I mean, seriously. How are us poor writers expected to keep up with the amount of pure crap that gets thrown out as transfer news at this time of year? You will read at least some of this column I hope, but no doubt why I haven’t talked about XYZ player being linked to ABC club or who the latest player is that Arsenal won’t actually sign etc. Well, tough. I’ve done my best and, like Arsenal fans and Arsene Wenger, I am here for the rest of the season so get used to it.
Speaking of Arsenal, it has been suggested that they would do well to upgrade all of their squad in the next couple of days. Hell, it makes sense. But to do that, they need to find some willing buyers for the current crop that are said to be disgracing the very shirt they represent. Luckily enough, this is the Premier League and there is always someone foolish enough to fall for the latest used car salesman patter. As a result, Chelsea have lodged a bid for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain having clearly decided that Sunday afternoon was a one-off from the Englishman. Shkodran Mustafi is very much in the Alexis Sanchez camp of “I really don’t care how much you pay me, I do not want to be associated with this rabble for any longer” and is thought to be hot footing it to Inter given half a chance. Watford have pulled out of the deal to buy Kieran Gibbs having watched Sunday’s game and thought, “wow, if he can’t get into that team he must be rubbish” and are thought to be looking elsewhere for a left back. This revelation has alerted West Bromwich Albion to his availability. And of course, there is the latest on the Alexis Sanchez saga.
So imagine you are Raheem Sterling right now. You’ve done pretty much everything asked of you since signing for Manchester City. You’ve started the season very well indeed and you even scored a late winner at the weekend. The fans love you. The problem is, Manchester City don’t. They’ve told Raheem that they will happily pawn him off in a deal to get Alexis to the Etihad. Raheem isn’t too pleased, understandably. I mean, what the hell has he done to deserve the punishment of being sent to Arsenal? Now, the deal surely won’t actually happen but where does that leave Raheem and Pep? Probably not on the best of terms I would wager. As a result, I’d warn Jonny Evans to tread very carefully. City are likely to come back with around £30m for West Bromwich Albion to consider, and they’d be fools not to take it. But don’t forget Jonny, Pep will sell you to Arsenal as well if they have a player they would rather have. Or worse, you could be Eliaquim Mangala and being dangled in front of Tony Pulis as bait. And, if you are keeping up, Arsenal have apparently joined the race for Evans, which is a bit like me joining a race against Usain Bolt.
Linking back to Chelsea, they are not just after one England international. Oh no. They want Everton’s Ross Barkley and Leicester City’s Danny Drinkwater because, you know, they don’t have enough English players to hit their quota. Maybe, and here is an idea, Chelsea need to stop loaning them all out! Then they’d have more than enough, and most of them are likely to be better than the Ox, Barkley (who must be pissing himself with laughter at holding Everton to ransom thinking he might get a move to Spurs at best and then landing Chelsea) and Drinkwater who is still yet to be convinced this isn’t all an elaborate hoax by one of his mates doing a dodgy Italian accent. Tiemoue Bakayoko is doing his best to welcome Drinkwater to the Bridge, releasing a video telling the midfielder that “he is very welcome”. Mind you, if Drinkwater can form that partnership with N’Golo Kante once more then this move might actually make some sense.
One player still very keen to leave Chelsea is that striker they used to pick, Diego Costa. The latest wisdom on this move is that Atletico will buy him before the end of the window and then loan him to Everton of all places, whilst they wait for their transfer ban to end. Hang on, surely that will go completely against the whole point of a transfer ban? UEFA will probably be too busy looking at Kylian Mbappe to PSG to notice.
Liverpool are still convinced they can get rid of Mamadou Sakho for £30m and it looks like Crystal Ajax (courtesy of Eion Smith) might be the team to take him off Jurgen Klopp’s hands. Liverpool are having an interesting week with Philippe Coutinho may be staying or going, Thomas Lemar maybe coming or not coming and Emre Can catching the eye of Juventus. Oh, and Divock Origi might well be on the way to Marseille. Hey, it’s almost as if this HUGE signing of Naby Keita (a mere €48m don’t forget) is going to be funded by player sales. Mind you, if they do sign Lemar and keep Coutinho I will apologise to every Liverpool fan out there. And, if they somehow persuade Southampton to sell them Virgil van Dijk I will apologise twice. None of that will be happening though, sorry.
Crystal Ajax have decided to give Frank de Boer a stay of execution, providing he promises to adapt his approach slightly. Hey, it worked for Arsene Wenger last season. I think we all know that this stay of execution suggests the initial phone call to Big Sam didn’t go as well as Steve Parrish hoped.
Tottenham Hotspur’s plan to sign PSG’s Serge Aurier has hit a snag. He is still not allowed in the country. Do people not read this column or something? We told you that when Manchester United were chasing him. I know Kieran Trippier made a mistake on Sunday, but have faith in him. You don’t need a new right back Poch. The player who has made way at Spurs due to the club record signing of Davinson Sanchez from Ajax (the real Ajax, not the Croydon branch) is, as expected, Kevin Wimmer. He’s signed for Stoke City.
Funnily enough, Renato Sanches will not be moving on loan to Swansea City from, erm, Bayern Munich. Paul Clement thought he might be able to call in a favour from his old club, only to find his calls are no longer returned.
Roy Keane said yesterday that Ryan Giggs would be worth £2bn in today’s market place. And folks, this is why it was never a good idea to let Roy Keane have a transfer budget.