPORT to report that Manchester United have dropped from second to sixth after shedding 8% of their value over 12 months.