Everton have stepped up their search for a new manager. Sean Dyche may offer promise, Sam Allardyce guarantees. But only Diego Simeone brings international glamour. Title-winning coaches from La Liga have done reasonably well on Merseyside in the past, so this could work, you know. And the prospect of a Merseyside derby with Simeone and Jürgen Klopp on a rolling boil in the dugouts? Yes please!
Is there a future for Juan Mata in José Mourinho’s midfield? Life as an occasional impact sub would suffice. Problem is, his legs aren’t six feet long, so his prospects could be brighter. A move to Real Madrid may be on the cards.
Bumping into Mata as he heads through the out door: the Czech striker Patrik Schick, who has been at Roma all of five minutes and is already talking about potential moves to Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona. “Money? I take it as motivation,” he explains. Always a good sign.
Mourinho has meanwhile been told to offload some players if he wants to spend more cash come January. To this end, he’s trying to persuade Luke Shaw to accept a bid from Fenerbahce, but the underappreciated left-back isn’t budging and has vowed to fight for his place. Maybe Marouane Fellaini will be tempted by a move to Besiktas. But is José willing to jettison his Plan B? He resolves to idly drop the name of Paris Saint-Germain into his next watercooler pow-wow with Ed Woodward.
Speaking of PSG, they are hoping to offload Ángel Di María and Lucas Moura in the next transfer window, in order to satisfy the club’s burning desire to meet financial fair play regulations.
Mesut Özil, easily pleased it would seem, is happy to stay at Arsenal after all. But only if he gets a big hike in pay, plus Jack Wilshere’s No10 shirt. Give it a good check for holes before you sign anything, Mesut, he may have dropped some candle wax on it or something.
Bumping into Özil as the German heads through the out door: Oguzhan Ozyakup of Besiktas. Arsenal sold the creative midfielder for £400,000 five years ago; now the 25-year-old is a Turkish international and would cost them at least £10m. Modern football, huh.
Slaven Bilic, freshly cashiered from West Ham, will ease himself back into everyday life by taking a punditry gig with either BT Sport or Sky. Meanwhile his successor at the White Elephant Stadium, optimism’s David Moyes, will be forced to sell the potential of defenders Declan Rice and Reece Oxford, as well as the midfielder Josh Cullen, if he wants cash for Adnan Januzaj or whoever come January.
Southampton have designs on the Monaco striker Stevan Jovetic, while Leicester City, Burnley and Brighton are interested in the Bristol City midfielder Bobby Reid. And Newcastle will table a loan deal for Danny Ings, who has had a hell of a time with injury at Liverpool, but scored four for their under-23s the other day. Liverpool are also prepared to listen to offers for Lazar Markovic, but, well, y’know.