Gregg Bakowski on 12 March 2018
Jürgen Klopp hasn’t won a trophy at Anfield yet but that hasn’t stopped the Liverpool manager from dreaming of a double in a calendar year. Not that it has anything to do with silverware. No, having broken the world record for signing the most expensive defender in history when he spent a cool £75m on Virgil van Dijk, the once frugal German now wants to break the record for splashing the most cash on a goalkeeper by parting with £40m for Stoke’s Jack Butland. It says here that Arsenal are keen on the 25-year-old too – what with Petr Cech approaching pension age and all – but the prospect of a loving Klopp bear-hug has convinced Butland that his future lies on Merseyside.
Over at Old Trafford José Mourinho reckons it’s time to annoy Luke Shaw again – so he’ll ask Ed Woodward to double Alex Sandro’s wages and send £70m to Juventus in order to do make Shaw fifth in Manchester United’s left-back pecking order. United will offer Matteo Darmian as a makeweight in any deal with Juve while they’ll attach some cash to Daley Blind and parade him outside the Johan Cruyff Arena in the hope that Ajax will accept the utility player in exchange for Justin Kluivert.
Word is that Neymar wants to go back to Barcelona but PSG’s Qatari overlords have ordered the club to prevent him from doing any such thing. Good luck with that one Neymar.
Hector Bellerín is going to take his cartoon-style sprinting technique and mockney accent to Turin, having decided that being a key character in Arsenal’s soap opera is too much to bear. The Gunners won’t let him escape to Juventus for anything less than £45m, though.
Because he’s clearly just as bonkers as he is a genius, Pep Guardiola has taken a good, long, hard look at his Manchester City team and come to the conclusion it lacks creativity. So Thomas Lemar will be wedged into it once Manchester City beancounters have sent around £90m to Monaco for his services.
Christian Benteke is considering trousering a load of cash in China for doing very little instead of trousering a load of cash at Crystal Palace for doing very little.
Watford midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure’s ability to hunt the ball down like a slightly deranged possessive dog looking for its favourite toy has got scouts hot and bothered at Manchester United, Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool. He would fit right into the Jack Wilshere-shaped hole at Arsenal should the pocket-sized Gunner decide to sign a more lucrative contract offer at Milan in the summer instead of signing up for a wage cut to stay at the Emirates.
And news of David Wagner’s Huddersfield heroics has finally reached Borussia Dortmund. The Bundesliga giants plan to offer their former reserve team manager the big job at Westfalenstadion, having been thoroughly bored watching Peter Stöger try to put his stamp on the team this season.