A penny for the thoughts of the Manchester City players and staff on their way into training today. Perhaps they feel too attached to the club, or their contract, to think about leaving. Maybe Kevin De Bruyne isn’t really that arsed about playing in the Champions League. It could be that Pep Guardiola is bored of asking people to come and watch his team of superstars.
Certainly the vultures are circling. Alessandro del Piero has already been piping up how Guardiola would be “a good fit” for Juventus, the current leaders of Serie A. Raheem Sterling’s Mr 15% has spoken into the nearest journalist’s dictaphone, insisting his client “will not be distracted by any talk of transfers to any club at the moment”, which obviously, in the minds of anybody listening, has been paraphrased into how the England international is going to be very distracted by transfer rumours in the next few months. The Telegraph say City accept some players will want to leave if the ban is upheld, although The Mirror seem to think that Pep will stay, no matter what. It’s possible that nobody knows what they are talking about.
Somebody else that could be leaving Manchester is United’s Tahith Chong, who wants out at the end of his contract this summer, with Internazionale seeming like the most likely destination for the winger. The Italian club have already signed Alexis Sánchez (on loan), Ashley Young and Romelu Lukaku from Old Trafford in the past year and want to add to their attacking options, especially is Lautaro Martínez is on the move. The Argentinian striker has arguably been Inter’s best player this season, which has not gone unnoticed at Barcelona. Martínez’s release clause is reportedly £92m, with Inter only interested in negotiating if Barcelona would be willing to throw in Antoine Griezmann as part of the deal.
Manchester United are lining up a bid for Norwich’s Todd Cantwell, who has been one of the few bright sparks in recent weeks for the relegation-threatened club. Owner of one of the most excruciating dance celebrations and custodian of one of the slickest Cruyff turns in the Premier League, the midfielder would cost around £30m, as Norwich are under no pressure to sell. Liverpool are also said to be interested, with the Reds forgetting that they already own Adam Lallana.
After thrashing Newcastle 4-0 in what nobody is calling the Malcolm Macdonald Derby, Arsenal fans are bounding into work this morning with a spring in their step. And wait! More good news, if you believe £30m is decent value for Lille’s Brazilian defender, Gabriel Magalhães. The French club managed to eke out £72m from the Gunners for Nicolas Pépé and seem intent on repeating the trick with Gabriel, who recently announced on French TV that he “would love to play in the Premier League.”
And despite having a wealth of options in central midfield inclusing N’Golo Kanté, Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Ross Barkley and Mason Mount, Chelsea have decided they are going to spend £23m on Matías Vecino from Inter.