Jacob Steinberg on 28 November 2017
The Manchester United manager José Mourinho, who has always come across as a bit of a Ned Flanders, is apparently planning to turn Old Trafford into a Salford-based branch of The Leftorium. Alarmed at the balance of his squad, Mourinho is targeting four lefties in the summer: Tottenham Hotspur’s Danny Rose, Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale, Atlético Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann and Arsenal’s Mesut Özil. Ian Wright reckons that United, who also like the look of Chelsea’s right-footed Brazilian Willian, will nab Özil before the German’s contract runs out next summer. “Mesut Özil on a free to Manchester United looks a shoo-in,” the former Arsenal striker said.
But not if Barcelona get there first! The Primera Liga leaders are also looking to spruce up their squad in January and reckon that Özil would fit the bill. Unfortunately Lionel Messi is now dictating transfer policy at the Camp Nou and, like the Proper Football Men of Premier League punditry, he doesn’t seem to rate Özil. Messi has also told Barcelona not to sign Griezmann because of fears that the Frenchman would restrict Luis Suárez’s playing time – or maybe let the Uruguayan have the rest he’s so obviously been crying out for over the past year – and instead wants them to reignite their interest in Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho.
Harry Kane has told “pals” that he fancies a move to Real Madrid. That’s according to reports in the Spanish media, so there’s every reason to believe that one. Tottenham, meanwhile, plan to replace Rose with Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon. Or they could make Bale their new left-back.
Everton have gone crawling back to Sam Allardyce – who will take the job as long as his demands are met, so they’d better start making space for Juusi Jaaskelainen, Joey O’Brien and Kevin Nolan. Someone tell Phil Brown the band’s getting back together.
Chelsea have been offered the chance to sign Borussia Dortmund’s sulky Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, because of course that mild-mannered dressing room requires the addition of a player who was recently dropped for a big game for disciplinary reasons. Dortmund will console themselves by signing Angel Gomes from United.
Manchester City want Real Sociedad’s Ińigo Martínez. A new centre-back? Won’t someone think of Eliaquim Mangala? No? Anyone? Hello?