Gossip: Barcelona 'keen on Winks', Real Madrid 'join Coutinho race', Conte 'one game from the sack'

Harry Winks is a Barclona target, Real Madrid now fancy Coutinho while Conte is living on borrowed time

It wasn’t just Tottenham fans who enjoyed the club’s midweek demolition of Real Madrid. It would also have provided some hilarious entertainment for supporters of Barcelona, especially those ones who think Carles Puigdemont is an absolute legend.

The worrying part for Spurs is that when Barcelona like things, they tend to try to buy them.

Of course, they wouldn’t be so crass as Real Madrid by attempting to snare Tottenham’s manager  and star players in a combined £400m deal. Instead, they are reportedly planning to keep it classy by targeting the north Londoners’ most promising youngster, Harry Winks.

It’s quite likely that most people in Catalonia were not familiar with the Hemel Hempstead-born 21-year-old 10 days ago. Even Barca’s sporting director Robert Fernandez was no expert when he took his seat to watch Spurs’ 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu last week.

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Fernandez was apparently at the match to scout long-term Barca target Christian Eriksen, but it was Spurs’ pint-sized, Iniesta-like midfielder Winks who apparently caught his eye.

The Sun reports that Barcelona sent several more scouts to Wednesday’s return fixture at Wembley, and all were “left purring” by Winks’ display.

Will purring translate into a big-money transfer to La Liga? It rarely does with cats, so probably not. But it is one more thing for Spurs fans to be proud of/scared about.

In further hot Spurs midfielder gossip, the Sun also has a sensational report about Eric Dier being spotted “out and about” in Hampstead, allegedly “walking his dogs” and “grabbing lunch with a friend”. Does this mean he might sign for Manchester United?

Real ‘want Coutinho and Alli’

Perhaps of greater concern is the possibility that Barca might miss out on Philippe Coutinho (and therefore turn to Winks instead). According to Spanish paper Mundo Deportivo, Liverpool’s Brazilian midfielder has now emerged as a target for – guess who – Real Madrid.

Los Blancos have reportedly contacted the Reds “to learn about his contract situation”, which basically means they want to find out the best way they can ruin Barca’s plans to sign him.

Fellow Spanish rumour mongers Marca report that Real are also “paying close attention” to Dele Alli, although it would probably have been more useful if they had paid close attention to him when he scored two goals against them in the week.

In your latest dollop of daily Antonio Conte Gossip, the Times reports that the Chelsea manager’s future will be “in doubt” if the Blues lose to Manchester United on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Mirror says Conte “felt the chill” as Blues owner Roman Abramovich made a “rare visit” to the club’s training ground this week. Rumours that the Russian stalked around Cobham wearing a Grim Reaper costume for Halloween are unconfirmed.

Elsewhere, Neymar is “fed up” with Paris Saint-Germain manager Unai Emery’s training methods (Le Parisien), the agent of Neymar’s PSG team-mate Edinson Cavani says the Uruguayan has his heart set on a return to former club Napoli (Sun) and, in some amusing historical gossip, Arsenal snubbed the chance to sign Man City’s David Silva back in 2005 because they “did not believe he could cope with the physical demands of the Premier League” (Mail). They signed Nicklas Bendtner that summer instead, ha.

@darlingkevin

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