English newspapers are largely bereft of juicy transfer gossip this morning as they wheel out all the Manchester City title-winning articles they thought they would be publishing last weekend.
So thank heavens for Don Balon, which would still be diligently posting transfer stories about Neymar even in the event of nuclear war (and it seems we may actually have one of those soon, so that’s reassuring for gossip fans).
Today, the Spanish rumour mavericks claim Neymar may be on his way to Manchester United – but with a twist.
They say the Brazilian superstar will only quit Paris Saint-Germain for Old Trafford on three conditions. The first is that they sign Harry Kane from Tottenham; the second is that they sign Samuel Umtiti from Barcelona; the third is that they keep Paul Pogba and David de Gea.
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Neymar is reportedly a fan of Tottenham striker Kane due to his impressive work rate and because he is a “battering ram” who plays for others, “as Luiz Suarez did at Barcelona”. That famous battering ram Luis Suarez.
The PSG forward also thinks United should meet French defender Umtiti’s £52m release clause, and that Red Devils manager Jose Mourinho should kiss and make up with Pogba, and that goalkeeper De Gea should sign a new contract.
And then he’ll think about signing for them – providing they can also guarantee that they won’t lose at home to West Brom anymore (which luckily they can because they won’t have to play the Baggies next season). So it’s basically a done deal.
Monaco willing to sell Lemar
PSG did actually win the French league title yesterday, which was roughly as surprising as Man City winning the English one. Neymar didn’t attend the 7-1 victory against Monaco that sealed the championship because he was in Brazil playing online poker – as reported by the Express – but the game could be more significant for Thomas Lemar.
The Express also reports that Monaco, having officially relinquished their Ligue 1 title, will now “listen to offers” for the 22-year-old winger.
This will be a “huge boost” to Arsenal and Liverpool, who both tried to sign the Frenchman this season, although Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev has insisted that Lemar will “cost a lot”.
Meanwhile, Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez – having assured the Magpies’ Premier League safety with victory against the Gunners yesterday – wants assurances he will not be dragged into another relegation battle on Tyneside next season.
The Telegraph reports that the Spaniard will “seek talks” with Newcastle owner Mike Ashley before committing his future to the club. Benitez wants “everything to be right” ahead of next season, which presumably mainly entails Ashley going away forever and being replaced by some new owners who will spend money.
Elsewhere, the Mapgies’ Slovakian goalkeeper Martin Dubravka is poised to make his loan move from Sparta Prague permanent after impressing between the sticks for Benitez’ side (Express), former West Brom fan favourites Tony Mowbray and Derek McInnes are vying to becoming the new Baggies manager (Mirror) and Leyton Orient’s 22-year-old Zimbabwean striker Macauley Bonne is wanted by Shrewsbury, Portsmouth and Burton (Sun). Is the world on the verge of witnessing the rise of the biggest Macauley since Culkin (albeit with a very slightly different spelling)? Exciting times.