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Football transfer rumours: João Moutinho to Manchester United?

3rd July 2012

Today’s fluff is hoping it’s been in heaven for half an hour

There is an uncharacteristic lack of conviction from the Sun this morning as it tentatively reveals that Sir Alex Ferguson “could be closing in on” the £25m-rated Portugal midfielder João Moutinho. “Could”, like “borborygmus”, is not a word you often see in the Sun and immediately makes us question the copperbottomedness of this story, since we know that Sir Alex “could” be thinking about appointing Kenny Dalglish as his No2 or conferring new legitimacy on the wearing of wigs by unabashedly appearing on sidelines next season in a tousled blond number.

While he’s in Portugal, Ferguson could also snap up the Benfica midfielder Axel Witsel, who plays as his name suggests, offering as much axe and wit. The rugged Belgian could, then, start a brawl, as Chelsea want him too.

It promises to be a particularly busy summer for Brendan Rodgers, whose first task could be to fend off a Juventus bid for Luis Suárez. The Daily Mail explains that the Italian champions “are preparing a bid” for the striker, leaving it as read that the first stage of such preparations is to tell the Daily Mail all about it. Liverpool, meanwhile, are set to go shopping in Newcastle again despite what happened last time they tried that, secure in the knowledge that the £7m release clause in Demba Ba’s contract should prevent them from completely losing the run of themselves. They won’t get their preferred goalkeeping target so cheap, however, as Lyon’s Hugo Lloris is also being courted by Arsenal and Milan.

Arsenal, meanwhile, are planning to hold what the Mail describes as “crunch talks” with Robin van Persie this week, though there is no indication as to whether they will be crunchier than the talks they had with him last week or as crunchy as the talks they will have with him next week and the week after, and so on until they lose him on the last day of August.

André Villas-Boas’s first move as the Spurs manager could be to bid £10m for Chelsea frustrator Daniel Sturridge. His next move, presumably, will be to teach the player when to shoot and when to pass. It is believed that AVB’s expert interpersonal skills could be the key to getting through to the striker. Tom Huddlestone may not be around to see how that goes, as Martin Jol wants to bring the midfielder to Fulham as a replacement for Danny Murphy.

Marseille are considering making themselves especially interesting to monitor next season by hiring Fabrizio Ravanelli as their manager. Currently a coach with Juventus, the former Middlesbrough diva is said to feature on a two-man shortlist with Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Lucien Favre.

Marseille are without a manager because Didier Deschamps has left and there is no clue yet as to where DD will rock up again, as he has turned down the chance to be the France manager. And so, according to today’s L’Equipe, has Arsène Wenger.

Clever Ashley Cole does not need tea leaves, kauri shells or crystal balls to see the future: all he needs is a copy of the reports linking Chelsea with a £4m bid for the 16-year-old Southampton left-back, Luke Shaw.

Newcastle, meanwhile, have Twente Twente vision, as they plan to sign two players from the Dutch club, starting with the defender Douglas and followed by the striker Luuk de Jong, although they may want to hurry up on that as the German media claim De Jong is on the brink of signing for Mönchengladbach.

Finally, Real Madrid need to get their finances in a semblance of order and are hoping that some up and coming new club, or perhaps an ailing old club, or anyone at all really, will stump up no less than £25m for Kaká.


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