For the record
‘It could take their [Chelsea’s] outlay beyond that of Manchester City, who bought Benjamin Mendy from Monaco yesterday for £52m, taking their summer splurge to £230m, a world record for a transfer window’ – Daily Mail.

‘City took their outlay this transfer window to £218million with the signing yesterday of Benjamin Mendy for £49.5million from Monaco. It is the highest amount spent by a club in a transfer window’ – The Times.

‘The club have bought six players this summer for £217.8m – beating Real Madrid’s 2009 high’ – The Sun.

‘Pep Guardiola is on course to smash Real Madrid’s record for the most money spent in one transfer window. (They claim City have spent £216.15m) – The Sun website.

‘The Catalan, who also signed £26.5m Real Madrid full-back Danilo, identified Mendy and Walker as key to his summer overhaul at the Etihad months ago and will be delighted he has both as City’s spending hits a record £206.5m’ – Daily Mirror.

At least we can all agree it’s a record.

Mirror, Mirror
The Daily Mirror have noticed that Manchester City have spent quite a bit of money this season – £230m/£218m/£217.8m £206.5m to be exact – and so have compiled a list of the 21 biggest spenders across Europe this summer. Why 21? Shush.

‘Would you have guessed Huddersfield are in there?’ asks the incredulous sub-headline. Considering they have broken their transfer record three times this summer and Premier League clubs have all the money, yeah probably.

Quite why the Mirror haven’t asked the same question of Middlesbrough, a place below Huddersfield in the list, and a division below Huddersfield in the English league system, is a mystery.

All four one
The Sun bring us the latest from Chelsea. ‘Antonio Conte is after four more signings’ is their back-page claim.

As you can see, they have gone fairly big with the news. ‘STAM4D BRIDGE’. Impressive work. Here’s a biscuit.

But there is just one problem, as Mike McGrath goes on to name Conte’s targets: Alex Sandro, Virgil van Dijk, Antonio Candreva, Fernando Llorente, Tom Davies.

Oops. You could have had ‘5tamford Bridge’, guys.

Keep digging
Mediawatch has covered this previously, but, in terms of headlines, a manager or player making a ‘dig’ at someone else is absolute gold dust. It is sold as controversial, intriguing, sexy. More often than not, it is downright dull.

Case in point is Romelu Lukaku’s quotes about Didier Drogba on Tuesday. The Manchester United striker took part in an interview in which he discussed his reasons for moving to Old Trafford, his targets for the future and his desire to play in the Champions League. At the very end of the interview, he was asked a question about Didier Drobga. Being a lovely man, he responded:

“I’m different. Drogba is more of a hold-up player, a target man. I prefer to have ball to feet and run in behind. We’re totally different.

“We might have physical similarities but we’re totally different players. I’m Romelu Lukaku, I want to create my own history. I’m at United, he was at Chelsea.”

Interesting quotes, certainly when you consider that Lukaku is often painted as Drogba’s natural successor. But the man himself dismissing the comparisons is not even nearly clicky enough, is it?

Just ask the Daily Mirror, who go with the headline of ‘Lukaku makes sly dig at Chelsea as he dismisses Drogba comparison’. Erm, what?

But they must accept second place in this race, as The Metro have streaked ahead and are about to trip over the finish line.

‘Romelu Lukaku puts boot in on Chelsea by rejecting Didier Drogba comparison,’ reads their quite brilliant headline. It is a wonder why the author to the story is the unnamed ‘Metro Sport Reporter’.

Just look at that ‘dig’, though. Antonio Conte must be absolutely fuming.

Bale out
It appears as though Tuesday is national ‘sensationalist headline’ day. Everyone is getting in on the act:

‘What Real Madrid star Gareth Bale told Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku’ – Manchester Evening News.

‘Gareth Bale reveals EXACTLY what he said to Romelu Lukaku at the end of Real Madrid’s friendly defeat by Manchester United’ – The Sun.

So, EXACTLY what did Gareth Bale tell Romelu Lukaku?

“I just wished him good luck for the season,” explained Bale after the game.


Don’t let The Sun go down on me
And now to The Sun to complete the weird headline hat-trick.

‘The amazing moment Manchester United boss Jose M​ourinho hugs Gareth Bale and jokes ‘I can’t buy you because you don’t talk to me’

Top tip: It isn’t amazing.

The glorious return of acewatch
‘Done deal: Manchester United sign ace from rivals’ academy’ – Metro.

Perhaps the finest one yet. Theo Richardson joined United on trial in February, and has now moved permanently after his contract with Leeds’ youth team expired in June.


Water is wet
From The Times:

Recommended reading of the day
David Squires on Manchester City.

Ian Herbert on the importance of social media in transfers.

Scott Murray on Liverpool 4-3 Newcastle.