Nick Ames on 9 March 2018
Antonio Conte was joined at training this week by a captain, leader, legend who certainly knows his way around Cobham. But if John Terry was hoping a little bit of conspicuous swotting up might get him a foot in the door when the Italian’s long arrivederci is complete, then perhaps he reckoned without someone else familiar with the mean streets of leafy Surrey. That’s because Slavisa Jokanovic is the latest name to be linked with the Chelsea job, and not only because he’s managed to get a tune or two out of Aleksandar Mitrovic: those in the boardroom at Stamford Bridge are said to be deeply impressed with the attacking verve Jokanovic’s Fulham side have displayed in the Championship – and wonder if he might be able to repeat the trick elsewhere in west London.
Of course Conte’s next destination, should he indeed usher himself – or be ushered – through the door marked Do One, is of considerable interest. Word has it that Paris Saint-Germain want to make him their next expensive cherry on their expensive cake as they prepare for another expensive failure where it counts next season.
Wasn’t it a joyful evening for Arsenal in Milan? Don’t worry, Gooners, you may return to factory settings with the following piece of utter devastation: your long-term target, Malcom, could be heading from Bordeaux to Bayern Munich this summer, thus ruining Arsène Wenger’s transfer plans in one blow. But there’s a coping mechanism readily at hand: this news will come also as an inconvenience to Spurs, who rather like the Brazilian winger themselves. In a further Brazilian bulletin, Barcelona are likely to sign the 21-year-old Gremio midfielder Arthur for a fee totalling, depending on who you listen to, anywhere between £25m and £35m.
At least none of the above are on the verge of being gazumped by their nearest and dearest rivals! Eurostar ambassador Ibrahim Amadou, who you might remember let the train take the strain in a bid to seal a move from Lille to Crystal Palace on deadline day, should make it second time lucky this summer. But that might not be to Palace – because Brighton are interested and, as long as a slightly more troublesome set of transport links don’t put him off, he might just be tempted.
And while one half of Italy’s second city mopes around this morning, the other can sit bolt upright in anticipation. Internazionale are to sign Argentinian hot-shot Lautaro Martínez, who plays for Racing Club, according to his agent. They want to create a dream strike force with his compatriot Mauro Icardi – and that will disappoint a few Premier League sides whose beady eyes had been trained on the 20-year-old striker. Can’t win them all.