GRANT MY LAST REQUEST
Arsene Wenger has been typically belligerent over the future of one Alexis Sanchez. Arsenal face the prospect of losing their best player on a free transfer when his contract expires next summer, but the club have shown no willingness to even discuss the possibility of an early sale.
According to the Daily Mirror, Sanchez himself might be about to force the issue. Simon Mullock reports that the forward is ‘ready to lodge a transfer request to get his Manchester City move’.
Sanchez, it is claimed, is ‘determined to go’, and he ‘hopes a personal plea will ensure his departure’.
Somehow, we can’t see either Sanchez making such a request to leave, nor Wenger honouring it.
AND JUST LET ME HOLD YOU
Transfer requests might not be as unseen as straight player-swap deals, but they are rare nonetheless. Not that the Daily Mirror are listening, because they believe Sanchez will be joined by another Premier League star in handing one in.
‘Philippe Coutinho will plead with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp to let him join Barcelona,’ they report. Heck, it’s Simon bloody Mullock again. He must be a good listener.
Coutinho is ‘desperate’ to join Barcelona, and ‘will sit down with Klopp to set out his reasons for wanting to join them’. Does Klopp really need it explaining to him that one of his players might want to join Barcelona?
The story does not end there. If Coutinho does get his supposed wish, Klopp has identified a potential replacement. The familiar name of Christian Pulisic is thrown into the mix.
It would be a big ask for the Dortmund winger to replace Coutinho, who Liverpool value at around £100m. It is also said that Coutinho ‘will not resort to any underhand tactics to force a move’. Barcelona have made no such agreement.
On Saturday evening, Twitter was awash with the news that Marouane Fellaini would be leaving Manchester United. It did not take long for the hopes of many a fan to be cruelly dashed.
A number of outlets in Turkey reported that Galatasaray had agreed a fee to sign the Belgian midfielder, but sources such as ESPN have since refuted the claims.
Fellaini has been included in United’s squad for the pre-season friendly against Valerenga in Oslo on Sunday. That hardly means he’s staying, but I’m simply trying to pad out this section a little bit.
AND THE REST
Barcelona will report Paris St-Germain for a breach of Uefa’s financial fair play rules if the French side meet Neymar’s 220m euros (£197m) buyout clause… If Brazil forward Neymar, 25, does leave to join PSG, Barcelona could target Atletico Madrid and France striker Antoine Griezmann, 26, as his replacement… Once a deal is done for Neymar, PSG will then lodge a £35m bid to sign Sanchez from Arsenal… Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic’s £50m move to Manchester United is being held up by disputes over potential bonus payments to the Premier League champions as part of a deal for the 28-year-old Serbia international… Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho will wait until next season to make a £90m move for Real Madrid’s 28-year-old Wales forward Gareth Bale… Everton and England midfielder Ross Barkley, 23, is wanted by six clubs, with Tottenham and Manchester City leading the race.