Gossip: Only four clubs 'can afford Mbappe', Rodriguez 'desperate' to join Manchester Utd, Barcelona 'put off by Bellerin price tag'

 

Mbappe and Bellerin (left and right) are ‘too expensive but Rodriguez could be within Manchester United’s price range

Football, like life, is a fundamentally cruel dichotomy of haves and have-nots. The luxuries of the sport are enjoyed by the privileged few, such as Real Madrid and Barcelona, while the dregs are doled out among the riff-raff, such as Leyton Orient and Arsenal.

So it goes in the case of Kylian Mbappe, a player the Gunners would love to sign but never will because they simply aren’t in the right class.

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The Star claims, via the mouth of a “top” French agent named Pascal Boisseau, that there are only four teams in the universe who could possibly afford Monaco’s 18-year-old forward. They are Barca, Real, Manchester United and Manchester City. So everyone else should just forget about it and give up.

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Meanwhile, the Mail simultaneously reports that Arsene Wenger, with slightly tragic timing given what we just learned from the Star, has declared that he would really like to sign Mbappe.

“It would be hypocritical and a lie to say we’re not following him,” the Arsenal boss remarked hopefully. Aww, sometimes you just want to give Arsene a cuddle.

If it makes him feel better, Mbappe might not actually move anywhere for a while according to Boisseau, who adds, “Leaving this summer would be the worst thing that could happen to him.”

Particularly, one imagines, if he were to leave for Arsenal.

Scraped

Manchester United will undoubtedly be pleased that they somehow scraped into the aforementioned “top four clubs”, so they’re celebrating by trying to buy a couple of players from Real Madrid. (Admittedly, this is the same thing they do most days.)

The Express says the Red Devils have a “verbal agreement” with “super agent” Jorge Mendes (that’s a few steps up from a “top agent”) that James Rodriguez will move to Old Trafford this summer, with the Colombian reportedly “desperate” and also “hellbent” on moving to Manchester. He’s sounding a bit too keen there; needs to chill out.

United boss Jose Mourinho has also “held talks” with Real defender Raphael Varane about quitting the Bernabeu for Old Trafford, according to Spanish lads Don Balon.

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Back to depressing Arsenal news, and the Metro says Barcelona “remain keen” to sign their former academy right-back Hector Bellerin but have been “put off” by the rather reasonable-sounding £34m asking price. So not only are the Gunners poised to lose the 22-year-old, they might not even get loads of money for him.

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Elsewhere, Burnley defender Michael Keane will be the subject of a summer “bidding war” between Man Utd, Everton, Tottenham and Liverpool (Telegraph), Aston Villa’s French defender Jordan Amavi could be in line for a move to Italian giants Napoli (Birmingham Mail) and Shanghai Shenhua manager Gus Poyet says there is a “great possibility” that his former Chelsea team-mate John Terry will join him in China next season (Star). Maybe he is banking on JT wanting to get as far away from the UK as possible after recent sensational rumours concerning his relatives.

@darlingkevin

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