Date published: Friday 2nd June 2017 8:45
ON THE VIRG
The future of Virgil van Dijk has been the subject of hearsay and rumours with seemingly little substance. Until now. The Times have waded in with the facts and figures surrounding his potential future.
According to the eminently reliable pair of Gary Jacob and Paul Joyce, Manchester City will offer Southampton £50million for the centre-half, and they already have his wage packet prepared. The Dutchman will be rewarded with a five-year contract on £180,000 a week. Crikey.
It leaves Chelsea and Liverpool at the back of the queue. The Blues offered £170,000 a week to Van Dijk, while the Reds offered an absolute pittance of £130,000. Pathetic.
Southampton want at least £60m however, because 10% of their proceedings must go to former club Celtic. But Van Dijk is just the first piece of the defensive puzzle for Pep Guardiola, whose addition of goalkeeper Ederson is likely to be supplemented with Kyle Walker at right-back and Benjamin Mendy on the left. With Van Dijk and John Stones, that defensive line alone will cost around £200m.
News that might stun you is that Real Madrid want to break the world transfer record again. Paul Pogba’s move to Manchester United clearly affected them.
The Sun claim in a world exclusive that Los Blancos are preparing a £100m bid for Chelsea winger Eden Hazard, with his ‘entourage’ having met Real representatives on no fewer than three occasions this year.
The Belgian is their ‘primary target’ this summer, and ‘discussions of tactics and formations’ have already been held. And that’s sexy talk.
KOPS AND ROBERTSON
One final snippet comes from Anfield, where Liverpool are abandoning hopes of signing Ryan Sessegnon from Fulham.
According to the Liverpool Echo, the Reds ‘doubted’ the left-back’s ‘commitment’ with regards to a move to Merseyside, where he would have acted as an understudy to James Milner initially before taking over in that position.
Tottenham will push for the teenager, but Liverpool have turned their attentions back to Hull full-back Andrew Robertson, who is a long-standing target of theirs.
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AND THE REST
Gunners forward Alexis Sanchez, 28, and midfielder Mesut Ozil, 28, both want in excess of £350,000 a week to stay at the club. Both players are entering the final year of their contracts…Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann, 26, says his future “will be decided soon” amid reports of an £86m move to Manchester United…Leicester want £50m for Riyad Mahrez after the 26-year-old winger put in a transfer request, with Arsenal currently favourites to sign the Algeria international…Chelsea are in talks with Monaco about a £42m deal for midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko, 22…Blues midfielder Nemanja Matic, 28, wants to be reunited with former manager Jose Mourinho at Manchester United…The Premier League champions are confident of keeping defender Cesar Azpilicueta, 27, who has been linked with a move to La Liga giants Barcelona…Everton are close to completing a deal for Southampton’s 27-year-old right-back Cuco Martina.