The back pages are mainly concerned with Chelsea’s effort in Madrid, but there’s still some transfer gossip there. It’s got Paul Pogba in, if that helps…
Whisper it but the front pages are arguably more interesting than the back ones today, but hidden among the coverage of Chelsea’s heroic failure in Madrid there are still some odds and sods of the hot, hot transfer chat you lot just can’t get enough of. Look, there’s even some Paul Pogba stuff in the Mirror. You always like that. If it wasn’t so damned early in the morning we could probably even conjure up a clever bit of bait-and-switch business about the often-ineffective, opinion-dividing star with his famous hair and tie it in to those front pages. We’re not doing that, but just imagine we did. That would have been some good stuff right there, eh?
Anyway, according to the Mirror’s “senior United source” there is going to be a mutiny in the squad if he doesn’t find another club to muck about this summer and instead signs the half-a-mill-a-week contract on the table to become United’s highest-paid player. There will be “fury” apparently, because “he plays so infrequently and has no qualms about criticising the club”.
According to the source who is definitely a real person who said these exact words unprompted: “Some of the players think it’s out of order he could be getting twice as much as they are when he hardly starts a game and talks about leaving all the time.”
That new deal includes a basic wage of £400k, with add-ons tipping it over the half-million mark and above your Ronaldos (£450k) and De Geas (£375k). Good luck, Erik Ten Hag anyway.
NO BALE OUT
Wales boss Robert Page has confirmed Gareth Bale will sign on… somewhere if Wales qualify for the World Cup. His Real Madrid deal runs out in the summer and it’s fair to say he won’t be getting a new one, but with Wales tantalisingly close to qualification for the winter World Cup, Bale will still be playing club football for someone if only to keep himself in nick for November and December.
That’s The Sun’s angle anyway, and they might be losing their touch here, to be honest, because a) the more interesting reading of Page’s quotes is arguably that Bale really could quit football at 32 if Wales don’t qualify for Qatar and b) they can’t even be bothered with a bit of wild speculation about where he might end up in the summer. You’d imagine the Madrid “parasite” still wouldn’t be short of offers and as long as he can find somewhere with a training ground close to a golf course you’d like to think something could be worked out. Banter flags aside, it’d be a shame to lose him entirely to the world’s worst sport, really.
BUZZ AROUND BEES STAR
Christian Eriksen’s return to elite football with Brentford was already one of the most uncomplicatedly good-news stories in sport before he proved he still has what it takes to play at this level and now attention turns inevitably if grubbily to what happens next. He only signed a six-month deal at Brentford, who have won all four of the games he’s started in the Premier League and only six of the other 28 and, while Thomas Frank says an extension is “realistic” there is inevitably plenty of other interest given the way Eriksen’s comeback has gone.
90min have done the job of going through all the current interested parties and state that Eriksen’s wage demands are nothing like the six-figure contracts he was on at Spurs and Inter. The Dane apparently is well up for staying in England and Spurs are, inevitably, touted as an option although the “manner of his departure” could be a barrier to that reunion. Our opinion is, it wouldn’t be, but we’ll see. If not Brentford or Spurs then it could be – deep breath – Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Everton, Newcastle, West Ham or Fulham once their promotion is confirmed. So almost half the league, then.
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