Mock the Moment

Jose Mourinho has already had a few weeks to stew over the fact that Manchester United were a distant second best to their City neighbours in this season’s Premier League. He turned to Rui Faria yesterday and said, “Rui, what we need is a new left-back – don’t you agree?” Rui, clearly not giving two hoots as he is off next week nodded and said, “yes boss, whatever you think”.

How has Jose reached such a conclusion? Well, Peppy G spanked the best part of €100m on two new left-backs last season (not to mention another €50m on a right-back) and knocked up 100 points easily enough so surely there is no shame in copying? But here is the twist. Jose doesn’t want a left-back that has been picked for World Cup duty, oh no. That would tire them up. Therefore Scotland and Celtic’s Kieran Tierney is being looked up and down and very much judged and Juventus and Brazil full-back Alex Sandro, not even in Brazil’s top two left-sided stoppers, is also near the top of the list.

To balance the books, as if Jose really cares about such trifle, Luke Shaw, Matteo Darmian and Daley Blind will all be sacrificed.

With Thomas Tuchel being announced as the new man in Paris, Antonio Conte has started to brood more than usual. He wanted the £10m a year that was on offer. To make it worse, Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri has made it quite clear he fancies a crack at finishing second wearing blue again next season but this time in England. Could he and Conte arrange some kind of European Erasmus exchange for 12 months and see how they get on?

The Poch wants Tottenham Hotspur to be “brave” in the transfer market this summer and if they are not then he is off – but to where is anybody’s guess right now. Being “brave” equates to spending “big” and that equates to a bid for Napoli’s Jorginho. The Italian Brazilian could well be one of the most sought-after players this summer which guarantees he will be a big let down when he does finally arrive.

Daniel Levy is not that brave though and one player in means there are some books somewhere looking very much unbalanced and that cannot be allowed to happen. Therefore, Moussa Dembele will be touted around China and Victor Wanyama might tag along for the hell of it.

Once again, Riyad Mahrez believes he has played his last game for Leicester City but what they really said to him was that he has played his last game for Claude Puel. Puel is still expected to take his place on the managerial scrapheap in the coming weeks.

Mahrez, however, believes he is off to Manchester City (for real, this time). There is talk of him being joined by Crystal Palace’s Wilf Zaha, known for doing so well in Manchester last time. Zaha said that Palace is his “home” and “there is no reason to leave”. Clearly the contract from City hasn’t been waved under his nose yet.

Sham Allafarce is expected to be relieved of his duties at Everton by the end of the week and will take his seat next to Claude. Whether Allardyce decides to retire again or not is unknown as all he is thought to be muttering right now is, “I have a contract”.

David Moyes is expected to have talks “next week” about his future at West Ham who, like the proverbial magpie, are surely having their eyes caught by all the other managers glittering in the corner.

Marco Silva is first choice at Everton, but they certainly wouldn’t be too disappointed to end up with Shakhtar’s Paulo Fonseca or even Huddersfield’s David Wagner (though he is believed to be locked in Dean Foyle’s basement until all the rumours have died down). West Ham also fancy a bit of Marco but also think that the idea man to manage their 2011 classic squad is Mauricio Pellegrino Manuel Pellegrini though knowing the Hammers, they will probably end up with the sacked Southampton boss.

Gareth Southgate has thrown all his World Cup preparation notes up in the air and proclaimed “it doesn’t matter anyway!” and given the yet to be named squad a week off before the training camp begins. This means there will be only one friendly for everyone to get overly excited about before the squad departs for Russia. Harry Kane has welcomed the news, as it gives him more time to focus on his various goal appeals to the FA.