Barry Glendenning on 29 April 2019
Occupational Hazards, specifically the future employment of Belgian brothers Eden and Thorgan, constitute the first order of business in Monday’s Rumour Mill. In the wake of Sunday’s draw between Manchester United and Chelsea, the former hinted that he could be open to staying at Stamford Bridge despite rampant ongoing speculation that he’s off to Real Madrid in the summer, while his younger sibling has announced he has agreed personal terms with Borussia Dortmund and will be joining them from Borussia Mönchengladbach if the two German clubs can agree a fee. “I myself have an agreement with them, now something has to move between the clubs,” he revealed, in an announcement that will come as something of a disappointment to his English suitors at Liverpool and Arsenal.
While Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakatic is another player who has no shortage of admirers in the Premier League, the 31-year-old has made public his desire to stay at Barcelona. The imminent arrival of Ajax starlet Frenkie de Jong, who has been guaranteed playing time, at the Camp Nou suggests somebody will have to make way from the first team and many believe Rakitic will be shown the door, but following Barcelona’s title win over the weekend he said he hopes to remain in his manager’s plans. “I don’t want to be anywhere else,” he is quoted as saying in Marca. “I hope they tell me that I’ll stay here for another three years.”
Manchester United have previously been linked with Rakitic and according to the Mirror, hope to raise £200m in transfer fees for him and other targets by selling Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku. Reports from Spain suggest Pogba has already agreed personal terms with Real that would earn him just over £10m per year, while Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen and Everton winger Richarlison are being lined up as potential replacements for the duo.
Having failed to cement his place as first choice goalkeeper at Burnley, Joe Hart will be given permission to leave Turf Moor on a free transfer this season and the Daily Mail suggests the former England No 1’s next destination could be an unspecified club in the French top flight. Hart’s former Manchester City teammate Nicolás Otamendi is likely to leave the Etihad this summer and West Ham is being touted as the Argentinian centre-back’s next port of call.
The managerial merry-go-round could reach dizzying speeds this summer, with rumours suggesting both Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille are ready to offer Rafael Benítez a gig once his contract with Newcastle expires. Elsewhere in France, Lyon are courting Arséne Wenger, while Sam Allardyce has been named as an unlikely contender to take over the India national team. Nearer home, in Leeds, Marcelo Bielsa’s future remains decidedly up in the air, with locals concerned he will up sticks from Elland Road should his side fail to win promotion to the Premier League. Consigned to the play-offs and without a win in three games, Leeds appear to have entered the red zone at exactly the wrong time.