The January transfer window is heating up with teams looking to get their deals over the line before the summer. Maybe this is because of the World Cup, maybe it’s to avoid an auction forcing a player’s price to rise.
Either way, it’s causing a lot of disruption. The biggest name left in the ‘will he, won’t he leave’ list is Harry Kane.
This morning sees a report from Spain saying the striker is willing to join Real Madrid this summer.
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Harry Kane to Real Madrid
There’s a system in place when it comes to valuing players who don’t find themselves on the books of an elite Europe side. The first response is: “Because they aren’t good enough,” which seems simple enough to understand. The proof of this? “If they were that great, they wouldn’t be at ‘team x’.” After that, if a player progresses, they go up a rank. “Yeah, he’s doing alright at ‘team x’ but that’s because it’s easier to stand out in a smaller team.” The final stage is: “He can’t be truly world class until he wins major trophies season after season.”
Harry Kane is at that final stage. The one-season wonder tag is in the rubbish, as is doubting the player’s ability. The only thing holding him back from universal praise is joining one of the elite teams in football. It doesn’t matter what he achieves – or doesn’t – at Tottenham this season, the next, or in 10 years time. He simply has to move.
Remember, this is a sport where people openly questioned Lionel Messi’s achievements because Dave down the pub thought he’d struggle to score against Stoke in a midweek match if it was raining. Logic takes back seat for most arguments these days.
The good news for the transfer hungry newspapers out there is the latest on Kane’s future comes from Spain. They can finally put a price, state an interest and run with the byline: according to Spanish sources.
Be careful of your sources..
The problem with this story is the source himself: Eduardo Inda. To most of you that name won’t mean much, perhaps you’ve never heard of this Inda chap. But ask anyone in Spain, or someone who’s seen his appearances on football programmes there, and the response will be unanimous: he talks a load of waffle.
I know in the football industry there’s an unwritten rule about discrediting fellow members of the community. Even if you disagree, don’t name them specifically. However Inda is one of those people which brings the whole industry down. He’s the class clown, only invited onto these shows to be openly mocked by his peers. After the first 10-20 stories he got spectacularly wrong, the novelty begins to wear off. Every ‘EXCLUSINDA’ grows more tiresome than the last.
To name but a few he got wrong there’s Paul Pogba, Eden Hazard and Neymar to Real Madrid. In the case of Hazard he said the player was available in the summer of 2016 for just €25m! To his credit, he backtracked on his Neymar claims when documents about his move to Barcelona were leaked to his newspaper. He said Diego Simeone was joining Chelsea and later that Simeone would take over at Manchester United this summer.
His overall record is not good.
As for this story, he claims Kane has told Real Madrid he wants to join them. Tottenham, who are planning to renew Kane’s contract, are asking for 200m. When other members of the panel questioned the price and whether Florentio Perez would go that high for the player, Inda was shocked. “Are any of you Florentino Perez? No.” Inda was quickly reminded that nor was he the Real Madrid chief either.
Could Kane move to Real Madrid this summer? Sure, anything is possible. Would I more weight to the story because of this ‘exclusinda’? No.
CHANCES OF IT HAPPENING: 1/5 (based on the source)
Aymeric Laporte to Manchester City
This one seems all but done. Manchester City, fresh after licking their wounds following the Alexis Sanchez debacle, are quickly moving on to other targets. Laporte is hardly a new face on the block for City as they actually had a bid accepted for the player two years ago. They held conversations with Laporte about coming in but at the last moment he got cold feet. Maybe the pressure was too much at that time. He instead decided to commit his immediate future to Athletic.
Following the renewals of Iñaki Williams and Kepa Arrizabalaga, there was a buzz around Bilbao this week. However the loss of Laporte would be a blow but not as significant as it would’ve been in 2016. Yeray Alvarez is on the verge of a comeback after having surgery to remove a cancerous lump last June. Unai Nuñez, at just 20 years old, is proving himself to be capable at this level too and is already a regular in the XI.
If truth be told, Laporte hasn’t been as good since that failed move to City. A crisis of confidence, common in young players, saw him struggle to deal with the pressure upon his shoulders. Maybe it was down to regret, who knows? This season he’s definitely improved but €70m is a good deal for Athletic. Plus if Laporte improves as much as John Stones has under Pep Guardiola, City will end up as winners too. Bar a last minute change of heart, this could be confirmed as early as today.
CHANCES OF IT HAPPENING: 4.9/5
READ MORE: PSG fans love Neymar insists Emery
Nacho Monreal to Athletic Club
One of the options on the table to replace Laporte in Athletic’s squad is Nacho Monreal. The Spanish left back, who has been mainly playing at centre back this season, is a long-term target of Athletic. But with €70m to spend they might have the funds to make it happen this time.
The other side of the coin is Arsenal’s reluctance to lose someone who is key to making their three-man defence work. He might be 32 next month but that shouldn’t undervalue his importance to the team. In the four matches Monreal’s missed in the league this season, Arsenal only won once and failed to keep a clean sheet in any of them.
Arsene Wenger tends to usher out the 30+ brigade in favour of younger options but losing Monreal mid-season would seem drastic. The player would like to finish his career in Spain but isn’t going to push for a move either. He’s happy at Arsenal and moving now could harm his outside chance of making Spain’s World Cup squad. Maybe one to look at again in the summer.
CHANCES OF IT HAPPENING: 1/5
Roque Mesa and Sandro Ramirez to Sevilla
Two former LaLiga stars could be on the brink of loan moves back to Spain. Roque Mesa failed to convince either Paul Clement or Carlos Carvalhal that he could be the key to turning around Swansea’s fortunes. The moustache-sporting midfielder was a crowd favourite at Las Palmas but his adaption to life in England isn’t going to plan. Admittedly, Swansea aren’t an easy side to slot into but even he’ll admit he hasn’t shown what he’s capable of in the Premier League yet.
Sandro Ramirez was one of the biggest success stories in LaLiga last season. He was released by Barcelona but went on to score 16 goals in 31 appearances for struggling Malaga. His goal return and overall form saw many of Spain’s top teams take a look at him. In the end the chance to prove himself in the Premier League was too good to turn down. But, like Mesa, Sandro has been unable to replicate his LaLiga form in England.
The likely destination for the duo is Sevilla. Under new management themselves, they are desperate to add more creativity and goals to the side. Mesa and Sandro are fine talents and both would benefit from six months in LaLiga. As of yet, there’s no word on whether there are clauses to make these deals permanent ones in the summer. If not, it allows both Swansea and Everton to either use them again next season or sell for a greater fee in the summer than if they did so now.
CHANCES OF IT HAPPENING: 4/5