Time was when you could read the transfer runes by deciphering the off-the-cuff utterances of managers as they wound down their car windows; now, it’s all about players’ social media activity. What else are we to make of the kerfuffle surrounding the decision of RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner to unfollow his own club after they used him in a tweet about Liverpool’s defeat at Watford on Sunday? The fact that the striker has also unfollowed everyone else, thereby denying himself a daily diet of thoughtful and reflective opinion, has not stopped gossip-mongers everywhere from adding two and two and making 10, and concluding that Werner must be Liverpool-bound.
Jürgen Klopp may face competition for the striker from Manchester United, however, as part of what the Express bills as a mouthwatering transfer battle between the north-west rivals this summer (what with it being a while since these two provided us with a mouthwatering battle on the actual pitch). And not just over Werner either; they’ll be tussling away over Jadon Sancho too, with United prepare to smash the Premier League transfer record by shelling out more than £100m for the young Dortmund striker. Real Madrid and PSG are also interested in him, mind.
There’s discord in the air at Newcastle between Steve Bruce and Allan Saint-Maximin, according to the Daily Mail, which reports that the mazy-dribbling fans’ favourite was dropped for Saturday’s goalless draw with Burnley rather than left out because of a hamstring injury, as Bruce claimed. “Sources” close to Saint-Maximin insisted he was fully fit. All of which has pricked up ears elsewhere, with Wolves and Crystal Palace reported to be “monitoring the situation”.
Chelsea ears will also be pricking up at the news that Porto defender Alex Telles, a target of the Blues, has rejected a new deal at the Portuguese club. The 27-year-old left-back is out of contract in the summer, and he might be a more likely recruit than David de Gea, whom none other than Graeme Souness reckons could be added to Frank Lampard’s Chelsea squad.
Everton’s spies in Italy, meanwhile, are encouraging the Merseysiders to bid for Napoli’s Hirving Lozano. The Mexico international has struggled since becoming the Italian club’s record signing last summer and the fact that Everton’s director of football, Marcel Brands, signed Lozano for PSV, while Carlo Ancelotti was in charge of Napoli when they signed him has inevitably encouraged the rumour-mongers, the Mill evidently among them.
Meanwhile, Arsenal could be interested in Wolves’ Raúl Jiménez, 28, to replace Alexandre Lacazette if the French forward leaves the Emirates at the end of the season, though given Jiménez currently has a better chance of Champions League football at Molineux than in north London, that might be seen as something of a sideways move at best. Arsenal are also sniffing around the Sassuolo forward Domenico Berardi, who has scored nine goals this season and generally excelled in Serie A this term, though he is under contract until 2024 so cash will have to be waved around.
And talking of Champions League contenders, Leicester are looking to lure the Celtic forward Odsonne Édouard and Burnley defender Charlie Taylor south.