This is a golden period in Ed Woodward’s life. Each weekend, the Manchester United transfer guru gets to watch on with smug satisfaction as the Red Devils climb to the upper reaches of the Premier League table using the signings he has personally helped to secure.
Despite the fact that no one has ever publically admitted to liking or respecting him, Woodward has become an undeniable success. He’s the James Corden of football. He’s Hollywood box office, and there is nothing we can do to stop the Woodward juggernaut. Now he’s had a taste of the big time, he has an insatiable thirst for more.
The Sunday Mirror reports that Ed is busy plotting his next eye-catching foray into the transfer market by “preparing” a £155m bid for Juventus forward Paulo Dybala. How does one “prepare” such a thing? Through guru magic.
They know Woodward well in Turin, and they think he is cool. Ed is said to have a “solid” relationship with Juve’s general manager Beppe Marotta, who was blown away by the Essex-born executive’s professionalism and style during the transfer of Paul Pogba.
Argentina star Dybala is known to be on Barcelona’s radar, but Woodward has reportedly “made it clear” to the player’s representatives that he is also wanted by Jose Mourinho. And when Ed speaks, the Italians listen.
Agents fight for Alli
Woodward may also have been having a word in the shell-like of Dele Alli’s people.
The Daily Star Sunday claims the Tottenham midfielder has been “promised” a move to Man Utd “or Real Madrid” by a plethora of agents who are trying to sign him up after it emerged he is leaving current representatives Impact Sports Management. An understandable decision given that he still earns lower wages than Andy Carroll. Worst agents ever.
Another man who remains on Mourinho’s radar is Mesut Ozil, who the Sunday Mirror claims will snub all future contract offers from Arsenal because he is determined to link up with his former manager at Old Trafford.
The German’s advisors have reportedly “put out feelers” about a move to Manchester and “the feedback has been encouraging”. Which sounds a bit like what they tell you when you go for an interview and don’t get the job, so Ozil shouldn’t get too excited.
Meanwhile, Everton remain unconvinced that Oumar Niasse is the answer to their goal-scoring problems and continue to search high and low for a new striker.
The Star says the Toffees will make a £40m January bid for Olivier Giroud, while Ronald Koeman is also trying to sign Bournemouth forward Josh King (Sun on Sunday) having failed with a £66m bid for Diego Costa before he joined Atletico Madrid (Marca).
Elsewhere, Arsenal are “monitoring” 19-year-old Le Havre centre-back Harold Moukoudi as a long-term replacement for Pep Mertesacker (Mail on Sunday), Man Utd have been quoted a price of £75m to sign Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovid-Savic (Sunday Express) and Manchester City are “concerned” that Paris Saint-Germain are set to outbid them for Alexis Sanchez (Sun on Sunday). It shows how silly football has become when Man City are getting self-conscious about their financial muscle.