Barry Glendenning on 22 February 2018
Considering the Rumour Mill’s stock-in-trade is high profile players who would rather be somewhere else, it would be a gross dereliction of journalistic duty to not to mention Harry Kane’s appearance on stage at the Brit Awards last night. Prodded centre-stage from the wings alongside Cuban-American songstress Camila Cabello, the Tottenham Hotspur goal-getter could scarcely have looked more awkward as he proceeded to engage in some excruciating forced “banter”, before presenting the gong for Best Male International Male to Kendrick Lamar. Tottenham fans concerned about their star striker being distracted by the fear of being asked to perform the opening monologue on Oscars night will have slept soundly in their beds.
Thibaut Courtois was nowhere to be seen at the annual orgy of self-congratulatory back-slapping by an increasingly irrelevant British record industry, possibly because he’s in advanced negotiations with Chelsea over a new deal that will earn him £200,000 per week. Real Madrid are hoping he’ll delay putting pen to paper until April, by which time they’ll have decided whether it’s him or David de Gea they want instead of Keylor Navas. Should Real move for De Gea, they could offer Manchester United Toni Kroos as a sweetener, although the German is also wanted by Manchester City and would quite like to renew his professional relationship withy Pep Guardiola. Liverpool have been linked with Navas, but only if they fail to get Roma goalkeeper Alisson, who was outstanding in defeat against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League.
Further up the pitch, Leicester City’s Harry Maguire may look more like a friendly 18th century village blacksmith than a footballer, but that hasn’t stopped the £50m-rated defender being courted by Manchester City. Tabloid reports suggest Maguire, who has played every minute of every Premier League game this season for Leicester, is happy where he is and in no rush to move on to pastures new.
And finally, the Östersund manager, Graham Potter, has been hailed as something of a miracle worker for his fine work in guiding the Swedish minnows to the knockout stages of the Europa League, but even a man of his considerable talents might have his work cut out trying to keep West Brom in the Premier League. Having lost patience with Alan Pardew after last week’s shenanigans in Barcelona, the Baggies are thinking of drafting in their former player in a last-ditch attempt to keep them up.