Liverpool have been widely congratulated for standing up to those big bullies Barcelona and keeping Philippe Coutinho at Anfield – triumphantly bringing him back to the side for yesterday’s fantastic 1-1 draw against Burnley.
But sadly for the Reds, these bullies don’t give up. They’re coming back for Sadio Mane.
The Sunday Mirror reports that Barca, sadistic monsters that they are, enjoyed chasing Coutinho around Merseyside so much that they want to do it all again next year – but this time with his Senegalese team-mate
And if Jurgen Klopp thought trying to fend off one bully was difficult, he should head to the gym and start bulking up now – because Mane will also apparently be simultaneously targeted by Real Madrid and Juventus.
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A price tag for Mane is not mentioned, but if this summer is anything to go by it will probably rise exponentially with every bid that Liverpool reject until he eventually costs more than the UK’s Brexit bill.
At least Liverpool are set to make a tidy profit on a player the Mirror says they “snapped up from Southampton three years ago for just £11.8m”. Funny, don’t remember that.
Guardiola wants Lewandowski reunion
Manchester City are more comfortable assuming the role of the bully than the bulled, and consecutive 5-0, 4-0 and 6-0 victories have made them so insufferably cocky that they are now planning to target a fellow big boy.
The Sunday Mirror, again, says the Citizens are on “transfer alert” after Robert Lewandowski expressed his disgruntlement with life at Bayern Munich.
The door has reportedly “been left open” for City boss Pep Guardiola to “rekindle his relationship” with the 29-year-old Polish striker in January, which all sounds rather sexy. City haven’t exactly been lacking goals recently, but Pep apparently wouldn’t say no to having a big man up top.
The Mirror adds that Lewandowski would actually prefer a move to Real Madrid, but “there is no suggestion the feelings are reciprocated”. What a surprisingly melancholy end to that tale.
There is also an interesting twist in Manchester United’s pursuit of Gareth Bale, who the Sunday Express says was advised to leave Real Madrid for Old Trafford this summer by team-mate Luka Modric as a way of “reviving his career”. OK, it wasn’t that interesting.
Toni Kroos on fans booing Gareth Bale: "Football is football but when players are whistled it doesn’t help anyone people must realise this." pic.twitter.com/8szkj3ls7O
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) September 16, 2017
Elsewhere, Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland says it is “nice” to be linked with a move to Man Utd (Mail on Sunday), Tottenham’s star midfielder Dele Alli is set to sign a bumper new contract worth £100,000 a week (Sun on Sunday) and Man City’s star midfielder Kevin de Bruyne is set to sign a bumper new contract worth £200,000 a week (Sunday Mirror). And that’s why Kyle Walker doesn’t play for Spurs anymore.