You know it’s reached peak silly season when rumours of a Cristiano Ronaldo return to Manchester United surface. It’s usually around mid June when it comes, and come again it has – with this time reports surfacing that he’s made an ‘irreversible’ decision to leave the Santiago Bernabeu. Has he got a new contract to negotiate?
Football transfer season invented fake news before fake news was a thing, so take this one with a huge grain of salt. The rumoured fee is believed to be £152 million, which is an awfully precise number and would almost double the fee that Real Madrid originally paid for their Ballon d’Or winner. The number is so precise it’s almost as if somebody on a Spanish newspaper has made it up, but there you go.
Back in the land of reality, Jose Mourinho landed his first substantial signing of the summer after United picked up Benfica defender Victor Lindelof for £31 million. In this day and age, £31 million is almost a modest outlay for an international quality defender, but it’s believed to be the start of an aggressive summer transfer policy for the club, with Alvaro Morata expected to sign imminently.
The Spanish hitman has long been coveted by English clubs. Indeed it was thought Arsenal would be in pole position to sign him this summer, but famous ditherer Arsene Wenger has again moved slowly in the transfer market. His loss, and Mourinho’s gain, and if they do secure his transfer they’ll be signing someone with serious pedigree on the European stage. Their first offer of £52 million was turned down by Real, but they’ve returned with a £60 million bid. With Zlatan Ibrahimovic released due to a serious knee injury, Mourinho clearly wants Morata to be the man.
Everton have been the nearly men of the Premier League for many years now, but with new Iranian investment, they are looking like being one of the big spenders of the summer. Davy Klaassen has joined the Toffees for £26 million from Ajax, and they’ve set their sights on Gylfi Sigurdsson of Swansea next to add some invention to their midfield. The midfielder has gone under the radar at times for Swansea, but he’s undoubtedly one of the most able technicians in the league. He was burnt during a pretty poor spell at Tottenham, and has since cultivated a reputation as only being able to do it with one of the lower clubs. If he does sign for Everton it will be a for a fee upwards of £40 million. A huge fee for someone unproven at a big side.
Over in Paris, Marco Verratti held a party for friends where he confirmed his desire to complete his lifelong ambition of playing for Barcelona. “It’s now or never,” the 28-year old was quoted as saying. He’s a dazzling player on his day, and the prospect of him lining up with Suarez, Messi and Neymar is a tantalizing one. PSG have been hit by the political rebound of the crisis in Qatar, and it’s believed they’d be open to offers for the Italian.
Officials from the Catalan giants are rumoured to have met with Verratti as he holidays in Ibiza. Chelsea are also sniffing around. If he does leave – it’s expected to be for a world record sum.