Real Madrid have spent the whole summer trying to unsettle Chelsea, hovering above Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard waiting for the right moment to swoop.
Now, they have turned their attention to Manchester City, home of Barcelona legend and arch nemesis Pep Guardiola – it seems.
European champions Real got their man in Courtois but still need a wide attacker with Hazard still stuck in the Stamford Bridge revolving door – so now they want City slicker Raheem Sterling.
Thus “understands” (Sky Sports), but it is also “understood” no bid will be made before the transfer window closes in Europe on Friday.
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Sky reports that Los Blancos will have representatives at Wembley when England play Spain in the UEFA Nations League on September 8 to “monitor” the 23-year-old who has yet to extend his contract beyond its current two-year expiry date.
Sterling’s £175,000 a week wages is just half of Kevin de Bruyne’s and the Belgian has just signed an improved and longer deal at The Etihad, so the England man could well be up for a move to the biggest club in the world.
Or he might just stay and get a pay rise without having to move house and learn a new language.
Ex-Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure, 35, is “close to signing for a club in London” after the former Ivory Coast international passed a medical, his agent revealed on Twitter,
🔥🔥🔥 Toure @YayaToure has passed a medical in London. Yaya is close to signing a new contract.
— Dimitry Seluk (@dmitriseluk) August 28, 2018
Fans of Leyton Orient, Charlton and Barnet should stop getting too excited though as previous City boss Manuel Pelligrini now manages West Ham and they are famously in London too.
Turkish giants Fenerbahce have denied they are attempting to sign Tottenham’s French midfielder Moussa Sissoko.
(Sky Sports) reports that although the 29-year-old was not in the squad for Monday’s 3-0 win at Manchester United, Sissoko is not ready for a Turkey trot just yet.
A Fenerbahce statement said: “In the public opinion, the news that we are attempting to transfer Moussa Sissoko … does not reflect the truth. Regarding a transfer of Moussa Sissoko to our club, there has been no contact with the player, the manager or the club.”
“Does not reflect the truth.” I rather like that.
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Sissoko signed for Spurs for £30m in 2016 and has struggled to establish himself in Mauricio Pochettino’s team with far more appearances from the bench than as first choice.
Away from Jose Mourinho’s torrid time at Manchester United where it seems everybody is putting the boot in, it’s a case of the bit-part players making rather small headlines.
Arsenal’s French forward Alexandre Lacazette, 27, is considering his future at the Emirates (le10sport – in French). Liverpool winger Sheyi Ojo, 21, is set to join French side Stade de Reims on loan for the rest of the season (Mirror) and Real Sociedad want Everton’s Spanish striker Sandro Ramirez (Marca – in Spanish).
But where else can we finish today’s gossip other than with Mourinho who is either a dead man walking, there for life or about to quit depending on who you read.
The (Daily Mail) insists Manchester United players and staff believe Mourinho is one defeat away from the sack.
“They are saying Jose will be gone soon,” a “source” told Sportsmail. “Some think he’ll be out if they lose at Burnley. Others can’t see him lasting beyond September.
“We’ve seen this before and it just feels the same. The club will say it’s supporting Jose but we all saw what happened with Louis. The players are already talking about the possibility of Zidane coming in.”
The good news for Jose is that he “has not lost the dressing room.”
Truth reflector rating: Low.
The (Manchester Evening News), one publication you would expect to know rather more about the under-fire Portuguese, reports that he wanted to snap up Tottenham’s Lucas Moura to Old Trafford. Moura’s agent told them that.
Truth reflector rating: Medium.
Ex-United defender Paul Parker has told (Talksport) that Mourinho “must leave” the club following the drubbing by Spurs.
Truth reflector rating: Hearsay.
And to rub salt into the wound, Barcelona defender Gerard Pique, 31, says he will NEVER return to Manchester United after leaving the club in 2008.
However, unless Pique decides to opt out of any future Champions League clashes against the Reds, this does not necessarily reflect the truth.