A relatively quiet morning of transfer gossip in the tabloids is enlivened by the Express stealing a couple of sensationalistic stories from Diario Gol in the full knowledge that both of them are probably made up.
The first of these articles contains the word “MONSTER” in the headline in capital letters, but it is not about monsters – thank God! – it is about Mohamed Salah.
The Express says – after reading Diario Gol saying it – that the newly crowned PFA Player of the Year is the target of a “MONSTER £123m-plus-player deal from Real Madrid”, which is one of the least scary monsters out there.
Liverpool fans will be pretty frightened though. Not only at the prospect of losing their 41-goal Egyptian magician, but also about the fact that the player they will reportedly get in return is not Isco, or Ronaldo, or Asensio, or even Bale. It’s Dani Ceballos.
The 21-year-old midfielder moved to the Bernabeu from Real Betis last summer but has since made just two league starts. This doesn’t mean he is rubbish, however, and Jurgen Klopp has “an interest” in bringing him to Anfield.
De Gea gives green light to Real deal
The other story the Express has nicked from Diario Gol is about David de Gea, who it says has “agreed terms” on a move from Manchester United to Real Madrid.
Red Devils chiefs have “discovered” that their star goalkeeper recently “held talks” with Real president Florentino Perez, during which he apparently gave the “green light” for the European champions to sign him.
United have reacted to this discovery by “slapping” an £88m price tag on De Gea, which sounds rather humiliating for him.
In further upsetting news for United fans, Jose Mourinho has claimed he will not be spending big money on players this summer.
The Sun reports that the Special One has “ruled out” repeating the splurges of summer 2016 (£157.25m) and 2017 (£169.5m) and all he really wants is someone to replace the retiring Michael Carrick.
Now watch the Sun to link United with the multi-million-pound signings of about 15 different players this week.
Meanwhile, United’s FA Cup semi-final victims Tottenham are “confident” that Mauricio Pochettino will not walk out on the club despite claiming in the wake of Saturday’s Wembley defeat that Spurs may need “another manager” to end their trophy drought (Sun).
Elsewhere, Hoffenheim manager Julian Nagelsmann has played down reports linking him with the Arsenal and Chelsea jobs (Star), the Gunners could lose 16-year-old goalkeeper Arthur Okonwo to RB Leipzig or Celtic due to a “contract stand-off” (Mirror) and Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez is seeking financial backing from owner Mike Ashley before agreeing to extend his stay on Tyneside (Guardian). And that doesn’t mean giving him £50 to go down to Sports Direct to “get himself something nice”.