By Alan Duffy
Transfer Balls: Rounding up the day’s football tittle-tattle so you don’t have to…
Jose Mourinho Eyes Real Madrid Triple Swoop
The Metro have gone big with their transfer stories this morning, claiming that champions elect Chelsea are about to launch the mother of all swoops for the £130m rated Real Madrid trio of Gareth Bale, Raphael Varane and Jesé Rodriguez. That £130m is broken down into £75 for Bale, £40m for classy French defender Varane and £15m for young Spanish striker Jesé.
Bale has endured a comparatively tough season in Spain but one wonders just how keen Carlo Ancelotti would be to sell the Welsh wizard while Varane is now looking every inch the world-class defender. 22-year-old Jesé has netted two goals in 14 La Liga appearances this season but may well be on the look-out for a move away from the Spanish capital in order to get more playing time. Still, this seems a bit pie-in-the-sky for me.
Saints Swoop For ‘Little Pea’
Already linked with a move to West Ham, Real Madrid’s in-form striker Javier Hernandez is now in Southampton’s sights, according to the Metro. The Mexican hitman, on loan from Manchester United, has endured a tough time at the Bernebeu. However, that goal in the Champions League semi-final has kickstarted his season in Spain, which has alerted a number of Premier League sides.
The ‘Little Pea’ has been told by Louis van Gaal that he has no future at Old Trafford, and with Real Madrid unlikely to stump up the requisite £7.5m for a permanent deal, a move to East London could well happen.
Liverpool Enter Race For Depay
With Manchester United looking a shoe-in to secure the services of Dutch man-of-the-moment Memphis Depay, the Telegraph (via the Liverpool Echo) have added Liverpool to the mix, claiming that Brendan Rodgers is interested in usurping the Red Devils for the PSV star.
When asked about his intentions for the 21-year-old Depay, Rodgers responded: “I can’t confirm either way – you know me, in terms of speculation of players The kid is a very talented player, of course. But I wouldn’t like to confirm either way.” So that clears that up. Expect the Dutchman to still make the move to Old Trafford, however.
Madrid Ready To Take The Mikel
We’ve already heard that Jose Mourinho is (apparently) planning to launch a megabucks triple swoop in Madrid. Well, according to ESPN, one Chelsea player could be moving in the opposite direction, with Blues’ squad man John Obi Mikel the subject of a shock swoop from the La Liga giants. The Nigerian has fallen down the pecking order in recent seasons at Stamford Bridge and could provide a more physical midfield option for the Spaniards. The 28-year-old Mikel has struggled to get playing time with the Blues this season and will be well known to former Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti.
While this one does seem a bit of a long shot, remember Real have previous for odd buys from the Premier League – remember Thomas Gravesen? Or Julien Faubert? Still, this one looks dubious to say the least.
Sassy Bolasie Eyed By Wenger
Back to the very busy Metro again, who tell us that Arsene Wenger is keen on Crystal Palace winger Yannick Bolasie. The DR Congo attacker has been in outstanding form for the Eagles this season, with his power and pace attracting a lot of admiring glances.
While Arsenal are well stocked on the wings, with Theo Walcott’s future at the Emirates still uncertain and Lukas Podolski out the door once his Inter Milan loan spell ends, an extra wide attacking option does look right up Wenger’s street. Still, view this one with a lot of caution.
The best/worst of the rest:
Former Manchester United flop Bebe is being linked with a move to Championship side Reading, Tottenham are (once again) reported to be in for Marseille winger Florian Thauvin while Real Sociedad boss David Moyes is keen on Real Madrid midfielder Asier Illarramendi.