Todays Tales

Yipee! Now there is a word you don’t hear often enough in press conferences nowadays, so thank you Jurgen. Liverpool safely navigated the stormy waters of needing to defend well at Anfield to get themselves into the Champions League group stages. I say defend well, what I really mean is get a three-nil lead very quickly to make it five-one on aggregate before the usual levels of clean sheet keeping kick in. Job done though, eh Liverpool? We won’t try and predict who they will get in the groups (unlike some sites, looking at you The Guardian) because it won’t matter a jot come semi-final day and the obvious lack of English clubs playing.

Tottenham Hotspur fans wait all summer for a signing and then two come along at once. You know the joke, it’s just like Kyle Walker yellow cards. Spurs warmed up with the announcement of Paulo Gazzaniga, their new third choice goalkeeper, and then wowed at least some people with the unveiling of Ajax’s Davinson Sanchez, £42m of club record signing central defensive brilliance (they hope). All this means that Kevin Wimmer will probably be off to play for Tony Pulis at West Bromwich Albion, a few clubs will chance their arm on Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose will be hitting Google. Wimmer will no doubt replace Jonny Evans at the Hawthorns as WBA have a laugh over seeing how much cash they can get out of Manchester City for the Northern Ireland international.

Whilst Barcelona are keen to prise Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho, Nice’s Jean Michael Seri and Borussia Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembele through the front door, the persistent rumour of Leo Messi looking to do one out of the back door refuses to go away. Pep Guardiola, who frankly needs Leo Messi to sort out his woeful lack of attacking options at Manchester City, alluded to the fact that someone might pay the £1bn (or whatever it is) release fee to sign the Argentine star who is not, believe it or not, getting any younger. But Pep G is part of a cunning ruse. While other teams think, “well we can’t afford that” and moving on to another target Manchester City are in “advanced” talks to nab Messi for free when that pesky unsigned contract expires at the end of the season. Good thinking Pep. The signing of Messi next summer will be enough for you to convince your bosses that another trophyless season is all part of the master plan.

Having replaced Neymar with Paulinho, Barcelona will follow the trend of buying a Robin Reliant to replace the Bentley and bring PSG’s Angel Di Maria back to Spain.

Darting all over the place here faster than a reporter trying to get some kind of truth to any of these rumours, Manchester City are likely to flog Eliaquim Mangala, who cost them £32m don’t ever forget, to anyone that will take him (most probably Inter) for much less than £32m.

And while we are on the subject of players being bought for silly money, failing and then hoping to be sold somewhere else for far less, Robert Snodgrass won’t be a West Ham United player much longer, the lucky sod.

The League Cup is far from interesting enough yet to give it too much time, but a 4.37am start to the draw is interesting, to say the least. Maybe it is the FA’s way to try and avoid a Rod Stewart type situation? Or maybe they have just sold their soul once again. Either way, Southampton won’t be heading to Wembley this year as they lost to Wolves, Stoke managed to score four in a game and Burnley won a bitter match against Blackburn Rovers. Some other stuff happened on Tuesday night, but I’ve forgotten about it all already.