Barcelona are often a team lured by the tantalising prospect of some high-stakes gazumping and the Daily Mail says are set to use the money they receive from selling Neymar to sign Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe.
The teenager has been linked with Barca’s rivals Real Madrid all summer, but Los Blancos aren’t on the verge of recouping £196m in transfer funds, and therefore are at risk of being outbid.
As for Neymar himself, the Mail adds that he is still keen on a move to Paris Saint-Germain after being “struck by the vision” for PSG’s future. Specifically, the vision on his pay slip of a £596,000 weekly wage.
The reason why Neymar wants to leave Barcelona… pic.twitter.com/C7S5YElagf
— Sc : Ramz1 (@ramzfinest11) July 19, 2017
Mourinho’s bargain bucket
Even when you’ve been a top-level football operator for as long as Jose Mourinho, the game can still provide you with new and interesting emotional sensations.
They’re not always pleasant sensations – being embroiled in a sexism storm and having paranoid episodes on live TV, for instance – but occasionally they really hit the spot. Like when you snatch Chelsea’s top transfer target away from them at the last minute with a £75m bid, 18 months after they sacked you. That one felt really nice. So much so that Jose wants to do it again – this time to those other cocky London upstarts that keep finishing above him in the league, Tottenham.
The Mirror reports that Manchester United are set to make late transfer window swoop for Everton midfielder – and Spurs target – Ross Barkley, who they believe they can get for a “bargain” price.
This would be especially upsetting for Tottenham because Barkley is pretty much the only major signing they have been consistently linked with this summer. Without him, all they’re getting is a 19-year-old Argentine defender and maybe a replacement second-choice right-back.
Mourinho doesn’t want to meet the Toffees’ £50m valuation of the 23-year-old England international – obviously, no one does – but he would reportedly be interested if the asking price “dips below £20m”. That’s quite a dip.
Chelsea and Costa ready to part ways
Chelsea have “named their price” for Atletico Madrid target Diego Costa – and it’s £44m, says the Independent . However, they won’t sell him until Alvaro Morata has arrived at Stamford Bridge and has posed for his team photo and has moved into a London apartment and got all his utility bills set up, just in case the Madrid striker ends up going to Man Utd at the last minute.
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Arsenal have told West Ham they will have to pay £20m if they want to sign injury-prone midfielder Jack Wilshere, says the Star . And if that sounds steep, the Gunners will also insist that there is a buy-back clause inserted into the deal in case Wilshere ever stops getting injured and becomes as good as he was supposed to be.
Elsewhere, Man Utd are being linked with a move for PSG midfielder Marco Verratti after the Italian hired Mino Raiola as his agent ( Sun ), Inter Milan have told the Red Devils they must include Anthony Martial in any deal to sign Ivan Perisic ( Independent ) and Newcastle have offered their striker Aleksandar Mitrovic to French side Lyon for £16m ( Talksport ). Do you think any side has ever actually bought a player they have been “offered”?