Love is in the air. And it’s Chinese love for Mousa Dembele.
Specifically, it’s the love of Beijing Sinobo Guoan, who will reportedly spend this Valentine’s Day sending little notes to the Tottenham midfielder saying, “I want you, sexy Belgian man.”
According to the Sun, the 30-year-old sexy Belgian man will be offered £160,000 a week to join the Chinese Super League club formerly known as Beijing Guoan, and before that Beijing Hyundai (2003-2005), and before that Beijing Guoan again (1993-2002) and before that Beijing Shenzhou, and before that Beijing Youth and before all of them Beijing Physical Education Normal University (1956). They should have just stuck with that one.
That salary would be more than double what Dembele currently earns, and on a longer three-year contract, but if he wants to take the money he’ll have to decide quickly. The Chinese transfer window is still open (until 28 February) and Beijing (as they were known between 1965 and 1990) apparently want him signed before then.
Which raises the philosophical question: is the prospect of £160,000 a week better than the prospect of a delicately poised Champions League home second leg against Juventus when you’re already a millionaire? And, if you possess a soul, the answer is surely no.
Add in Dembele’s sparkling form for Spurs in recent weeks, and this transfer seems less likely than Beijing Sinobo Guoan changing their name back to Beijing Physical Education Normal University.
Real Madrid’s £500m spending spree
Another Tottenham player in demand is Harry Kane, although you already knew that. But what you perhaps didn’t know is that Real Madrid might be willing to pay up to £270m for the striker this summer.
Or so says the Sports Illustrated website, which claims that Kane will be the top target in Real’s £530m end-of-season spending spree. And the Spanish giants might also allegedly take Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino to the Bernabeu with them, while they’re in the area.
But could Real really sign Kane and Neymar? The Independent reports that Paris Saint-Germain’s former Barcelona forward is “definitely” on his way back to Spain, according to high-ranking Bernabeu officials who are “unusually confident” about landing the Brazilian this summer.
That, naturally, would mean some outgoings too. And Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and “maybe” Luka Modric will all reportedly be available this summer to make way for some new Galacticos.
Meanwhile, highly rated Ajax teenager Justin Kluivert is doing some V Day flirting with England’s biggest clubs, claiming that Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea or Manchester United are “nice clubs where I can see myself playing in a few years” (Mirror). In your face, Man City and Liverpool!
Finally in goalkeeper news, Stoke City’s Jack Butland has denied asking for a move away from the club amid rumoured interest from Liverpool and Arsenal (ESPN), Roma have put an £85m price tag on their Brazilian keeper Alisson, an alleged target for the Reds (Calciomercato) and Newcastle want to make Slovakian goalie Martin Dubravka’s loan move to St James’s Park permanent (Mirror). One good game is basically all you need to be regarded as brilliant at football these days.