OH HOW we’ve missed you Mourinho.
The Special One is well known for doing things his own special way, and that extends from the touchline to the transfer market, but this week’s work will take some beating.
Despite a medical being completed and a transfer fee being arranged between Anzhi Makhachkala and Tottenham Hotspur for midfielder Willian, an 11th hour bid by Chelsea this week saw the Brazilian winger change his mind and agree a move to Stamford Bridge.
This is despite Chelsea owning more attacking midfielders than you can shake a Oscar, Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Andre Schurrle-shaped stick at – a strange move it seemed at first.
Rumours were rife that the swoop would allow Mata to become the bargaining chip needed to prise his top target Wayne Rooney away from Manchester United – which could still be a possibility.
But now it appears that Gareth Bale’s mooted £93m move to Real Madrid is on hold as Daniel Levy won’t let Bale leave without a replacement in the bag.
So the Willian move has messed with both Chelsea rivals Spurs and former employer Madrid’s dealings, and made his own business look much more likely too – talk about two birds with one stone, Jose.
DENIS Law and Sir Bobby Charlton could help keep Wayne Rooney at Manchester United.
Since May, rumours have been rife that the Red Devils’ England international is looking to leave the club – with Arsenal, Barcelona and Paris St Germain among names linked with the striker.
But new Manchester United boss has enlisted the help of the club’s greats to give Wayne Rooney the motivation to remain at Old Trafford.
David Moyes said: “It is interesting to see Wayne is only 50 goals behind Sir Bobby Charlton and 40 behind Denis Law.
“We are looking to see how we get Wayne Rooney to get those goals which are going to challenge the likes of Bobby Charlton and Denis Law. I am more than happy to work with him to get success.”
Charlton remains United’s most prolific goalscorer, with 249. Law is second on the list with 237. Rooney ended last season with 197, behind only Jack Rowley in addition to the pair Moyes wants the Croxteth-born player to catch.
He added: “When I went down to the training ground, I looked at the pictures of the legends that have played for this club – I could see George Best, Denis Law, Bobby Charlton, Roy Keane and I thought Wayne isn’t too far away from that.”
ON THE RADAR – Zlatan Ibrahimovic
CURRENT SIDE – Paris St Germain
POSSIBLE PREM TEAMS – Chelsea, Manchester City
THE LOWDOWN – News today is that Man Utd striker Wayne Rooney could be snaffled up for a cool £40m by PSG – leaving Sweden’s finest Zlatan Ibrahimovic free to move on.
The nomadic forward has long terrorised defences around Europe but never made it to the Premier League.
But should he be on the move, the rumour mill has ground out the names of Chelsea and Manchester City as potential suitors – although a move back to Italy and AC MIlan is also on the cards, say the papers.
AN ARTICLE published and then removed from Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley’s business site said his club are talking to Rooney’s agent.
Outgoing Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson revealed recently that Wayne Rooney has handed in a transfer request.
A move to Europe has been suggested as the England striker’s most likely move – but SportsDirect reported “the Magpies have already sounded out Rooney’s agent over a potential move, with United keen to offload the 27-year-old,” adding: “Rooney is seen as a perfect candidate to boost the Magpies’ chances of a top-four tilt next season – and is seen as a man who will be hero-worshipped at St James’ Park.”
The article has now been replaced with an apology.
BRITISH bulldog Wayne Rooney is a target for French moneybags Paris St Germain, according to reports.
The team are planning to beef up their attack by fielding Rooney alongside Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic next season, and are planning to pounce after Rooney’s talisman status at Old Trafford was disrupted by the arrival of Dutch striker Robin van Persie this season.
Apparently the French club is planning “a monster punt” to land their man this summer.
CONGRATULATIONS to Sir Alex Ferguson, Robin van Persie, Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney, little Tom Cleverley and all the rest of the gang – turns out, with 12 games still to play, you’ve only gone and won the Premier League.
Well, bookmakers Paddy Power seem to think so – as they’ve now started paying out on Manchester United’s 20th league title.
The bookies were so confident of it they started doing so before the match against Everton – which they duly won 2-0.
A Paddy Power spokesperson said: “The fat lady might not be singing yet but she’s definitely getting warmed up.
“We can’t see United letting their lead slip and, with Real Madrid to come midweek, we thought we’d take some of the pressure off Fergie and give punters an early payday.”
ONE fact a lot of people seem to have forgotten about last season is that Manchester City were seconds – mere seconds – from coming second to Manchester United.
The gap between the two teams after months of swapping the top spot was miniscule, so this season will come down to who has progressed best in the close season.
Manchester City haven’t recruited so far, unless you count Carlos Tevez’s return – but goals weren’t the problem for the Citizens last season…
However United have added the creativity with Kagawa and fit-again Cleverly it lacked to unleash it attacking wealth of Rooney, Nani, Young, Valencia et al
Add to this defensive solidity from a returning Vidic, and possibly last year’s player of the season Robin van Persie, I think the Red Devils will be top of the pile come the end of play.
In addition, I can’t see past Chelsea and Arsenal for the remaining top four Champions League places – although Spurs will be pushing once again and Liverpool will run it closer than they did last season.