Football transfer rumours: Borussia Dortmund's Mario Götze to Liverpool?

Nick Miller on 25 September 2018

The Rumour Mill has a confession. We know little of the Eredivisie these days. Between the Premier League, the Football League, the Champions League, the Europa League, bits of Serie A, La Liga and the Bundesliga, plus of course keeping bang up to date with the latest red hot developments in the transfer market, and then the relentless and exhausting grind of simply getting through the day, little time remains to get caught up on Dutch football.

Thus, we can only raise our eyebrows when word reaches us that a Dutch player we’d heard of but hardly seen and certainly don’t have an opinion on is apparently worth £72m. Frenkie de Jong is the man making scouts across the continent rub their thighs, Vic Reeves style, and Ajax have seen them coming. Perhaps sick of the days when their best talent departed for relatively paltry sums, Ajax have told Manchester United and Real Madrid, among others, they’ll have to stump up £72m if they want the midfielder. PSG, Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Tottenham and Barcelona are all sniffing around this hot new thing, so he must be good.

Do United have a hole in their midfield they need to fill? Not if Ander Herrera has anything to do with it: not discouraged by spending most of his time scratching his bottom this season, rather that flying off to pastures more exciting, Herrera wants to stick around and scrap for his place at Manchester United, despite his contract expiring at the end of the season. See also: Young, Ashley.

A solemn ceremony must occur: Liverpool fans on Twitter must now hand over the ‘Announce Fekir’ baton to their Real Madrid counterparts, for it is the Spanish giants’ social media managers that will be hounded every time they post something by frantic oddballs insisting they complete a signing. Word is they are the club in pole position to sign Lyon’s Nabil Fekir, knocking Chelsea’s plans off somewhat.

Mario Götze has been given some advice. After being binned from the Borussia Dortmund team, former colleague Kevin Grosskreutz has suggested a change of scenery for Götze might be just the job: “Maybe it’ll do him a world of good to leave Bundesliga in the winter, move abroad where it’s all a bit quieter and where he knock his career into shape again. Jürgen Klopp knows him well. He’d be a good fit at Liverpool.”

Rafa Benítez is unhappy. Well, most people with any connection to Newcastle are fairly unhappy at the moment, but Rafa the gaffer is chief among them, on account of not having any money to spend on better players. He’ll address that in an upcoming meeting with Mike Ashley to discuss Newcastle’s spends for the January transfer window, but we wouldn’t be at all surprised if all he comes away with is a giant Sports Direct mug and a multipack of Donnay socks.

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What else can we tell you? Well, Arsenal are apparently mad keen on Senegal winger Ismaïla Sarr, who Rennes have decided will cost £20m. He is a Rennes player – they’re not just getting ideas above their station and setting the fees for other clubs. The Gunners are one of many clubs also sniffing around Benfica keeper Odisseas Vlachodimos, with Chelsea, Manchester United and the other usual suspects all having scoped him out.

And finally, Paul Ince is being lined up for a gig at Morecambe, as their director of football. Presumably he’ll write “sign players” on a little notebook.

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