Alexis Sánchez will wear the iconic Manchester United No 7 shirt after a photo of him taking a selfie in the garment previously occupied by club legends George Best, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and … um, Ángel Di María was leaked on social media. Sánchez ran on a treadmill and coughed for the Old Trafford doctors on Sunday and could be announced any minute now.
In less pleasing news for United fans who’d quite like Real Madrid to stop sniffing around David De Gea, Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has grown weary of waiting for Real Madrid to make a concrete offer for his services and decided to sign a new deal with his current employers. Well, that or he’s letting it be known that he’s thinking of signing a new deal with his current employers in the hope that it might spur Real Madrid into action.
Ivan Gazidis has been spotted in the German city of Dortmund and it’s believed he’s not in town to enjoy the myriad delights of the city’s Brewery Museum or Wohnzimmer Cafebar. The Arsenal chief executive is instead hoping to wrap up a deal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, a disruptive dressing-room influence the Gooners don’t really need who, at the age of 28, is unlikely to see the error of his trouble-making ways at this stage of his professional life. Should Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan sign for Arsenal this month, expect Mesut Özil to demand a hefty pay-rise to ensure he remains the club’s top earner.
Much like certain fairground rides on Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Chelsea’s search for a new target man is subject to strict height restrictions and after being linked with Peter Crouch, Andy Carroll and a couple of decidedly indifferent giraffes from London Zoo, the Premier League champions are understood to be firming up a bid of around £45m for Roma striker Edin Dzeko, in a deal including his team-mate, the left-back Emerson Palmieri. The Bosnian beanpole played most of Roma’s 1-1 draw at Inter last night, in the wake of which his manager straight-batted questions about a possible move.
“I am not in charge of the transfer market, so those are not questions for me,” said Eusebio Di Francesco. “I will only say he’s an important player and I try to use the most important players.” Talks between the two clubs are expected to resume today, while a certain Stoke City striker remains hopeful that nothing good will come of them and he might get the nod instead.
The future of Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge remains up in the air, with Inter and Sevilla both believed to be interested in offering him a gig. Inter were hoping to take him on loan for the rest of the season with a view to offering him a permanent deal if things worked out, but the 28-year-old has had his head turned by the garish orange groves of Seville and would like his employers to ship him out to that particular city’s local club.
And finally, Newcastle United are reported to have been offered the chance to take World Cup winning Borussia Dortmund and Germany striker André Schürrle on an 18-month loan deal, but may have to fend off interest from Stoke City. Whichever club lands the 27-year-old will have to pay half his £150,000 per-week wages. Bristol City left-back Joe Bryan is also on Newcastle’s radar, while Everton are also monitoring his situation.