It was a strange FA Cup final day, wasn’t it? Two unhappy teams fighting limply for a trophy they didn’t really want as the rest of the country worshipped its ginger prince. If that’s Brexit Britain, let’s all go and live in Bordeaux.
But strip away all the pomp and ceremony from Saturday’s Wembley showpiece, and in practical terms its main purpose was to prolong a few Man Utd and Chelsea careers by one week.
Now, however, the inevitable is upon us. First out the door at Stamford Bridge will be their Cup-winning manager, with the Express predicting that Antonio Conte will leave the Blues “within 48 hours” and be replaced, probably, by the former Barcelona coach Luis Enrique.
Alternatively, it might be Monaco’s Leonardo Jardim or Napoli’s Maurizio Sarri, whose talks with current club Napoli have “broken down” according to the Mirror.
Following closely behind Conte could be his Wembley matchwinner Eden Hazard, who the Star says is on his way to Manchester City in a £100m deal.
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Excitedly writing EXCLUSIVE in capital letters, thinking we won’t remember that this story appeared in numerous papers several weeks ago, the tabloid claims City manager Pep Guardiola has made Hazard his “No.1 transfer target” this summer.
Guardiola apparently does not intend to make wholesale changes to his squad and will settle just for “two world class players instead”. How accommodating of him.
Hazard has refused to pledged his long-term future to the Blues after a frustrating season, and City are “confident” they will get their man, who Guardiola sees as the “long-term successor to David Silva”.
Mourinho wants five new players
And this is the team that just won the FA Cup final. The team that lost it will be making even more changes.
The Mirror reports that Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is planning a “£250m overhaul” of his squad and wants a minimum of five new players.
The artist formerly known as the Special One has handed a list of targets to transfer guru Ed Woodward which allegedly includes the names Gareth Bale, Toby Alderweireld, Jorginho, Jean Michael Seri, Alex Sandro and Fred – and not just any old Fred.
Making space for these guys will be Daley Blind, Matteo Darmian, Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial, who will all be “offloaded”, while contract rebel Marouane Fellaini could be also leave after AC Milan offered him a three-year deal (Times).
Paul Pogba’s Old Trafford future remains uncertain too, with the Mail reporting he has “refused to rule out” a move away this summer. The Frenchman commented that he is “never sure of anything”, not even scoring a free header from six yards out.
Meanwhile, the Mail is trying to liven up the narrative of Mikel Arteta’s seemingly inevitable appointment as Arsenal manager by claiming that former Paris Saint-Germain manager Unai Emery has emerged as a “shock last-minute contender” for the Emirates hotseat. The Spaniard presumably applied just before the deadline after missing out on his dream job at West Ham.
Elsewhere, Jack Wilshere is set to snub contract offers from Wolves and Everton to pen new deal with the Gunners (Mirror), Man Utd have secured a “preliminary protocol” to sign the Benfica midfielder Talisca, whatever the hell that means (Star) and West Ham’s imminent appointment of Manuel Pellegrini as manager will boost their chances of signing free agent Yaya Toure (Telegraph). There is truly nowhere better in England for a waning 35-year-old footballer to earn an extortionate wage.