Barry Glendenning on 8 November 2018
In taking the step of suspending a CNN reporter who aggressively questioned him from attending his daily attempts to mislead, insult and bully the press [You mean briefings? - Sport Ed.], the Rumour Mill couldn’t help but notice that Donald Trump had opted for a tactic straight out of the Alex Ferguson playbook and wondered what the former Manchester United manager and occasional socialist would have made of it all. We wondered too what Fergie would have made of Wednesday night’s events in Turin, when United masterminded victory over their old enemy Juventus, with victory being secured at that death; that fabled period of the game known as “Fergie time”.
Oh yes, we imagine a wry smile was playing around the lips of his Lordship, the same kind that flickered across our own countenance when we saw the big speculation of the day pertained to United and meant we could build up to it with this meandering, fairly pointless space-consuming riff. Having appeared to have no future whatsoever at the club as recently as last August, Anthony Martial is about to be offered a new five-year deal worth £45m to the young Frenchman. While United have to option to extend his current deal by another year when it expires at the end of next season, they’d prefer to go all-in and nail down something more long-term before he falls out with José Mourinho again. United are also interested in signing Australian goalkeeper Mat Ryan from Brighton, while Sampdoria defender Joachim Andersen is another man on their radar.
After failing to secure a summer move to Liverpool that many considered done and dusted at the time, L’Equipe say Nabil Fekir will attempt to escape Lyon again come season’s end and could end up at Chelsea or Bayern Munich. The Rumour Mill isn’t going to claim to have ever heard of Shoya Nakajima, but a perfunctory search of the internet reveals he’s a 24-year-old winger who plays for Portimonense in the Portuguese top flight. The Southampton scouting department have also been doing their research into the Japan international and might have identified him as a potential solution to their problems in front of goal.
And finally, moving into the realms of managerial speculation, the Telegraph suggests Scott Parker could be a surprise contender to replace Slavisa Jokanovic if the Serb is handed his cards. Elsewhere, Antonio Conte is priming his lawyers to take Chelsea to court over monies owed on his contract with the club. The Italian was sacked last summer and remains at loggerheads with the Chelsea hierarchy.