Things are picking up pace, folks. The Premier League season is drawing in quicker than Man United are doing any transfer dealings – yes, that quickly.
Before we get into any of the transfer tittle-tattle I need to call out some rank hypocrisy and break my general rule of pretending preseason matches on foreign soil do not exist.
Firstly, the FA have decided to fine Everton‘s Yerry Mina because he took part in an advert for gambling. Yes, folks – it’s a heinous crime after all. Oh, Everton’s sponsor? SportPesa, meaning every single time Mina steps on to a football pitch he is a walking, talking advert for gambling. Seriously, you could not make this up.
Marco Asensio picked up a season-ending-before-it-has-begun injury that might mean Zizou has to keep Gareth Bale around after all – because Dani Ceballos is that close to being loaned to Arsenal he’s been shown around the training ground.
Of course, viewers on Premier Sports who had stayed up all night to watch the match having subscribed probably won’t have seen this happen – Premier Sports’ broadcast didn’t actually work for many, many people.
And then there was dear Gerry Armstrong, commenting on the fact that Madrid were able to call on a World Cup-winning defender from their bench – France’s Raphael Varane. A great observation that from Gerry, as he completely overlooked that Arsenal had Mustafi on theirs. Yes, he has actually won a World Cup believe it or not.
The Premier Sports commentator took things to a new level (low) with Bale’s goal – those that were unfortunate enough to listen to the complete rubbish being spouted will have heard how Bale’s strike in an utterly meaningless pre-season charade that nobody will remember next week let alone in years to come was more important than his Champions League-winning goals. Again, you cannot make some of this stuff up.
But let’s get down to what we are all here for – the daftest of the daft transfer rumours doing the rounds.
Wilfried Zaha wants to leave Crystal Palace to play Champions League football and, somehow, Everton have read that as a ‘come-and-get-me’ plea and are offering Palace the full £80m in one hit. As we know, Everton need some more widemen and the last one they overspent on from Palace worked ever so well. Hang on, isn’t Bolasie still there?
Possibly crossing paths with Zaha on the way out from Everton is Idrissa Gana Guaye who heard Fabian Delph’s pleas for him to stay and decided he’d rather do the running for Neymar next season – he’ll be off to PSG and if he is really lucky, Neymar will still be there.
Tottenham are getting the taste for spending money and are still hunting down Giovanni Lo Celso and want to pair him another Argentine schemer in the shape of Pablo Dybala from Juventus. Cue throwbacks to Ossie and Ricky Villa aplenty.
Man United are still being linked to everyone and buying absolutely nobody. And, finally – Joe Hart. Remember him? He’d like to play some football next season and Sheffield United might be just daft enough to let him do it badly for them.