Pep Guardiola is far too cool to announce specifically which players he intends to buy in the next transfer window, but is it possible that he might cunningly get his mate Xavi to do it for him?
The answer is yes, judging by the Sun’s story about Manchester City launching a world record bid for Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli this summer, based entirely on comments from Pep’s former Barcelona colleague.
“Pep Fancies Tasty Dele” declares the tabloid in what is presumably some kind of clever pun, although Hot Football Transfer Gossip can’t work out what it is despite staring at the headline for several minutes.
Fancies tasty? Is that something? Tasty Dele? Is the double meaning supposed to be deli, as in delicatessen? Because that, of course, wouldn’t work as a delicatessen itself can’t be tasty; only the food it sells can be tasty. And also, Sun readers don’t go to delis because they tend to be full of whiney Remainers with beards and glasses, so they wouldn’t even know what a deli was – especially if it was spelt Dele.
But anyway, Xavi says, “I speak with Pep, and I know he thinks it is important to sign English players.” Then he goes on to describe Alli as “one of the best players in Europe” and adds that he is “the sort of player that Pep likes”.
OK Xavi, you don’t need to give any more hints – it’s clear that Pep definitely fancies tasty Dele.
But does he also fancy tasty Kyle? Not Jeremy, but Walker, Alli’s Spurs team-mate who the Telegraph says will “reassess his Tottenham future” at the end of the season after being “disappointed” that he was dropped for the FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea.
As well as Man City, the right-back is also reportedly a target for Manchester United and Bayern Munich, and the paper points out that all three of these clubs would be prepared to pay Walker “much more” than the measly £70,000 a week he earns at White Hart Lane.
Another English player Guardiola has been linked with in the past is Jack Wilshere, but it now transpires that the Arsenal midfielder is considering a move to China. And you thought Bournemouth was out in the sticks.
The Star says the 25-year-old “could be open to a mega-money move” to the Far East if his talks about signing a Gunners contract extension “go badly”. Like if he sparks up a fag during the negotiations, for example.
Elsewhere, Bournemouth are plotting a £25m offer for Chelsea duo Asmir Begovic and Nathan Ake (Mirror), Newcastle and West Brom are vying to sign Southampton forward Jay Rodriguez (Mail) and the Baggies are also keen on Sporting Lisbon midfielder William Carvalho (Telegraph), which he won’t be happy about because he was previously getting linked with the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool.
Finally, in today’s Man Utd round-up, crocked Zlatan Ibrahimovic has “accepted” his Old Trafford career is over will move to Major League Soccer (Mirror), Jose Mourinho is “confident” of signing Valencia’s 20-year-old midfielder Carlos Soler for £25m (Star) and Paris Saint-Germain defender Serge Aurier is set to snub Barcelona to sign for the Red Devils (Express). He always did seem a bit nutty.