I haven’t seen the headline but it must be out there somewhere. “Arsenal handed Alexis boost” is surely on the cards following Pep Guardiola declaration of Manchester City’s interest in Kylian Mbappe. The world and his wife expect Mbappe to sign for Real Madrid; in no way are Pep’s comments conveniently related to the pre-season friendly the two sides are play today.
£161m. I’m having a Steve McQueen moment; “You’re crazy. You oughta be locked up.” £161m. On a 18-year-old whose record is 27 goals in 58 appearances. £161m. It was madness at £85m when Arsenal chased the player but almost double that is sheer lunacy. From memory, his father is his agent; fair play if he screws more than £40m in fees out of Real as Raiola did out of Manchester United.
Apparently, Real like to balance the books; I shook my head in disbelief at that claim as well. There’s novelty value in the assertion; it happened once when they signed Hamez Rodriguez but not previously nor since. To make it happen this year, the logic goes, Gareth Bale’s man bun will shuffle off to Manchester United for £100m. Circle squared, etc.
Arsenal are joining in the madness but in our own understated way. A £50m bid for Thomas Lemar is on its way to Monaco, presumably using the same horse to deliver as Fergie used for his apology all those years ago. Arsène, it’s claimed in The Heil, still believes Alexis can be persuaded to stay.
The Telegraph claims the bid is £45m and at current exchange rates, it would be easy to see how the Heil misread the currency as being sterling instead of €50m. Not that the paper acknowledges the existence of the Euro. Well, aside from editor Paul Dacre whose shooting estate in Scotland is subsidised by the EU. Their support for Brexit presumably stems from the knowledge that the EU money will be replaced by some from the British government in two years time. If it isn’t, be prepared for a storm to emanate from Kensington over how the poor British regions are being screwed over by Westminster.
However, the Heil story declares that there’s been a breakdown in communications with his “advisors”. We don’t have a lot of luck with agents really. There’s Jorge Mendes, with whom the club refuses to deal while we know Pere Guardiola’s contract skills are, shall we say, limited.
Mino Raiola’s client list reads like the Manchester United squad – in fact, a lot of it is the Manchester United squad – although he’s nipped in with Donyell Malen at the very end so it will be interesting to see how his contract talks go. Alexis’ agent, Fernando Felicevich, represents most of the Chilean squad, including Arturo Vidal, hence a lot of noise from the Bayern player about his chum’s future.
Sanchez returns to training on Monday so the club’s snappers will no doubt capture the manager and striker chatting, sharing a joke and being best buds. Meanwhile, the media will wonder if there’s been a cold shoulder or two barging onto the scene. There will probably be some fury – righteous rage – when Alexis doesn’t turn up to watch this weekend’s Emirates shindig.
Arsène sounded ‘dead chuffed’ to have the tournament back. “It is a great two days, I missed it last year – I am very happy to have it back again as I was very sad we couldn’t organise it last year.” It’s not the most convincing of sales pitches, is it? The marketing men are having enough trouble selling tickets as it is; not that the online ticketing system helps much.
A laptop is just too ‘old skool’, it seems. Oh well, we won’t be able to go; sorry, kids.
That’s Jolly Nice
I can’t recall us unveiling a new player at previous editions of the Emirates Cup – does Yaya Sanogo count? – so Alexandre Lacazette’s appearance will be something ground-breaking in that sense. Who knows, maybe even Thomas Lemar…
Or Jean-Michael Seri? Sports Witness claims we’re about to be really nice – or is that Nice? (chortle) – and make a €40m bid for the midfielder. Not a bad price for one who ranked as one of the best in France last year.
So which one of Seri or Lemar is this summer’s Yann M’vila? Seems we’re about to find out.