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Transfer Views: Mbappe, Van Dijk and United's party boy pursuit

Transfer Views: Mbappe, Van Dijk and United's party boy pursuit

Mohamed Salah to Liverpool

Here’s a bit of a novelty: a transfer rumour that looks like it might actually happen. And it’s a difficult one to be snarky about (but we’ll do our best). Mohamed Salah is a good player who’s had a successful spell in Italy, notching 29 goals and 17 assists in two Serie A seasons for Roma. But this isn’t his first venture into the Premier League.

He failed miserably after joining Chelsea in 2013 with just two goals in 13 league appearances across an 18-month period. That’s hardly encouraging for Liverpool fans hoping he’s not the next Juan Cuadrado, Stevan Jovetic or Alberto Aquilani.

Oh, and he’s Egyptian, so even if he does pan out he’ll be jetting off to the African Cup of Nations with Sadio Mane every two years. Not ideal.

James Rodriguez to Manchester United

The Antoine Griezmann dream is dead. The Frenchman will stay with Atletico this summer because – as he rather modestly puts it – “it would be a big blow” for him to leave during their transfer ban.

So United need a new Galactico to chase, and they can’t even be bothered to leave Madrid to find one. James Rodriguez is their man, apparently, and he’s available after being deemed not good enough to even figure in Real’s Champions League final squad. This is a clear case of buying the name and not the player.

The Colombian had a great World Cup in 2014, but hasn’t had a great season in La Liga, with just 13 starts. A renowned party boy who’s been in trouble with Zinedine Zidane for turning up late to training, we’re sure he’ll get on well with an easy-going manager like Jose Mourinho.

Kylian Mbappe to Arsenal

First the £40,000,001 offer for Luis Suarez, and now this. Arsenal have furthered their reputation as the transfer market’s biggest blunderers with an £87m offer for Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe.

On the surface, it’s a move that shows real intent and conviction from the Gunners after a poor season. The problem is, Real Madrid had already had a bigger offer rejected, and there’s no real reason for Mbappe to leave the Champions League semi-finalists to join a Europa League club.

Arsenal’s offer screams: “See, Alexis? See, Mesut? We really do mean business this season!” It’s a bid made for PR reasons by a club with an image problem, and with no hope of actually signing the player.

The sooner Arsene Wenger gets down to pursuing realistic targets – Riyad Mahrez and Alexandre Lacazette come to mind – the better for Arsenal.

Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool (or Manchester City. Or United. Or Chelsea)

Liverpool are the latest club to be definitely, absolutely, 100 per cent signing Virgil van Dijk. The 25-year-old was excellent for Southampton last season, and betting has been suspended on the Reds making him their new centre-back.

Van Dijk’s agent has been the summer’s busiest man so far. He’s played with more clubs than Rory McIlroy. As the list of teams who are interested in the Dutchman grows, so too do his value and his wage demands.

We look forward to betting being suspended on his £60m, £250,000-a-week move to Manchester City next week.

Eden Hazard to Real Madrid

A serious injury to your star player is never really good news. For Chelsea, though, Eden Hazard’s broken ankle isn’t necessarily a disaster. Yes, the Belgian will miss the entirety of the Blues’ pre-season, and probably some of the Premier League campaign as well. But at least that should put off Real Madrid for the summer.

The European champions were lurking again this week, eyeing a player who has long been one of Zidane’s favourites, and who has flirted with them publicly in the past. This injury should ensure their gaze averted for now, though.

Reports that Antonio Conte pushed Hazard down the stairs remain very much unconfirmed.





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Jack Green
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