So, after just one week of watching Romelu Lukaku try and control a ball in training and Jose Mourinho is very open to Zlatan Ibrahimovic returning to the club when fit. United beat LA Galaxy 5-2 in their first match in the States. Yes, five goals scored and their £75m striker didn’t get one of them. Marcus Rashford got a couple though, leading to Jose talking about the possibility of them both playing up-front when the season starts, something that categorically won’t happen as soon as Mourinho remembers that playing two strikers will make it difficult to play a back nine.
Antonio Conte finally had something to smile about over the weekend, supposedly pipping United to the signing of Tiemoue Bakayoko for a smite under £40m. The mere thought of Kante and Bakayoko in midfield together is quite a frightening prospect. They will almost be urging Eden Hazard to give the ball away so they can race each other in winning it back again. Nemanja Matic has been left out of Chelsea’s tour squad and is thought to be heading to Juventus.
We should all give credit to Daniel Levy at Tottenham Hotspur. He knows how to sell players. Who else in the game could have talked Manchester City into parting with £53m in exchange for Kyle Walker? Monaco’s Benjamin Mendy is likely to patrol the other flank.
Alexandre Lacazette didn’t take long to find his scoring boots for Arsenal, netting in their win over Sydney FC. Arsene Wenger’s men followed that win up with a victory over Western Sydney, 3-1. The Alexis Sanchez chat gets even more dull by the week, with a Chilean newspaper claiming that Alexis has told Arsenal he wants to play for a club in the Champions League. Arsenal fans are taking that as meaning Alexis is well up for firing Arsenal back into 4th place whereas the rest of the world are taking bets on whether it will be City, United or Chelsea announcing his signing in a daft video before the season kicks off.
Talking of daft player reveal videos, I am doffing my cap to the team at Southampton who came up with the best bit of social media last week. Having seen the recent efforts by Arsenal, Swansea City and Manchester United they realised the only way they could compete was by spoofing it. And spoof it they did, you must try and find it.
By the time you read this Leicester City will have just about stopped laughing at the fax they got from AS Roma offering them £20m for Riyad Mahrez who, don’t forget, has asked to leave the club because they keep offering their own £20m for Watford’s Troy Deeney and Riyad refuses to chase around trying to win the ball back after Deeney’s touch sends the ball back into the Leicester midfield.
Watford themselves have pulled off a fine deal, getting Nathaniel Chalobah to return to Vicarage Road for just £5m. Sign fitters are being called into Chelsea’s Cobham training academy later in the week to erect a massive “FOR SALE” sign over all the youth prospects, finally confirming that it is no more than a battery farm to them and they have no intention of letting their youth team turkeys see the Christmas Dinner of the first team.
Liverpool have been searching high and low for anyone that might be a better left back option than James Milner or Alberto Moreno and have settled on a Scot that got relegated last season. Hull City’s Andrew Robertson is believed to be heading off to Anfield, looking like a guy who just realised he has the winning tombola ticket.
Probably more interesting at Liverpool is their pursuit of RB Leipzig’s Nabi Keita. Despite RB Leipzig insisting the midfielder is “not for sale” whilst winking at Jurgen Klopp and mouthing “but he might be if you ask really, really nicely” it looks like a deal for around £70m might happen. At the time of writing, Liverpool had already had a £57m bid rejected just to open the dialogue – the initial dialogue being, I presume, “don’t take the mick lads”.
Swansea City still firmly believe that Gylfi Sigurdsson is worth £50m or, more likely, they think Everton are likely to be stupid enough to pay it eventually.
West Ham United look as though they have finally convinced Joe Hart that even football at the London Stadium is a better option than no football at all. The Manchester City goalkeeper-in-exile has been confirmed as joining Slaven Bilic’s side on loan for the season, with a view to making the deal permanent if he can do just a little bit better than he did at Torino. Whereas Hart could be considered a decent signing, Bilic clearly feels the need to balance this out by trying to buy Stoke City’s Marko Arnautovic. Stoke know how bad Gold and Sullivan are when it comes to transfer dealings so believe they can oust £25m out of them for the winger. Arnautovic ticks every single terrible West Ham signing box, so you can expect the deal to happen this week.
England’s U19’s played in and won the European U19 Championship, which is becoming fairly standard this summer. Thank goodness the full international senior side were not in action to give everyone a solid dose of football reality.