FRIDAY'S BIG HEADLINES
Liverpool could be in transfer trouble
It's just as well that Jurgen Klopp professes to dislike the lavish spending sprees his rivals in the league go on - "other clubs can go out and spend more money and collect top players - I want to do it differently," he said of the world record signing of Paul Pogba - because if reports on Friday are to be believed, Liverpool could be about to be hit with a transfer ban for irregularities in the signing of a child from Stoke City. As The Guardian explains:
The ongoing investigation centres on a complaint that Liverpool reneged on a deal to pay the 12-year-old’s private school fees, leaving his parents in thousands of pounds of debt. Stoke had been paying the fees until the player, regarded as one of their brightest talents, accepted an offer to join Liverpool with an inducement that the Anfield club would pay for his education until the age of 16. When discovering that new rules introduced last summer meant the club would have to pay for all of their schoolchildren to be privately educated, it is alleged, Liverpool withdrew the offer, prompting the boy’s parents to pull out of the deal. However, the boy cannot sign for another club until Stoke have received a compensation fee of £49,000 from Liverpool and, in the meantime, the parents have been left liable for school fees that are believed to run into thousands.
If the above picture is correct then it's a messy situation for the club to find themselves in. The prospect of a transfer ban actually being imposed seems slim - Chelsea and Real Madrid have both had similar such punishments removed on appeal - but the very prospect will have Liverpool nervous, and dreading a summer approach from Barcelona for Philippe Coutinho...
Sir Chips catches some heat
You know news is scarce on the ground when a semi-witty aside from Arsene Wenger about Arsenal being "the only team in London" in a press conference on Thursday morning is plastered over some of Friday's back pages. A press conference which, by the way, launched Sky Sports News HQ's most perfectly oblivious tweet.
And yet The Sun do manage to take the Arsenal story on a bit as former striker Ian Wright today turns his guns on the Arsenal board, and notably Sir Chips Keswick, a man who is simultaneously both Arsenal chairman and (probably) a mysterious ex-British army general with a shadowy past in an American spy show.
Sir Chips made a rare public appearance yesterday when he told Arsenal fans he had "nothing" to say about Wenger's future, gripping the frame of his glasses and fiddling nervously with the lapel of his tweed jacket as he felt the net closing in. Wright wasn't impressed, giving The Sun a chance to indulge in some serious body shaming.
This is typical of the lack of leadership and direction at Arsenal. No one is making any decisions. Who’s running the club? Arsene is, obviously. He’s in the position where he can just do what he wants. He should be forced to say what he’s going to do. Somebody upstairs should be telling him, ‘Either you’re staying or you’re going. You must make an announcement’.
Please, won't someone make an announcement?
Pogba to help United land Griezmann
You'd think Manchester United might be wary of trying to pay the release clauses for La Liga stars after the described as "absurd", Friday's newspapers have them paying £85m to spring Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid.
It's a fairly reasonable price for a brilliant player but our favourite detail of this story is the suggestion that Paul Pogba has been "reassuring Griezmann that the English weather is not as bad as he fears." Oh but it is.
Read the full article on eurosport.co.uk: The Warm-Up: Liverpool face transfer ban, as heat turns on Arsenal board