There are many places transfer gossip can be uncovered. Unnamed “club sources”, dodgy agents, “friends of” a player, Jack Sullivan’s Twitter account, or sometimes even by speaking directly to the player involved (very rare, this one).
But today’s Sun has found a new source for gathering the hottest transfer news out there: calendars. Specifically, Tottenham Hotspur’s 2018 calendar, available now in all good shops for people who can’t wait for 2017 to be over.
It’s full of nice athletic men wearing Tottenham kits, one for each month (you know how calendars work, right?) but the Sun has spotted (or rather, they spotted some Tottenham fan spotting) that there is one nice athletic man conspicuous by his absence. It’s Danny Rose.
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“SELL-BY-DATE” shrieks the tabloid as it claims the full-back’s omission from the Spurs stocking filler is evidence he is set to leave north London, with Manchester United readying a £50m January bid.
Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho is seeking a “long-term solution” at left-back, with his current mob Luke Shaw, Ashley Young and Daley Blind all imperfect in some way.
Of course, there could be many innocent reasons why Rose isn’t in the Spurs calendar. Maybe it’s because he’s injured, or there are no photos of him in their new kit, or maybe he didn’t want to be objectified like that – a piece of meat for people to ogle at in their homes (for one month).
Kane and Lukaku up front?
Meanwhile, the Sun is also linking Man Utd with a move for Rose’s team-mate, Harry Kane. Mourinho is reportedly “eyeing a record £170m deal” for the England captain, who United tried and failed to buy two years ago when they offered £40m plus Javier Hernandez for him.
United already have Romelu Lukaku doing rather well up front, but Mourinho believes the duo could form a partnership that would turn his side into a “dominant European force again”.
Kane can’t be going anywhere this summer though, because he’s got September in the Spurs calendar. Case closed.
Today’s other transfer gossip has a familiar feel to it. The Mirror says Manchester City are plotting a cut-price £20m swoop for Alexis Sanchez in the January transfer window (sure they said exactly the same thing four days ago).
They same paper reveals that Arsenal and Liverpool will battle for Monaco winger Thomas Lemar next summer, with the French champions reportedly willing to let him leave after the World Cup.
Elsewhere, Lionel Messi is set for an £80m signing on fee when he agrees a new contact with Barcelona (Mail), Chelsea will send scouts to watch 24-year-old Ghanaian striker Richmond Boakye when his Red Star Belgrade side take on Arsenal in the Europa League next week (Mail) and David Moyes is ready to speak to the Scottish FA about replacing Gordon Strachan as manager (Sun). Well at least he can’t get them relegated.