At last, some good news for Manchester United following a disastrous season that ended in ignominious defeat at the hands of relegated Cardiff City at Old Trafford. Reports from Italy suggest that Juventus’s sporting director could be open to the possibility of taking Alexis Sánchez to Turin. The Chilean playmaker has been little more than a faded facsimile of his former self since leaving Arsenal for United, where he receives (but can’t realistically claim to earn) a well-documented £500,000+ per week. United are desperate to get him off the pay-roll and Sánchez’s agent is doing his bit to get the ball rolling, touting his client around assorted Italian clubs also rumoured to include Inter, Roma and Milan.
Gareth Bale was dropped from the Real Madrid squad that lost at Real Sociedad on Sunday and when quizzed about the situation, Zinedine Zidane’s appeared to confirm that the Welshman has no future at the Bernabéu. “It’s very clear what I’ve done this weekend,” he said, after telling reporters Bale was fit to play but just hadn’t been selected. “Now we have another game and then we will see next year. It’s done.” After six years in the Spanish capital, Bale has been linked with a move to Manchester United, or perhaps a return to his old stomping ground of Tottenham Hotspur.
Elsewhere in La Liga, Celta Vigo striker Maxi Gómez is a man in big demand. The 22-year-old Uruguayan has a £43m release clause in his contract with the struggling Spanish side that Liverpool, Tottenham and West Ham are all prepared to meet. Three points clear of the relegation zone of La Liga with one game to go, Celta would be forced to let Gómez go for far less if they failed to avoid the drop. As things stand, however, they look extremely likely to stay up at the expense of Girona.
Aston Villa are hopeful of signing Tammy Abraham at the end of his current loan deal, although Chelsea’s failure to get their transfer embargo overturned could throw a spanner in the works of that particular transaction. Similarly, Crystal Palace also want to keep on-loan Chelsea goal-getter Michy Batshuayi at Selhurst Park. “That’s not in our hands,” said Roy Hodgson, following Palace’s white-knuckle 5-3 win over Bournemouth. “I do know he has been happy with us here. It’s been pretty obvious we appreciate him.” There are concerns at Crystal Palace that Wilfried Zaha may have played his final game for the club, with both Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal rumoured to be interested in a winger who was involved in all five of his team’s goals yesterday.
Everton are facing an uphill battle to keep André Gomes at Goodison Park, what with some news outlets reporting the midfielder, who is on loan from Barcelona, has already agreed personal terms with Tottenham Hotspur. “At this moment, he has had nothing new to say to me until now,” said Everton manager Marco Silva, following his side’s draw at Spurs on Sunday. “This is the most important thing. I am 100% sure when something is decided in his mind, I will be one of the first people to know. As a club, we have to do everything to sign him.”
And finally, the Stoke Sentinel say Jack Butland is wanted by Bournemouth and Palace and report that Stoke City are “resigned” to losing a player who feels he needs to be playing in the Premier League for the sake of his international career with England.