Arsene Wenger thinks Theo Walcott will stay. Arsene Wenger thinks Alexis Sanchez will stay. Arsene Wenger thinks Shkodran Mustafi will stay. Arsene Wenger thinks everyone will stay. Apart from Kieran Gibbs. He’s signed for Tony Pulis at West Bromwich Albion. And maybe Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who “always wanted to be Steven Gerrard”. Alex, you can be just like Steven Gerrard at Arsenal, if you mean being like Steven Gerrard in the never winning the Premier League sense of being like Steven Gerrard. Mind you, you could probably go to Liverpool and still be like Steven Gerrard if that’s the case. Still, credit to the Ox, he doesn’t want to be a bit part player at Chelsea.
Manchester City’s £50m offer for Sanchez has, unsurprisingly, been turned down. No doubt they have another pot full of cash ready to fax over to the Emirates, plus Raheem Sterling if anyone can get him to answer the phone.
Liverpool have, after all that, turned down Crystal Ajax’s £25m bid for Mamadou Sakho. They still want £30m for the lad.
Rafa Benitez will sell Dwight Gayle for £18m if he can find a replacement (probably for £2m knowing Ashley). Fulham can solve the first part of the riddle by offering the Newcastle United striker a return to Championship football in London. Grant Hanley, never a Premier League defender in a million years, will probably not have to worry about that again for a while as he has been sold to Norwich City.
It would seem that Danny Drinkwater is not too big a man to deny himself the opportunity of being the next Steve Sidwell, Fabian Delph, Scott Sinclair, Jack Rodwell or any other English player that has moved to a big club purely to tick the “quota” box. He has written a transfer request and given it to the Leicester City board. Has anyone ever seen one of these transfer requests, anyway? Do you go into the club office and get a form and fill it out? In this day and age, does a text message suffice? Is it as simple as “Deer Lesster. I want 2 go 2 Chelsea. Pls let me. I did gd 4u that time we won the prem. Luv Danny”? Nampalys Mendy and Islam Slimani are also set to leave, but they don’t need to fill in a form – Craig Shakespeare is more than happy to let them go.
And Chelsea are not just after the English blood of Danny Drinkwater, Ross Barkley and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who, as we know, prefers Liverpool. Oh no, they want a big Spaniard up front to go alongside their other Spaniard up front and, hang on, don’t they have another Spaniard who was born in Brazil on the books? Why don’t they just pick him? Chelsea want to sign Fernando Llorente from Swansea City, which then means Swansea will buy Wilfried Bony from Manchester City (who might throw in Raheem Sterling for good measure).
Frank de Boer might live to see another day at Crystal Palace but there is a shadow lurking behind the curtain. And no, it’s not Big Sam apparently. Palace are prepared to turn to local boy turned, er, good Roy Hodgson if they decide they need a manager offering the complete opposite to a former international player who likes his teams to play nice football.
Serge Aurier has a work permit, would you look at that. It’s almost as if you can commit a crime yet get away with it if you are a mega-rich footballer. Aurier was supposed to have a suspended jail sentence meaning he couldn’t enter the UK, but now that is just a fine and the work permit has been awarded, so Serge will be a Tottenham Hotspur right back before we know it. Suddenly, flogging Walker for £50m and then spending £40m on a replacement doesn’t seem like such good business. Tottenham have balanced themselves back up again though, spending a mere £8m on Juan Foyth of Estudiantes. And we are probably the foythy foyth website to so some kind of play on words with the kid’s surname. Spurs to finish Foyth, anyone? Isn’t he the Foyth signing of the summer? And all that. Sorry.
Robert Snodgrass has suggested nobody has a clue what they are doing at West Ham. Who’d have thought that hey? Snodgrass has headed off to Aston Villa to prove he can play well in those colours but claimed that on his debut Slaven Bilic asked him where he’d like to play two minutes before sending him on. Snodgrass was surprised, we are not. And surely, as any eight-year-old will tell you, the default answer is “I’m a striker gaffer” especially when West Ham United only seem to have one fit striker now.
West Bromwich Albion’s Nacer Chadli has a footballing dream, and that dream involves getting the hell out of the Hawthorns and heading down to Swansea City as quickly as he can. It makes sense, the next player on my list after thinking I was missing out on Renato Sanches would totally be Chadli. But, in a cunning turn of events, it was announced late in the day that Bayern Munich did finally get to checking previous employment records and realised that Paul Clement had indeed been on their staff all along. His call was returned and BOOM! Renato Sanches to Swansea City is ON! Take that Tales, mocking the whole idea yesterday or whenever it was. Anyway, West Bromwich continue to do decent business, picking up Paris Saint-Germain’s Grzegorz Krychowiak on loan. The Pole cost PSG £34m last season and got a grand total of 700 minutes.
Burnley want to replace Andre Gray with lots of strikers and are set to sign Huddersfield Town’s Nahki Wells, working on the theory that if every new striker can score on their debut they only need to sign another 63 strikers to guarantee survival.
Whilst Arsene Wenger, Antonio Conte, Jurgen Klopp and all them are crazily rushing around trying to buy anything that moves and can kick a ball in the right direction for way more money than any of them are worth, Jose Mourinho has been spotted casually shopping in Knightsbridge. He’s so going to win the league again this year, isn’t he? I mean, he actually looks relaxed and well unlike this time last year. Dammit. After all the crap we gave him last season.