Simon Burnton on 27 October 2017
Carlo Ancelotti is, says the Sun, “standing by for a sensational return to Chelsea” after getting the boot from Bayern. The London club “do not expect Antonio Conte to see out the remaining 20 months of his contract” and have made Ancelotti their first choice to replace him despite his recent travails at and subsequent dismissal by Bayern Munich.
The Daily Mail have a photograph of top suits from Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool dining together at Robert De Niro’s New York eatery Locanda Verde last week and wonder why they didn’t invite anyone from Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham. The snap was actually posted on Twitter nine days ago, but they have clearly needed the time to find out precisely what was going on. And they needed a bit more time as well, by the looks of things. “The likely topic was the distribution of Premier League overseas TV rights,” they speculate. “There is no indication as to which of the multi-millionaires picked up what would have been a sizeable bill.”
Liverpool have slashed their asking price for Philippe Coutinho by €50m and made a pact with the Brazilian that they will let him leave in January. This is music to the ears of Barcelona, though the Brazilian’s new bargain price of a mere €150m remains very much more than the most they offered for him back in August. If Coutinho does head to Catalonia it might mean that Barça no longer need José Arnáiz, the 22-year-old winger who impressed on his full debut against Real Murcia on Tuesday, which would apparently make Arsenal, Manchester United and Bayern Munich very excited indeed.
Talking of Arsenal, word has leaked of their interest in the Stuttgart midfielder Berkay Ozcan, after the player dropped a subtle hint of the possible move in a recent interview. “My agent and I are in talks with Arsenal,” he said. “Arsenal have been scouting me for the last two years. I am not sure if now is the right time to join them but ultimately, Arsenal is the club I want to join in the future. God willing I will achieve my goal.”
The Mail also carry details gleaned from a new book about Mauricio Pochettino, Brave New World: Inside Pochettino’s Spurs, including the fact that the Spurs boss “chooses the exact laundry detergent used to wash the first-team kit” because “he thinks the smell is important”, that he keeps on his desk “a tray of lemons because he has read that they absorb negative energy” and that “every day he lets his car engine run for 10 minutes before getting in”. He also videos the players as they enter and leave the training pitch so he can assess their demeanour and “if he passes one in a corridor he will mention a point from the most recent team meeting in case they have forgotten it”.
The Express have read the same book, and found that Manchester United outcast Luke Shaw is quoted within it saying of his former Southampton manager: “I do hope I can play for him again one day. And I think he really wants me to play under him again.” Funny that, as the Manchester Evening News speculate that for both Shaw and United “a parting of the ways in January looks essential” and that the first-choice Tottenham left-back Danny Rose is on José Mourinho’s shopping list, opening the door to even more talk of the very same mutually-convenient January swaperoo with which the Mill led just yesterday.