Barry Glendenning on 19 November 2018
Cesc Fàbregas has found opportunities largely limited to cup competitions this season, having seen just 48 minutes of Premier League action across three substitute appearances for Chelsea. With his contract due to expire next summer, moves are already afoot to cash in on the midfielder in January. Milan are reported to be interested in taking him to Italy in January and the 31-year-old could rock up to San Siro in the company of his current teammate Gary Cahill. The defender has also found himself largely surplus to the requirements of Maurizio Sarri and Milan are also believed to be interested in offering him a new home.
While rumours of a possible January bid for Harry Kane from Real Madrid are currently conspicuous by their absence, the Rumour Mill is happy to get the ball rolling here. Bernabéu big-hats are believed to be fed up with the lack of consistency demonstrated by Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema in front of goal and are bound to at least try to prise the in-form Kane away from Tottenham in January. While the Mill is no finance expert, with Spurs continuing to lose money hand over fist as they wait for builders to finish their new stadium, they could conceivably be left with little choice but to at least consider a ridiculously big offer. Speculation in Spain suggests Real could turn to Zlatan Ibrahimovic or Radamel Falcao as short-term fixes for their uncharacteristic paucity of goals.
David de Gea’s ongoing dither over a new contract extension could lead to Manchester United making a big-money move for Jordan Pickford. The 24-year-old Everton and England goalkeeper may find himself the subject of a £60m bid from United if De Gea decides to leave Old Trafford come season’s end amid a swirl of speculation suggesting he could be off to Juventus.
Speaking on Sky Sports on Sunday, Gary Neville didn’t seem entirely convinced Pickford is suitable for such a high-profile position. “I was nervous about him before the World Cup but he’s winning me over slowly,” said Neville, who was working as a pundit on England’s big win over Croatia. “He’s not my idea of what a goalkeeper would be. I always thought a keeper should be dominant. There are so many keepers now of his ilk and his stature and his ability in terms of agility that you have to change with the times.” As a caveat, it should be noted that the same Gary Neville thought De Gea was a liability when he pitched up at Old Trafford and that move worked out well enough for the Spaniard.
In other news pertaining to United, the club’s South American scouting department have been jockeying for position with their Manchester City counterparts in their efforts to get the best view of 22-year-old Gremio striker Everton Soares. With Ander Herrera understood to be dissatisfied with his lack of game time under José Mourinho, the 29-year-old midfielder is courting interest from assorted clubs in Spain and Italy, who will all be aware the Spaniard’s contract expires next June unless he signs the extension United’s HR department keep pushing under his nose.
The Hoffenheim central midfielder Kerem Demirbay is wanted by Liverpool, whose interest in Matthijs de Ligt is likely to cool now the Ajax defender is ready to nail his colours to Barcelona’s mast. And having come off the bench to help steer Austria to victory against Northern Ireland, Marko Arnautovic refused to talk about speculation, generated largely by himself, linking him with a move away from West Ham.