All those phone calls eventually paid off for Joe Hart. He is Torino’s new number one, joining the Italian side on loan for the rest of the season. Lee Sharpe went to Italy on loan once, Sampdoria in fact. That went about as well as I feel Hart’s move will. English players don’t go abroad too often, as we know, and when they’ve gone to Italy in recent times it’s all gone Ashley Cole.
This morning we alluded to Jordan Henderson being in line to take over from Wayne Rooney as England captain. Not a bit of it. Big Sam has put himself in the same position as Roy, Van Gaal and Jose by making the balding one captain and, by default, undroppable. Allardyce commented that “Wayne’s record speaks for itself” which makes me wonder why he still went ahead and chucked him the armband. Never fear though folks, Rooney has decided he is going to retire from international football after the World Cup in 2018. That’s just under two years of people shouting “drop him, drop him” at their social media apps.
Staying in the England camp, Big Sam clearly voted remain. He is determined to unearth some “foreigners” that can qualify for England so that we “can win things.” Nothing will get the squad immediately behind you than comments like that, right? I love him already. Allardyce also wanted to lighten the mood in the camp, so decided to invite in a couple of comedians to entertain the squad. It was a little harsh on Walcott and Hart but everyone had a good night. Speaking of jokes, Michail Antonio thought his call up was just that. You were probably not the only one Michail.
Apparently Chelsea offered Cesc Fabregas to Real Madrid. I’ve heard of signing particular players to weaken your opponents, but actively trying to sell them someone to mess them up is a new one. Real kindly declined the invitation, possibly because they fancy Jack Wilshere on loan? Probably not. It will be interesting to see where Jack ends up having clearly done enough to lose Arsene’s confidence. Hull and Sunderland are probably interested.
Hull are to sign United’s Will Keane in a move that will really upset those at the Stadium of Light. Watford have signed striker Okaka from Anderlecht. The guy has a name that must be a dream for whoever comes up with the terrace chants at Vicarage Road.
I feel for Nacer Chadli. We have a lot in common. We both recorded Football Manager videos last year and neither of us really hold much desire to play football for Tony Pulis. WBA confirmed they have signed the winger for £13m and told him to kick any full back in a striped shirt that he sees overlapping him.
Leicester City might be adding two new faces to their Champions League squad having scoured Portugal and waved £50m big ones under the nose of Sporting. Adrien Silva may well be joining a tearful Slimani on the flight to the East Midlands as Ranieri aims to have enough players to actually be able to tinker. Sporting don’t seem too bothered about Adrien moving on, but have been issuing all kinds of “Slimani is going nowhere, nowhere we tell you” press releases. Press releases do not explain the tears though, do they?
Everton are looking for “cover” for Lukaku and that “cover” seems to be coming in the shape of Napoli’s Manolo Gabbiadini who have seen the colour of Everton’s £21m and have decided they like the look of it a lot. Arsene believes that Calum Chambers needs first team football to continue his development so he is off to Middlesbrough. Arsene, was Calum Chambers not playing first team football for you? And with your record of keeping defenders fit… Oh I give up.
You have to admire bottom of the table Stoke City’s ambition. They were confident of landing Liverpool’s Sahko on loan and believe they will get Berahino on deadline day for £20m. So far they have neither and might end up with Manchester United’s Phil Jones. That feels a little bit more like the outcome a team bottom of the table deserves. You can double that last statement if they end up with Wilfried Bony too. The Ivorian beast is linked with a move to China in January, but Sparky is convinced he can get him to put in a shift at the Bet365 stadium until that crazy wage cheque starts appearing. Good one Sparky, and may I commend you on your previous success on getting overpaid prima donas to play brilliantly at QPR.