While Liverpool have considerably larger Italian-based fish to fry at Anfield, their fans may be saddened by reports that Manchester City are in the box-seat to land a whopper Jürgen Klopp had been hoping to lure to Anfield. The German has been a longtime admirer of the Napoli midfielder Jorginho since the player’s time at Hellas Verona and his subsequent success at Napoli, whose formation and tactics are not entirely dissimilar to those employed by Liverpool, is only likely to have made Klopp covet him more.
Unfortunately for Liverpool, reports suggest City are close to getting a £50m deal for the Brazil-born Italy international over the line and are therefore prepared to drop their interest in Shakhtar Donetsk’s Fred. Elsewhere, the Currant Bun claims exclusively that Pep Guardiola has tired of waiting for John Stones to fulfil his potential and will reluctantly let him leave the Etihad Stadium if the price is right.
Tottenham’s dashing but largely underwhelming centre-forward Fernando Llorente looks likely to leave the club this summer and is understood to be open to a return to Athletic Bilbao, for whom he made 262 appearances between 2005 and 2013. If Bilbao’s blue-eyed boy does return to his former club, Tottenham will need to dip into the market to find adequate cover for Harry Kane.
With West Brom on the verge of sinking into the Championship, an unseemly scramble for the lifeboats looks imminent. Chris Brunt has signalled his intention to go down with the ship, but Jay Rodriguez is already being linked with a possible return to Burnley, the club where he made his name. Hal Robson-Kanu is also being linked with the Hawthorns door marked “Do One”, with reports from Greece suggesting Olympiakos are interested in taking him to Piraeus for £3m. Jonny Evans and Craig Dawson, meanwhile, could be rehoused at West Ham, which is no great surprise considering David Moyes’s well-documented preference for having a British spine in his team. The kind of British spine that has served West Brom so well this season.
One of several players with a relegation release clause in his contract, Salomón Rondón is also likely to leave the club and head for pastures new in which to gad about enthusiastically. The Brazilian side Corinthians have expressed interest in the Venezuelan 28-year-old, who is up for grabs for around £16.5m. Nacer Chadli is available for a similar amount and looks equally unlikely to stay at the Hawthorns, where he made his first appearance of the year when given a run-out against Liverpool last weekend.
The Porto right-back Ricardo Pereira is wanted by Leicester City, according to reports from Portugal, although reporters in the Leicester Mercury say the club have “got other options they are considering”. Pereira has worked under the Leicester boss, Claude Puel, before, as a loanee at Nice. The duo are believed to be keen on a reunion and £22m is the sum being mentioned.
The identity of Arsène Wenger’s successor remains the subject of rampant speculation. Some news outlets report Arsenal have hitched their skirts in the direction of the Juventus manager, Max Allegri, while others suggest the former Barcelona gaffer Luis Enrique has hitched his in the direction of the club. What does seem certain is that whoever gets the job is likely to be kept on a tight rein by the famously cautious guardians of the Arsenal purse-strings and will be given no more than £50m with which to overhaul the squad. Beyond that, the new man will be forced to generate his own revenue by herding assorted players to market.