Thursday, 9 June 2016

Hot Football Transfer Gossip: Mourinho ‘plots £78m Pogba bid’, Liverpool ‘join Vardy race’

Boss of Goss Kevin Darling on how United's apparent persistence to land Pogba, City's view he is too expensive and a possible Anfieldian twist to Vardy-gate...
Mourinho ‘plots £78m Pogba bid
Paul Pogba
The impossible has happened: Manchester City have finally found a player who they consider too expensive.

But he’s not too expensive for Manchester United, even though he’ll cost 100 times more than they sold him for.

We’re talking, of course, about Paul Pogba, who the Mirror says is being lined up for a £78m move to Old Trafford, four years after United received £800,000 in compensation from Juventus for him.

The price tag is irrelevant, because Jose Mourinho has reportedly demanded to have the Frenchman in his midfield - and what Mourinho wants, Mourinho gets. Or at least, Ed Woodward tries his hardest to get it for him. The club employed a similar tactic with previous manager Louis van Gaal, so there is no guarantee it will be remotely successful.

Another reason United can’t be picky about the transfer fee is that it’s obvious to anyone with a passing knowledge of footballers’ brains that Pogba would rather join Barcelona or Real Madrid, because a) they’re in the Champions League and b) they’re better.

But they may not be prepared to pay £78m, as Man City evidently aren’t. The Guardian reports that United’s cross-city rivals have dropped their interest in Pogba, with Pep Guardiola of the opinion that there is better value elsewhere in the market.

The phrase “better value” is all relative, with the Mirror claiming that City are ready to offer Athletic Bilbao’s injured defender Aymeric Laporte a £120,000-a-week salary, along with meeting his £40m buyout clause.

Liverpool may try to hijack Arsenal’s £20m move for Jamie Vardy, claims the Star, which quotes a Leicester source (yes a Leicester source, not a Liverpool one) as saying the striker is a “perfect fit” for the Anfield club “because of his pace, work ethic and goal-scoring ability”. Or in other words, the fact he is good at football. You don’t need Hot Football Transfer Gossip to tell you that this whole story is completely silly.
Diego Costa wants to return to Atletico Madrid this summer, says the Metro, which would pave the way for Chelsea to launch a £31m move to Marseille’s Michy Batshuayi, says the Mirror. 
The Belgian striker has apparently snubbed West Ham because he wants to move to “a big club or a club in the Champions League”. It’s unclear whether he would include Chelsea in either of those categories.

The Blues have also apparently spoken to Roma’s Radja Nainggolan, who wants a “big pay rise” to move to Stamford Bridge (Telegraph) as well as swooping for Juventus’ 32-year-old  right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner, who is set to be made surplus to requirements by Dani Alves’ arrival in Turin (Sun).

Elsewhere, Liverpool and West Ham are interested in Barcelona’s former Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen (Mirror), Man Utd have entered the race to sign Alvaro Morata (Marca) and Stoke striker Peter Crouch has declared that he wants to become a coach - although it’s unclear whether he means in football or robot dancing (Star).