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It’s an emotional day for Alexis Sanchez. He reportedly said his goodbyes to his Arsenal team-mates at their team hotel just after 11pm last night and, to coin Mark Lawrenson’s immortal phrase, “there was not a dry house in the place”.
There were also waterworks at Manchester United’s training ground (Express) as Henrikh Mkhitaryan bid a “tearful farewell” to Red Devils players and staff, despite the fact he had only known them for around 18 months and had never really settled in. Perhaps that’s precisely why he was crying.
Following a “dramatic breakthrough” in the Armenian’s contract negotiations, both players could complete their medicals “today”, mercifully bringing a close to this transfer saga (Mirror).
But as one storyline ends, another begins, just like in Hollyoaks but with less sexy protagonists.
Although that is actually doing a disservice to the latest man in the headlines -it’s the very handsome Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola.
The Mirror says Pep is being “lined up” by Paris Saint-Germain as their next boss and the Ligue 1 moneybags are “confident of getting their man”.
That’s partly because Guardiola has historically enjoyed moving from country to country to spread his tiki-taka gospel, and also because the club’s Qatari owners are able to offer “a spectacular new opportunity for Guardiola and his family in France”.
And his family too? They’re planning to make his wife director of football, get his daughters to run the club’s social media accounts and put his 15-year-old son Marius in charge of a booming chain of creperies.
Enrique to replace Conte at Chelsea
In more big manager gossip, the Star claims another former Barcelona coach, Luis Enrique, is set to become the new manager of Chelsea.
The Spaniard is tipped to replace Antonio Conte in the summer and be joined by former Blues defender Juliano Beletti as his director of football in some kind of “dream team”.
Owner Roman Abramovich apparently harbours a desire to see his expensively assembled side “play fantasy football in the Barcelona mould”. Presumably that’s why he is currently in talks with Peter Crouch.
Meanwhile Javier Hernandez, having failed to find any fantasy football at West Ham, is set to quit the club after just six months and move to Besiktas.
Goal reports that the Turkish club have agreed a £7.5m deal to sign the Mexican striker this month, although that would be less than half what the Irons paid for him and about £12.5m less than were allegedly demanding for Andy Carroll this week. Something doesn’t add up there – possibly David Sullivan.
Elsewhere, Man Utd manager Jose Mourinho has halted plans to sign a new left-back because he has decided that he likes Luke Shaw after all (Mail), Swansea have enlisted the help of “super agent” Jorge Mendes to help them land some sexy January signings (Telegraph) and Liverpool were weighing up a £40m bid for Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland but have been told that he is not for sale (Express). Oh well in that case, they definitely wouldn’t dream of trying to sign him.