Football transfer rumours: Pogba and Lukaku to stay at Manchester United? | Football
The transfer window is full of surprises, so here’s another. It turns out that, after spending more than £400m on players already this summer, Real Madrid have no money left with which to sign Paul Pogba. Apparently this is not because they never actually wanted him in the first place and have no use for an unreliable adornment who has never been the best player in a good team. As such, Florentino Pérez must convince Zinedine Zidane to use Gareth Bale instead – once the Open is finished, of course.
Another Manchester United player who might not be on the move is Romelu Lukaku. Inter are interested in securing his services, but are not sure that he’s worth £75m. It’s now up to Ed Woodward to explain that the fee includes not just the player but the antique grand piano he carries around with him on the pitch.
Once United have not sold Pogba and Lukaku, they will get on with the equally pressing business of not buying Bruno Fernandes and Sean Longstaff. Sporting Lisbon have been told to expect an offer for Fernandes – as they have been every day for the last month – while Steve Bruce will speak to Longstaff over the next few days to convince him that there is no bed of football more piping than at Sports Direct FC. United, meanwhile, intend to sell him Marcos Rojo, Matteo Darmian and Eric Djemba-Djemba.
Elsewhere, footballing visionary Daniel Levy now appreciates that football clubs require football players. Accordingly, he will allow Spurs to break their transfer record for the second time this summer; a bid of £70m is thought to be enough to secure Giovani lo Celso from Real Betis.
Meanwhile, some 1000km away, Barcelona have noticed that with only Lionel Messi, Gerard Piqué, Antoine Griezmann, Luis Suárez and Arturo Vidal to call upon, their squad is light on colossal ego, so plan to rescue poor old little Neymar from his Parisian nightmare. An offer of £90m has been made, and a value pack of players added to it: PSG may perm two from Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembélé, Ivan Rakitic, Nelson Semedo, Samuel Umtiti and Malcolm.
PSG, meanwhile, are gearing up for another brave assault on the Champions League. Not content with snaring Ander Herrera from Man United, they would also like to pay £20m for Danny Rose, who is surplus to requirements at Tottenham; Schalke are also interested.
Across London, Arsenal are also busy, reaching an agreement with St Étienne for the purchase of William Saliba; the likelihood is that they will then loan him back to the French club so that the rest of the country can enjoy another season of Shkodran Mustafi. And this charitable inclination does not end there: the club also plan to take Dani Ceballos on loan from Real Madrid. The plan is for him to spend a year making mistakes at Arsenal’s expense, before returning to Spain for Madrid to reap the benefits.
Arsenal fans must also come to terms with losing Carl Jenkinson, who, it transpires, did not in fact leave the club four years ago. Crystal Palace fancy him as a replacement for Aaron Wan-Bissaka, but it is not yet clear how much they will demand the Gunners pay them to complete the deal.