Gossip: Chelsea 'on Aubameyang alert', Zlatan 'to sign new Man Utd deal', Iniesta 'to quit Barcelona'

Transfer targets: Ibrahimovic, Aubameyang, Oxlade-Chamberlain and William Carvalho
Transfer targets: Ibrahimovic, Aubameyang, Oxlade-Chamberlain and William Carvalho

“If I want to grow, I feel I need to leave. This is the question I keep on asking myself — and I don’t have an answer. I need time to think about it. If I want to grow, I surely need to leave this summer.

I am 27 and I need to grow.”

There are several striking things about this quote. The first is that it refers to a question but there is no question. The second is that it refers to needing “time” despite a clear tone of impatience. And the third is that the person making the quote really, really, really, really wants to grow.

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These are, you may have already deduced, the words of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, aka the Gabonese goal machine, aka a long-time transfer target for most of the Premier League’s top six.

And what he’s saying, essentially, is that he wants to grow.

The Sun reports that Chelsea and AC Milan have been put “on alert” by the Borussia Dortmund striker’s comments, made to the Radio Montecarlo Italy radio station.

However, the tabloid then explains that both clubs are unlikely to move for the 27-year-old because they have already signed (or are about to sign) Alvaro Morata and Nikola Kalinic respectively, adding that Aubameyang’s top choice Real Madrid are also not interested.

All of which increases the possibility that, despite his wish to grow, the Gabonese goal machine will be condemned to remain the same size, like Bernie Ecclestone.

A man who has no inadequacies about his size is Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and the big Swede is set to demonstrate his physical power by signing for Manchester United. Again.

ESPN says the 35-year-old is set to sign a new Old Trafford contract “this week”, just four months after suffering a knee ligament injury that threatened to end his career. Impressive.

Meanwhile, the “crisis” at Barcelona continues apace with Andres Iniesta the latest Nou Camp superstar revealing that he could leave Catalonia. The Mail reports that the midfield maestro is yet to agree a new contract despite having just one year to run on his current deal. At 33, however, he is unlikely to move to Paris Saint-Germain for £200m.

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Lionel Messi might though, with the Daily Record providing further details of the Argentine’s proposed world-record move to Manchester City, revealed by Yahoo Sport France yesterday.

The Scottish paper claims the player’s representatives met with City officials “in a Barcelona restaurant last week”, the tabloid sadly missing the opportunity to use the headline “Messi eaters”. Shame.

Elsewhere, Arsenal have offered Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain a new contract worth £125,000 a week to fend off interest from Chelsea (Star), Leicester City have told unsettled winger Riyad Mahrez to stay at the King Power Stadium (Leicester Mercury) are West Ham are trying to revive their flagging deal to sign Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho (Mirror). The Hammers are keen to get the transfer tied up before their relegation is mathematically confirmed.

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