Arsenal go big on Lemar and then realise they might have to spend £92m, Liverpool find new way to give Southampton money and Conte not against all things Costa

Todays Tales

Oh, my word. Where do we actually start with all that then? Firstly, my transfer window shut at about 2130 last night so as far as I am concerned anything announced after that doesn’t exist. So there. Yes, that includes you Chelsea.

Let’s try and get some kind of organisation and structure into all this, something Arsenal failed to do all day. Boom.

We had Sky Sports announcing in a very excited voice that there “was only ten/nine/eight/seven/SIX hours left of the transfer window”.

We had Sky Sports being massively surprised that Jonny Evans appeared off the very same plane he got on not 2 and a half hours previously.

We had people getting very excited about Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk LEAVING THE TRAINING GROUND IN A CAR after training finished, most probably heading off for a KFC.

We had Guillem Balague telling us that Manchester City had offered £55 + £5 for Alexis Sanchez, leading me to fax over my own offer of £70 as I could probably delay my electric bill a few days if needs be.

We had Dominic Cork (yes, the fecking cricketer) bringing us the latest news from Stoke City. Sadly, Devon Malcolm wasn’t at West Bromwich Albion and Paul Merson isn’t going to be talking me through Joe Root’s decision to bat first at Lords next week.

We had someone asking someone else “how good a replacement Danny Drinkwater could be for Nemanja Matic” without a single hint of irony.

We had whoever it was at West Bromwich Albion treating the announcement of the kid from Chelsea as his big moment. It wasn’t mate, it really wasn’t.

We learned that Antonio Conte isn’t completely against people with the name Costa, as he was in for Torino’s Davide Zappacosta – a right sided wing back defender type.

We had Sky Sports talking about Wilfried Bony’s move from Manchester City to Swansea City for £12m, whilst showing a video clip of him failing to control a ball on his thigh and then being unable to flick it back up TWICE.

We had numerous clips of ‘Arry Redknapp driving his car. Hang on, I thought Bondy did the driving? This must be the only day off he gets a year.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s move from Arsenal to Liverpool for £40m or whatever was a novel way for Liverpool to get money to Southampton. The Saints inserted a sell-on fee when the Ox signed for Wenger all those years ago. Arsene also decided not to loan Lucas Perez to Everton as he considered them a top-six rival. Top six rival, Arsene? Did you watch the game on Sunday? You’ll do well to get top half mate, seriously. But Arsenal were just getting warmed up, trust me. We’ll come back to them in a bit.

One of the major talking points of the day was that nobody actually knew where Riyad Mahrez was. We all knew he’d been given permission to leave the Algerian camp to “sort something out” but nobody could trace him. Now really? In a day and age where the C-I-sodding-A can track Father Christmas and tell us exactly where he is on Christmas Eve that nobody knew where Riyad Mahrez was? At one point he was spotted at Barcelona. Next Chelsea were having a big bid accepted for him. Then he was being offered to Manchester United. Who were we supposed to believe?

Diafra Sakho had the right idea. He had nipped off to France on Wednesday for a sneaky medical with Rennes, simply forgetting to let West Ham know. He was back in England yesterday, hoping to get together with the West Ham owners to explain he’d like to leave. But everything hit a couple of small snags. Firstly, his agent had a horse running in the 3.20 at Cheltenham and that was way more important that Diafra getting a move away from the London Stadium. But then, secondly, one-half of the Hammers comedy double act was on holiday in Spain! Yes, David Sullivan (he who loves doing all the transfer business) was on a family holiday on DEADLINE DAY. I mean, honestly? The horse won though, so it wasn’t all bad.

Dwight Gayle was told the other day he was free to go and Fulham were very keen to do business. However, as they could not find a replacement Newcastle United changed their mind, meaning Dwight Gayle will remain a very much unwanted Newcastle player. Superb. To be fair to Rafa, he was told to move players out before they could move players in and he did his bit in shedding four or five. His mistake was believing anything the Newcastle United board told him.

‘Arry Redknapp loves a deadline day as we all know, the only issue is that he is a bit old and confused now, clearly thinking it was deadline day 2010 as he moved to bring in Jack Wilshere and Alex Song.

Poor Frank de Boer started the day unable to catch a break at the moment. Andros Townsend decided to stay, which doesn’t help Palace or Townsend’s agent. Mamadou Sakho didn’t look like happening either, which led to Palace showing an interest in West Ham’s James Collins – which shows you exactly what rubbish you have to class as Plan B on #DeadlineDay. Luckily for Palace, Liverpool softened their stance and accepted the £26m bid.

Staying with Crystal Palace, Simon Jordan was given about 179 minutes too many on Sky Sports News in the afternoon. Jordan managed to coin the phrase “back in flavour” when talking about Tottenham’s new striker Fernando Llorente, talked about some crazy new technical gizmo’s like PDF’s, called some people buffoons and talked about Frank de Boer needing more players to “incorporate his new cultural ideals” which in less wankerish speak means “getting the lads to pass to people in the same colour shirts as them”. Nice one Simon, just another British dickhead living in Spain, right?

Swansea City did manage to sign the far too talented for them Renato Sanches on loan from Bayern Munich. Sanches was due to wear the number 85 shirt, but this idea was rejected by the Premier League who claimed that most Swansea City fans couldn’t count higher than 35 so that was the number Sanches must wear.

The Spice Girls were believed to be delighted at the news of Watford signing Sporting CP’s Marvin Zeegelaar. I’ll wait for you, go on. There we go. A bit of 90’s for you there. Anyway, Zeegelar deadpanned the answer to the question “why Watford?”

“Well, they showed interest”.


And back to Arsenal. Good old Arsenal. Back in July they turned down £10m for Kieran Gibbs and felt £52m for Thomas Lemar was too much. August 31st and Kieran Gibbs has gone for £7m and Monaco received, allegedly, a bid of £92m from the Emirates fax machine. Cunning Arsene, cunning. The only problem was, the bid was accepted prompting instant panic in the Arsenal boardroom at the thought of actually having to spend that kind of money, and the offer was swiftly withdrawn. After all, it was only a PR move wasn’t it? Either that, or Lemar looked at Arsenal and, once he had stopped laughing, politely declined their offer as he only wanted to move to Liverpool. Never fear though, as the next name out of the hat was Paris Saint-Germain’s Adrien Rabiot. Sadly, Rabiot was not actually pulled out of the real transfer hat.

Oh, that meant Alexis Sanchez wasn’t going to Manchester City after all. That’ll piss the Arsenal players off no end, that Sanchez and his desire to do well is completely upsetting the mediocre bubble the rest of them have created. But of course, we knew that hours before it was announced because Alexis had liked something on Twitter to that effect. Because that’s how news gets broken nowadays, kids.