This transfer window needed a good Gareth Bale story and the Mill is mightily relieved that, in a world so fraught with anxiety and uncertainty, we can now anchor ourselves firmly to this one. In case you’ve been, I don’t know, asleep or something, Bale is closing in on a loan return to Tottenham – and could be in José’s warm embrace within days. Someone really ought to make a documentary.
Spurs have come alive in the market, having comprehensively failed to stir in their opening-day defeat to Everton. They are set to confirm another transfer from Madrid, the flying full-back Sergio Reguilón, and would like Bas Dost to toddle over from Eintracht Frankfurt and make everyone feel moderately better when Harry Kane’s annual injury scare arises. Outgoings? There are some suggestions Dele Alli could be part of any inevitably complicated Bale deal.
So Real are freeing up cash and it sounds as if Barcelona could do with achieving the same. Their hopes of signing Memphis Depay from Lyon are, according to the French club’s president Jean-Michel Aulas, zero unless they can raise serious funds. If only they’d had a want-away talisman earlier on in the window. Barça would also like to bring back Eric García from Manchester City but, again, they remain some way off making that possible.
Meanwhile, one report links Bayern Munich with a move for Callum Hudson-Odoi. Bayern are long-time admirers of the Chelsea winger, who hasn’t quite caught light consistently yet, and haven’t given up hope of prising him away in the next few weeks. Juventus are also said to be standing by. Another to depart Stamford Bridge could be Emerson Palmieri, with Inter Milan and West Ham among those with their beady eyes on a loan move for the full-back.
Did we mention Juve? They would like to bring in the ex-City stalwart Edin Dzeko from Roma, and are also in for the capital city club’s defender Mattia de Sciglio. Roma themselves still want to sign Chris Smalling on a permanent deal but Manchester United are proving tough customers with their £20m asking price.
Sheffield United would like a young striker to help them avoid a bout of second-season syndrome. They have an interest in Liverpool’s Rhian Brewster and a report suggests they would happily take Folarin Balogun off Arsenal’s hands, the snag being that they are nowhere near the Gunners’ valuation for the much sought-after 19-year-old.