A brumour: A breaking rumour…
I guess when your other options are Maarten Stekelenburg or Joel Robles, spending £30m on another goalkeeper does make a lot of sense. Everton have ordered a removal of Pickfords from Sunderland. Ahem. OK, they want Jordan Pickford, in fact, he is their number one Pick and they are willing to pay a record sum for an English goalkeeper. Pickford looked quite good for David Moyes last season, mainly because he got one hell of a lot of practice.
I guess Arsene Wenger has to at least pretend he is trying to keep Alexis Sanchez at Arsenal. Even though it is believed that personal terms have been agreed by Sanchez and Manchester City, there is the small matter of the clubs agreeing on a fee. Let’s turn the clock back a few years and replace Alexis with Thierry Henry, Nicolas Anelka, Cesc Fabregas, Patrick Viera, Robin van Persie et al. Arsenal will dig their heels in to appease the fans before selling the player for a good price. Said player will more than likely win something the following season and Arsenal will be spotless as the replacement bought on the cheap will not be up to scratch. Speaking of replacements, Alexandre Lacazette will set the Gunners back €55m plus a further €15m in add-ons, which means there are about €40m reasons right there why he won’t be joining Arsenal.
Chelsea are thought to be signing James Rodriguez from Real Madrid. Note I said Chelsea and not Antonio Conte. Is J-Rod really likely to knuckle down and play the disciplined role that Conte so demands? No, probably not, yet Roman Abramovich is thought to be keen on getting the deal done anyway. Is this the convenient excuse needed for Conte to make his break away from the champions? Quite possibly. Or maybe Roman wants the deal done as he knows Conte could be jumping ship sometime soon.
Ray Wilkins is massively unimpressed by Jose Mourinho preferring to sign Benfica’s Victor Lindelof ahead of Manchester United reject and current Burnley stalwart Michael Keane. “Something, something, foreign players, something, something, English players need a chance, something, something, something” said the former England captain, obviously realising that Keane could have already been a United centre-half had he been good enough. Another former England captain, Bryan Robson, also piped up that Manchester United needed more flair players, clearly missing the Russell Beardsmore, Remi Moses and Mike Phelan’s of the United world.
Gerard Houllier, I know, England must be playing France or something, reckons Dele Alli could be England’s Zinedane Zidane. Now, I am not sure who exactly he is insulting here. England, because if Dele Alli is the closest we have to Zizou then we are in big trouble or Zidane, suggesting that one of France’s finest ever wasn’t actually that good as a lad who played for MK Dons might be as good as him. At least we won’t hear from Gerard again for a while.
As for Gareth Southgate, well he has decided Pep has got it all wrong. No, not for binning Joe Hart as he is doing that himself tonight, but for thinking John Stones is a centre-back. Gareth sees Stonesy as more of a defensive midfielder, and if he makes mistakes there leading to goals, probably more of a number ten until he is so far away from the bleeding goal he can stop assisting their strikers.