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Inches

Gossip Column Inches – Part 1

With only a fortnight to go until the Premier League transfer window SLAMS SHUT the rumour mull is cranking into overdrive. So with that in mind it is time to revive my gossip column debunking series (albeit under a different name), now yes I should have probably started this last month but there was the small matter of the World Cup to watch.

So it’s Saturday, I’ve just got back from the pub and I’m bored so what better time to cut through the transfer chaff. As always gossip in normal font, my thoughts in bold.

 

Chelsea have made Everton’s England international goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, 24, their main target should current number one Thibaut Courtois, 26, leave for Real Madrid this summer. (Sky Sports) The World Cup transfer effect is in full swing, they always say never buy anyone off of a good tournament, advise Manchester United may have to also heed if below is true.

Manchester United will have to pay Leicester a world record £80m for a defender to bring England’s Harry Maguire, 25, to Old Trafford. (Star) Don’t get me wrong, Harry Maguire’s stock has certainly risen after performances in Russia but if £80m is the price tag then the football transfer market is broken and I don’t think anyone has kept the receipt.

Manchester United will sell Marcos Rojo and Matteo Darmian, 28 to fund a bid for Maguire. (Mirror) Both fringe players as Manchester United are well stocked in both departments, could be a nice little earner if the price is right for either or both.

Wolves are targeting Argentine international Rojo, 28, as Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho begins a defensive reshuffle. (Independent) An interesting move considering Marcos Rojo is not Portuguese.

Maurizio Sarri is ready to hand Eden Hazard the Chelsea captaincy in an attempt to keep the 27-year-old at the club. (Express) I’m not sure an armband will be enough to keep him at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea will continue to insist on a world record fee of £200m from Real Madrid for Hazard. (Mail) Although the question that needs to be asked is whether Real Madrid can find another £200m this Summer, considering they sold Cristiano Ronaldo for half of that then it should not be too hard a task.

Crystal Palace are keen to sign striker Danny Ings but will have to meet Liverpool’s £20m valuation for the 26-year-old. (Guardian) Danny Ings has had rotten luck over the last few years what with a catalogue injuries, his talents deserve a good run at a Premier League team. Hopefully this is the season in which it comes to fruition.

Leicester City, Newcastle United and Southampton have also made bids for Reds striker Ings. (Times – subscription required) With supposedly three other teams in the hunt, as long as he can stay fit there will at least be some light at the end of the tunnel.

Juventus defender Daniele Rugani has agreed a move to Chelsea but the 23-year-old Italian international’s agent says the Serie A club have no desire to sell. (London Evening Standard) It’s going to need Juventus to green light this before anything happens, don’t think Rugani has enough clout to force a move.

Crystal Palace remain interested in signing Senegalese midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate, 28, with West Ham listening to offers of around £10m for the player. (Sky Sports) Looks like Crystal Palace are Chieking him out (sorry)

Chelsea’s Brazilian winger Willian, 29, is poised to join Manchester United for £66m with the Old Trafford club also interested in the Blues’ 32-year-old England defender Gary Cahill. (Express via Tuttosport) Cheap in today’s market, although whether this is the press playing up the Mourinho – Willian link remains to be seen.

Chelsea are considering keeping club-record signing Alvaro Morata, 25, this season and have yet to lodge a bid for Juventus forward Gonzalo Higuain, 30. (London Evening Standard) I think they’d be better off keeping Morata for at least one more season, whether that is the case we will have to wait and see.

Besiktas are in talks with Liverpool over signing Belgian goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, 30, while Serb midfielder Lazar Markovic, 24, may also be leaving Anfield after being targeted by Greek club Olympiakos. (Mail) Besiktas today, Barcelona yesterday Mignolet looks like he is demand, does he want first team football or just to sit on the bench. That is the question

Manchester United have told Ivory Coast international defender Eric Bailly, 24, he is not for sale. (Manchester Evening News) No bailing out here.

Stoke manager Gary Rowett has dismissed speculation linking England goalkeeper Jack Butland, 25, with a summer move to Chelsea. (Star) Well Chelsea can’t buy both Pickford and Butland so one of the tabloids is lying. What a surprise.

Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha, 25, posted an ambiguous message on social media prompting speculation over his future, with Everton and Borussia Dortmund keen on the winger who is valued at £60m by the Eagles. (Mail) If someone finds £60m he’ll be off, if it was me I’d be hoping for a move to Dortmund.

Fellow London side Chelsea also have an interest in Zaha, though, and are odds-on to sign the player as they ramp up their transfer activity. (Star) Odds on, but anyone who bets on transfers is a mug in my opinion.

Barcelona will hold talks with West Ham over the weekend about a possible £600,000 deal for the Hammers’ 18-year-old Portuguese winger Domingos Quina. (Sky Sports) Great taste for Domingos.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has accused Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos of behaving like a “wrestler” in the Spain side’s victory over the Reds in last season’s Champions League final. (Guardian) Top, top shithousing there Martin.

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