Chelsea have been burning through the contents of Todd Boehly’s pocketbook like the proverbial capering seafarer all summer, and clearly see no good reason to stop now. As well as closing in on a £70m deal for one-man soap opera Frenkie de Jong, they’re preparing a similarly sized bid for Leicester defender Wesley Fofana, plus deals for former Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Celtic full-back Josip Juranovic.
Manchester United haven’t yet thrown in the towel in their pursuit of De Jong; neither have they given up hope of Adrien Rabiot, whose agent/mother is playing hardball over wages, nor winger Cody Gakpo, who, should PSV see off Rangers later this month, wants to remain at the club for their upcoming Champions League campaign. There’s a grim inevitability about so much of this.
It’s going to be a long month for United’s longsuffering fanbase, and their mood is unlikely to be helped by the brazen efficiency and wise forward planning of their neighbours. Manchester City are close to solving their left-back issue by signing Anderlecht’s Sergio Gómez, then plan to identify another player to fight for the position, leaving nothing whatsoever to chance. Calm, smart and ordered, it’s almost as though they’re deliberately pressing all of United’s buttons in the correct sequence.
Some potentially better news for United: they’re showing serious interest in Watford winger Ismaïla Sarr, while LA Galaxy striker Javier Hernández has offered to return to his old club to play for free, if it helps ease their striker woes in the short term.
Finally a couple of potential departures from the Emirates. Arsenal defender Pablo Marí will join Monza on loan, while Milan are talking to Albert Sambi Lokonga about an £18m move.
More United-related gossip is almost certainly guaranteed tomorrow, perhaps accompanied by a trigger warning.