Guardian sport on 14 March 2018
Everton are hoping to give Jack Wilshere a pair of tracksuit bottoms with huge pockets so that he can trouser a better weekly wage than he is being offered at Arsenal to come and join the second coming of the Toffees’ revamp next season. And the word is that he’ll be joined by Manchester United’s human wrecking ball, Phil Jones, a player so prone to injuring himself and others that he’ll be sure to wipe out Wilshere in their first training session. But any move for Jones would probably be dependent on Sam Allardyce staying at the club, as the man who gave Jones his professional debut at Blackburn is keen to make the centre-back his key summer signing in a rebuilt spine featuring Jamie Vardy in attack.
Manchester United are keen to do what they always do when the chips are down and lavish huge amounts of cash on whichever transfer target is on-trend. So step forward Fred, who Shakhtar Donetsk appear to be touting around like a stolen Rolex. The 25-year-old playmaker was being talked up as a probable summer signing for Manchester City but Shakhtar’s chief executive has encouraged a Benny Hill-style chase for the player by talking up United’s chances of luring Fred to Old Trafford. “Fred will leave in July,” Sergei Palkin told Corriere dello Sport. “If he does not go to Manchester City, he will go to Manchester United. Fred is ready to play in the strongest league. He is not only a very good player, but also a very good professional.” But can he excel at playing backwards and sideways passes?
If Mike Ashley lets Newcastle spend any money this summer they will do so on Tolgay Arslan of Besiktas. The crafty midfield string-puller helped guide the Turkish champions into the Champions League knockout stages. Chelsea, Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund are also keeping tabs on him.
Jürgen Klopp has realised that if Roberto Firmino gets injured then Liverpool are in big trouble. Which is why he’s fluttering his lashes in the direction of RB Leipzig’s goal-guzzling striker Timo Werner. Klopp’s been trying to woo him for some time with no success but news that the club would let him go for the right price has got the Liverpool manager hot and bothered again.
Tottenham are facing up to the prospect of losing cult hero Son Heung-min to … the South Korean Army. The 26-year-old is required to do two years’ national service before the age of 28.
And reports in Spain suggest that cameo appearances for Arsenal by jet-heeled 18-year-old winger Reiss Nelson have made Real Madrid sit up and take notice.