Real Madrid mean business and not just any old business but world-record
. The Spanish aristocrats have reportedly dispatched minions to
their vaults to begin counting out £100m, which Real will then wave in
front of Chelsea in the hope that it will persuade the London club to
relinquish Eden Hazard. If Chelsea refuse, Real will do an about-turn and
march on Monaco, who are said to be open to the possibility of selling
On the other hand, if Real do manage to get their claws on Hazard,
then Chelsea will attempt to nab Silva, but the Portuguese may prefer to
join Barcelona or Manchester United.
Whatever happens, Monaco are prepared to lose Silva and have already
identified his replacement – Bordeaux’s exotically named Brazilian schemer
Malcom. The player mainly operates from the right flank but is said to be
highly versatile so Monaco could play Malcom in the middle. And Malcom
certainly has the X factor. All things considered, Chelsea should forget
about Silva and just go straight for Bordeaux’s 20-year-old trickster. Then
hopefully Chelsea will get drawn against Exeter City in the FA Cup and
Antonio Conte will have an opportunity to say: ‘We’re going to Devon,
Malcom’. This is a signing that must happen.
One player who seems certain to join Chelsea from Monaco is Tiemoué
despite an attempt by Arsène Wenger to persuade him to go to
Arsenal instead. Wenger is hoping to have more luck convincing Sporting
Lisbon’s Rui Patricio to come to replace Petr Cech. One wonders what
Wenger will say if Rui Patricio asks who will be managing Arsenal next
season: will a simple answer be forthcoming or does Wenger tease,players
he’s trying to sign, too?
If anyone inquires as to Alexis Sánchez’s whereabouts next season, the correct answer is Bayern Munich, reportedly.
Manchester United have let Neymar know that if he fancies a chance from
Barcelona, he can move to Old Trafford and collect an annual salary of
around £10m. What if Barcelona refuse to sell? No bother, United will
trigger the player’s release clause, which is about £173m. So much for your
world record, Real.
The former United manager Louis Van Gaal, meanwhile, may be cajoled into
returning to management to rescue Holland from further humiliation. Others,
however, have suggested that Dutch football is in such dire straits that
the country needs a radical jolt that only a foreign manager could provide.
The Mill suggests a compromise: Schteve McClaren.
Jürgen Klopp’s aversion to Mamadou Sakho does not appear to be widely
shared, as several clubs are already plotting to offer to buy him from
Liverpool, notably Southampton and Crystal Palace.
Everton have cast their net far and wide in the search for a potential
replacement for Romelu Lukaku and have come up with the name of Cyle Larin,
a 21-year-old Canadian currently working magic for Orlando City.
Finally, all those folks hoping that Sevilla’s much admired director of
football, Monchi, could be enticed to their club are set to be
disappointed – unless their club is Roma.