GRIEZ IS THE WORD
As far as bunnies go, Jose Mourinho is clearly not the happiest at Manchester United. The Portuguese, rightly or wrongly, feels that he has not been backed in the transfer market, and that Ed Woodward is failing to deliver his top targets.
The latest reports from Marca suggest there is some justification to the manager’s grievances. They claim that ‘the situation in the summer was a matter of United being more interested than Mourinho’.
Mourinho ‘likes the idea’ of signing Griezmann, but not at the reported price of at least £80million. Which is why United ‘will not return to the bidding’ for the Atletico Madrid forward.
This leaves Barcelona clear in the race to sign the Frenchman – although their continued pursuit of Philippe Coutiho complicates things.
And anyway, United need a full-back.
CASE FOR THE DEFENCE
In other news about Premier League clubs being a bit rubbish in the transfer market, Arsenal are still Arsenal. According to Calciomercato… well, actually, here is the entirety of the story:
‘Not Daniele Rugani, but Mehdi Benatia. According to Sky Sport, this is the goal of the Arseanl market at Juventus. For the Moroccan plant, an offer of 40 million has already arrived, sent back to the sender by the Juventus management. Benatia does not sell.’
So that’s Arsenal having a £35million bid for Juventus centre-half Mehdi Benatia rejected. Simple.
The only problem is that the story was published on Christmas Day, for the Lord Jesus Christ did check for Italian transfer bullsh*t mere hours after he was born. But quite why the Daily Star have taken a three-day old story and repackaged it is beyond us.
We finish with Arsenal, who have recovered from that £35m rejection to suffer a potential £20m blow.
The Sun report that Gunners target Abdoulaye Doucoure is expected to be offered a new five-year deal at Watford in the coming weeks. Wages of £70,000 a week would make him the club’s joint-highest earner, and could fend off interest from Arsenal and elsewhere.
The Sun claim that Doucoure, obviously compared to Patrick Vieira, could have been available for £20m otherwise. They did sign him for £5.4m two years ago, but he is now firmly their most important player.
AND THE REST
Paris St-Germain are monitoring Marouane Fellaini’s situation at United and would be keen to sign the 30-year-old midfielder on a free transfer next summer… Atletico Madrid are happy to sell winger Yannick Carrasco, 24, in the January transfer window… Chelsea failed in a bid for the Belgium international last summer but could return with a new offer… West Ham United are closing in on the signing of 23-year-old Swansea defender Alfie Mawson… Everton have made Besiktas striker Cenk Tosun, 26, their number one target in January and could pay £20m for the Turkey international… Former Sheffield Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal is being considered for Swansea’s vacant manager job… Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes 25-year-old midfielder Jack Wilshere will sign a new long-term contract if “he can meet a point of agreement financially”… Crystal Palace, Everton and Burnley are tracking Angers’ 24-year-old Cameroon striker Karl Toko Ekambi… Newcastle’s 23-year-old striker Aleksandar Mitrovic wants to leave the club.