I mean, where do you really start today? We have last-minute gazumpings. We have absolutely mental transfer deals that a 5-year-old would laugh at. We have managers playing down their team’s chances this season. We have directors wooing their new manager with talk of building a new club. Frankly, it is all going on.
We shall start at the beginning, which is often the best place to start.
With La Liga mourning the loss of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus, Serie A are feeling very, very good about themselves. So good, in fact, they reckon they can do it all again. This time it is Inter who think the impossible might just be possible and they are lining up a hilarious £622m bid for Lionel Messi, all alone at Barcelona wondering how he will get through the days without being compared to his old mucker. That fee is Messi’ release clause so obviously, it is going to happen. Oh, you want evidence? Pah. Inter’s main sponsor Pirelli said that they hope Inter make a big signing this summer and that, of course, Messi would be interesting. As I said, obviously happening.
Real Madrid are prepared to forget the last 25 minutes of the World Cup Final and make a move for Hugo Lloris. Contractually, I believe Real Madrid are obliged to make a move for every Premier League goalkeeper over the next five years so Joe Hart had better sit by the phone.
Jose Mourinho might have been playing down the need for Manchester United to actually challenge Manchester City this season, but he is still keen to spend the money that could well increase expectation. He is fighting it out with Maurizio Sarri down in London over Leverkusen forward Leon Bailey and Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara. Oh, and don’t forget Croatia’s new star man Ante Rebic. Does he need these players? Probably not, but hey.
Peppy G is also playing down Manchester City’s chances this season, though his playing down is around breaking more records whilst winning things rather than just winning things. Having missed out on Jorginho he is 100% not interested in Juventus’ Miralem Pjanic to add yet another ball-playing midfielder to his ever-growing stable.
Frank Lampard seems keen to damage his managerial rep early doors by buying Ipswich’s Martyn Waghorn for £8m. Easy there, Frank. You don’t have to spend it all at once.
Lisbon Wolves, or Sporting Wolverhampton or even Porto Wolves FC are making steady progress this summer. They’ve snapped up Monaco’s Joao Moutinho for a mere £5m. I wonder who brokered that deal. I tell you what though, Wolves will be decent to watch this season.
Bournemouth have grown so much as a club that they are shelling out £10m for a left back in Leganes’ Diego Rico. My word, times have changed.
Everton have done it, nudging Richarlison over the line for £40m (£10m less than was being reported but still quite pricey in our view over here). The Brazilian scored 5 in 12 at the start of last season for Marco Silva’s Watford so big things will be expected at that price – a bit like big things were expected of Gylfi, Theo and Wayne last season. Everton to be in a relegation battle? Don’t bet against it. Just so we can see Big Sam on all our TV screens once again.
Manuel Pellegrini has told us all a little bit more about why he swapped China for an athletics stadium and it’s not just to do with his massive pay packet. Manuel claims that David Sullivan has given him ‘complete control’ and that the owner also wants to ‘build a new club’. Nobody really knows what that means but what we do know is that Sullivan is, traditionally, a teller of porky-pies when it comes to running a football club. Good luck Manuel, many have tried before you.
Aston Villa have, probably rightly, assumed that there is no way Bobby Martinez could have got Belgium to 3rd place in the FIFA World Cup 2018 himself so the only logical conclusion is that Thierry Henry is a managerial-genius-in-waiting. Therefore, they are prepared to bin off Steve Bruce, massively experienced at getting teams out of the Championship, and bring in Thierry Henry, massively experienced at not being a manager. It’s nice to see Villa’s new investment being spent wisely on severance.