When Jose Fonte slapped in that transfer request he dreamed of big things. I mean, everyone who leaves Southampton ends up in Liverpool, no? Failing that, there was talk that Mourinho was interested in his fellow Portuguese. City could do with a defender or five, and surely Arsene has been monitoring his progress? Actually, maybe not as Fonte is not a fleet-footed midfielder-cum-striker with zero intention of joining Arsenal. Anyway, I digress. Fonte wanted to move to a club that was going somewhere, Europe, play in front of the big crowds. Imagine his joy when he got the call from his agent. “Yeah Jose, Slaven sees you as the man to secure mid-table!” Brilliant. Come on now Fontey, the next bit is crucial. Jump ship and end up at a United or City and you will probably be forgiven. End up at the Hammers and the Southampton fans will love you as much as the Portsmouth number nine. Do the right thing now.
West Ham are busy busy right now. Accepting that Dimitri, rightly, prefers life on the south coast of France as opposed to the East End of London, they are trying to get at least £25m out of the recently bought French club. Except Marseille’s eyes are wandering elsewhere. They think they might be able to get Cabaye on the cheap as the Frenchman has reportedly taken a long look at Big Sam and action and thought “sod this, we’re screwed!” But the Hammers will only let Payet go to France, so maybe Marseille are playing them a fine game. Anyway, just so Slaven can feel like he is good at something, he is going to tie down Antonio to a new bumper deal on £70k a week. Yeah, that’s exactly the kind of business thinking that got West Ham in trouble when Iceland went bust.
Apparently the road between Southampton and Liverpool is only one way. Claude Puel was whispering French sweet-nothings into Sahko’s ears and the centre back was buying it. Sadly, Liverpool weren’t and Mama won’t be going to the St Mary’s on loan or permanently or, especially, playing there for Liverpool anytime soon.
Tony Pulis has been rushed to hospital with temporary insanity. Not only has he pretty much bought Jake Livermore for £10m, he is about to part with £17m for Ighalo. No, they haven’t got the decimal place in the wrong place, £17m actual quid. Strangely, this is a bad deal for both clubs as Watford could have got £35m from China and WBA are spanking a shed load of cash on a player with one trick and a single year of remembering where the goal is.
Arsene reckons the title race is reaching its moment of truth. Arsene, why do you feel the need to comment on the title race? It’s not as if anyone believes you are actually in it. The only title-related questions the media ask the legendary manager nowadays is “in which month do you feel you will completely mess it up this year?” Arsene assures us that he is not taking Burnley lightly before the Chelsea game. And neither should you Arsene, neither should you.
Depay is off to Lyon for a massive financial loss. Ed Woodward is learning though, he has put in one of those buy back clauses because he’s heard Chelsea do that. Somehow, I cannot see United rushing to buy Memphis for a second time. They have zero form at bringing back players that they failed to develop the first time, after all. Oh, Zlatan claims he can play to 40. If he keeps standing still up front and waiting for the ball to come to him (yes, yes I know he has been doing that effectively) then he could play to 50, surely?
Anyway, another person who isn’t retiring anytime soon is Louis van Gaal. Apparently media reports were wrong the other day, he isn’t jacking it in. Rumour has it that Mrs Van Gaal saw the papers and didn’t fancy his stay at home being extended permanently.