A Brumour is a breaking transfer rumour and may or may not be based on facts

Eh? Alexis Sanchez’s agent is “expected” in England today to hold negotiations? Forgive me, but I would have thought he’d have been camping out in Blighty during the back-end of December through January for the last two years plus enjoyed a nice summer break in the Cotswolds the length of time this has been dragging on for. Alexis is expected to leave Arsenal in the “next 48 hours” according to Arsene Wenger who looks like a man who cannot wait to see the back of him now – which is probably about the only thing that aligns Wenger to his team’s dressing room nowadays. Alexis is off to Manchester, but wait! It is not Manchester City, oh no. It’s Manchester United who are putting into action their slightly revised transfer plan. What is that then? The genius is in its simplicity. Offer to pay both the club and the player more than the other teams trying to buy him. Incredible work once more by Mr Ed who yet again sets the bar high when it comes to educating people on how to play the transfer game.

With the transfer window often representing a game of dominos, it needs the first one to fall for the rest to follow. With Sanchez moving on it means Arsenal will have to move for someone else and that man could well be called Malcom. He is Brazilian, plays in France and is going to set Arsene Wenger back a cool £45m. He’s also only 20, meaning he will probably join Arsenal, do really well for 18 months and then the 2-year saga of which big club is he off to will commence.

Chelsea seem to be shopping in a slightly different store this winter. Antonio Conte dislikes Michy Batshuayi so much he is even prepared to face ridicule by bringing in West Ham United’s Andy Carroll on a loan deal until the end of the season. Can you imagine that? The January window slams shut and the current league Champions have added Ross Barkley and Andy Carroll to their squad in the hope of finishing in the Champions League places? No wonder Antonio is starting to suggest the club should start thinking about drawing up his p45 this summer.

It feels like an eternity ago now, but you might remember that Liverpool got top dollar for one of their Fab Four. Well, they need to spend some of that cash somewhere, even if they did go and beat Manchester City with just the three of them. It felt a bit like Take That’s next single without Robbie, but it ended up selling even more copies than before. Anyway, Thomas Lemar is still top of some kind of list but it would cost Liverpool £90m to see him at Anfield but hey, Liverpool don’t seem to care about massively over-paying for players anymore. Someone who might be a slightly more shrewd purchase would be Gelson Martins of Sporting CP but that might only be because he won’t cost £90m, more like £50m.

Claudio Ranieri reckons Paris Saint-Germain’s ball-boy Lucas Moura is another one heading to Old Trafford for £35.5m. Just for the fact he said £35.5m and not £35m or £40m suggests to me that Claudio is batty.

Longer than Arsenal’s list of potential Alexis replacements is the list of people to have turned down Stoke City in the last week. Gary Rowett signed a new deal at Derby County, Quique Sanchez Flores took one look at the weather in Espanyol and one look at the weather in Stoke-on-Trent and chose wisely and Martin O’Neill realised that working a couple of days a year is much better than the stress of trying to sort out the mess that Mark Hughes left. Who is left? The Guardian are suggesting Slaven Bilic but that can surely only be because his name came out of their hat ahead of Ronald Koeman, Frank de Boer and Paul Clement. Give it to Graham Potter lads, the clue is in the name.

Oh, Ryan Giggs is going to be given the Wales job which could be a bit of a bugger as he tends not to turn up to the friendly matches.