Being a child of the 70s, The Mill knows that you can only build something meaningful with Mecano if you’re an absolute obsessive. So when we heard that Pep Guardiola was interested in Dayot Upamecano it made perfect sense. The Manchester City manager is is just the right kind of studious nerd to be able to grab his tools and bolt the Leipzig centre-back on to his broken defence in time for a renewed tilt at defending their Premier League title in January. The 21-year-old was a target for Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur in the summer and would cost around £50m, which is about the the standard rate when City come calling for a defender.
And could City be the club who have had a £13m bid rejected by Barcelona for Ivan Rakitic? Probably not, but reports in Catalonia suggest the Spanish champions want £17m more from the Premier League club who threw a cheeky bid in for the Croatia international recently. Manchester United have had a firm interest in Rakitic this season – and Arsenal need someone to play in midfield if Granit Xhaka won’t, don’t they?
Mind you, they have the hots for Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Denis Zakaria, who they plan to bring to the Emirates by offering Xhaka as a sweetener in a deal for the 22-year-old. Xhaka just needs a big hug and he would surely get it if he returned to the club where he once made his name. In other Arsenal news, it says here that Unai Emery has been given a month to save his job. They have Southampton, Norwich, Brighton and West Ham up next, so disgruntled Gunners fans might not get their wish just yet.
Manchester United and Arsenal quite literally want a Young goalkeeper, so they will go mano a mano for Hartlepool’s 17-year-old stopper Brad Young. Another 17-year-old who may be on the move is whizzy Wigan forward Joe Gelhardt, who is a target for Chelsea, but Frank Lampard’s finishing school will face competition from Manchester City, Manchester United, Spurs, Everton and Liverpool, who the twinkle-toed scouser grew up supporting.
Barcelona have realised that Luis Suárez can’t go on playing like the Tasmanian Devil for ever and sporting director Eric Abidal is of the opinion that Lauturo Martinéz might be able to do a passable impression of the aggressive antipodean marsupial and replace Suárez in the team. “He is a complete player, I think he is performing at a great level,” gushed Abidal, when asked if the 22-year-old Inter striker was a target. Inter may also want to hide Milan Skriniar. The 24-year-old central defender has caught the eye of Real Madrid and Manchester United, who both have cash to burn.
Roy Hodgson has £20m in his back pocket and he is determined to spend it in Glasgow. It’s already known that Rangers hot shot Alfredo Morelos is a target for Crystal Palace but Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard has also come bleeping into view on the club’s radar.
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