Manchester City already have three of the world’s seven most expensive defenders on their books – John Stones (£47.5m), Eliaquim Managala (£32m) and Nicolas Otamendi (£31.5m) – and it’s fair to say they haven’t got great value for money so far.
So will this dissuade them from spending record fees on defenders in the future? Of course not; it just makes them want to do it more.
The Telegraph reports that Pep Guardiola is prepared to splash out a “world record defender fee” to bring Juventus centre-back Leonardo Bonucci to the Etihad next season. That would mean paying the Italians in excess of £50m for a man who turns 30 in a couple of weeks.
Silliest of all, the paper reveals that the Premier League club were “put off” signing Bonucci last summer because Juve’s £50m valuation was deemed too high. A season of watching City’s defence has evidently changed Guardiola’s opinion on that one.
Chelsea and Manchester United are also said to be keen on Bonucci, although they wouldn’t fancy taking on City in a bidding war.
Arsenal aren’t getting involved in any of that nonsense (£35m on Shkodran Mustafi was more than enough, thank you very much) and are instead focusing on defenders who don’t cost anything.
The Mirror says Arsene Wenger believes he has “won the race” to sign Schalke left-back Sead Kolisanic on a free transfer, although he has believed this for a while now and the transfer still hasn’t been confirmed.
As one Gunners full-back (probably) arrives, another departs – although not for anywhere near £50m. The Mirror says much-maligned right-back Carl Jenkinson will be “allowed to leave” the Emirates (that’s a nice way of putting it) in the summer and is a target for newly promoted Brighton and soon-to-be-promoted Newcastle.
Manchester United should demand Gareth Bale from Real Madrid if the Spanish giants try to sign David de Gea, according to former Red Devils assistant manager Rene Meulensteen (Talksport). With those kinds of audacious ideas it’s a shame the Dutchman didn’t get the top job at Old Trafford.
Elsewhere, Tottenham will refuse to sell Eric Dier to Man Utd this summer (Express), West Brom fans do not want the Baggies to sign Chelsea captain John Terry, according to a poll conducted by the Birmingham Mail, and Chinese side Tianjin Quanjian have revealed they are “working on a deal” to sign Diego Costa from the Blues (Mail). Or in other words, repeatedly adding another thousand quid to his weekly wage package until he says yes.