Football transfer rumours: Luis Suárez to join Pep Guardiola at Bayern?
Today's rumours are stretched
There's some football gossip on the front page of the Sun, though the only transfer involved was of the saucy horizontal variety, with news that "football miracle man" Fabrice Muamba is expecting a second mini-Muamba sometime in June. News of footballers' families doesn't end there, with a further scoop on page three – the third page of the country's biggest-selling daily paper, death-of-journalism fans – where a reporter has sensationally copy-and-pasted a tweet revealing that three-year-old Kai Rooney has stopped using a dummy. And there's more on page nine, where Gary Lineker is revealed to have chartered a private jet to fly his poorly mum, Margaret, back to Blighty from her home in Spain. "He couldn't bear to think of his mum in a foreign hospital," said a source.
Arsenal will bid £10m for not-for-sale Spanish ace David Villa, who is thought to be significantly more interested in moving away from the Barcelona bench than the Barcelona bench is in letting him go, while Arsène Wenger is still, like Tottenham and Newcastle, keen on West Ham's Mohamed Diame – "He has a great presence in the games," he said – despite so much confusion over his contractual release clause that the Mail and the Mirror think it's £3.5m but the Sun reckons it's £7m. One player he doesn't want is Wilfried Zaha, which is just as well because he's not getting him. "We never wanted him," he told close allies. Manchester United are getting him, and may or may not be allowed to loan him right back to Crystal Palace. If Zaha's return is blocked, United will let them have a couple of other spare players instead. Palace will recruit superbly-named Swansea starlet Jazz Richards for £750,000 as a kind-of-replacement.
Goalkeeping news now, and Arsenal are considering a cheeky bid for QPR net-tender Julio César, also on United's radar, although the Mancunians – along with neighbours Manchester City – have also been flicking coveting glances towards Stoke's Asmir Begovic. Liverpool's José Reina remains a target for Barcelona if the Spanish side's current keeper, Victor Valdés, decides to move to pastures new this summer, while former Barça manager and future Bayern boss Pep Guardiola is reportedly keen on taking Luis Suárez from Merseyside to Munich.
More bad news for Brendan Rodgers comes from the south coast, where Mauricio Pochettino could make a cheeky £12m bid to steal Internazionale's Philippe Coutinho from under Liverpool's noses. But most of all Pochettino wants to make Joan Verdu, a 29-year-old midfielder he managed at Espanyol, his first signing at Southampton. Talking of Espanyol, they and Hoffenheim both want West Ham's Alou Diarra. West Ham, QPR and Fulham are in a three-way squabble over Newcastle's Danny Simpson.
Manchester United want Lille left-back Lucas Digne, while the Express also reports that they kind-of-like Ajax's Viktor Fischer (but not a lot). "Interest seems to have cooled in recent months," they sensationally expose. They add that Fischer "has plundered eight goals in the Eredivisie this season", apparently unaware that Afonso Alves once scored nearly that many in a single Dutch top-flight match and, as Middlesbrough fans will willingly attest, it didn't make him a success.
Newcastle have launched an audacious bid to buy France. Stoke want FC Dallas winger Brek Shea, who tabloid headline writers will hope is ready, or fast, or both. Wigan want a short-term loan deal for Spartak Moscow's Aiden McGeady, with a view to a permanent move should they miraculously avoid relegation yet again. West Brom have sent scouts to check out Brentford's Harry Forrester, who is also interesting Reading, Southampton and his former club, Aston Villa. Neil Warnock will spend £700,000 on Nottingham Forest striker Dexter Blackstock, while elsewhere in the Championship Bolton's Marcos Alonso is a somewhere-between-£200,000-and-£500,000 target for Fiorentina.
Having had a second bid summarily dismissed, Norwich have once again increased their offer for Celtic's Gary Hooper, which now stands at £5.5m and Steve Morison. Turkish side Bursaspor have agreed a loan deal with QPR for out-of-favour defender Anton Ferdinand. If the move goes through, Ferdinand would play in the same side as Scott Carson. Last year Carson complained that "the two centre-halves in front of me don't speak English and I don't speak Turkish", for which the obvious solution would have been for him to learn some Turkish, and the next obvious solution for the centre-halves to learn some English, but the Mill accepts that if all those things have failed then signing some English centre-halves would make a certain amount of sense.
Filed under: Euro 2012
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