Whenever Arsène Wenger is asked how Calum Chambers ended up at Arsenal, he simply shrugs his shoulders, shuffles his feet, claims he doesn’t know and attempts to direct his interrogator’s gaze towards Rob Holding. Isn’t Holding just the cutest? But so he never has to play Chambers in central defence again, or remind people that he parted with actual cash money for the former Southampton starlet, Wenger is on the lookout for a new centre-back.
Problem is, however, Valencia aren’t willing to play ball and let Arsenal have Shkodran Mustafi in exchange for a signed Igors Stepanovs sticker, a used copy of Gilles Grimandi’s autobiography, a Yaya Sanogo figurine, a Marouane Chamakh wig and Gunnersaurus’s phone number. What a deal! The Mill would snap Wenger’s hand off. But Valencia have other ideas – they’d prefer £50m instead. Curses! Have they no shame? Apparently not.
Nor do West Bromwich Albion. They’re after £25m for Jonny Evans and all this greediness means that Arsenal will have to look elsewhere. So now they’re eyeing Monaco’s Congolese defender, Marcel Tisserand, whose prospective move to Espanyol might just be on the rocks once he discovers that there’s an opportunity to see Aaron Ramsey’s new haircut first hand.
In other defensive news, Plain Old John Terry could be about to become England’s Brave John Terry again. The Chelsea captain could be a part of Mr Big Sam’s first squad despite showing his age last season. Meanwhile he could be joined at Stamford Bridge by Torino’s Nikola Maksimovic.
Speaking of players who definitely aren’t past it, meanwhile, what’s the latest with Wayne Rooney? Apparently Major League Soccer bosses are willing to throw “big dollars” at the striker in an attempt to lure him to America, which won’t seem like such a bad offer once José Mourinho begins to faze Wazziesta out of the Manchester United side, a process that is expected to begin in a couple of months.
West Ham United have also turned up in Manchester in search of a new striker. They’re locked in talks with Manchester City over a potential loan move for Wilfried Bony. But if they can’t get Big Wilf, they’ll go for Simone Zaza, who’s been moved out the picture at Juventus by Gonzalo Shipperley. The Hammers are also considering a swoop for Daryl Janmaat, although they face competition from Watford for the Newcastle United right-back.
Up in Merseyside, Liverpool could allow Mahmadou Sakho to leave on loan, while Everton are battling Porto for the Valencia centre-back Aymen Abdennour.
Ronald Koeman’s side are also in talks with Deportivo La Coruña striker Lucas Pérez Martínez, but they reckon that Joe “Ha Ha” Hart is too expensive. Happy now, Pep?