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Premier league column for week ending December 30th 2017

Sensational if it all happens… I am reporting to you what I hear and news doesn’t come any bigger than this…if it all happens the…

Sensational if it all happens…

I am reporting to you what I hear and news doesn’t come any bigger than this…if it all happens the Premier League and Spain’s La Liga will never be the same. I hear rumours that following Real Madrid’s loss to firece rivals Barcelona at the weekend, the club is planning to offload many of its biggest stars. Real Madrid President, Florentino Perez is desperate to rescue Neymar from his unhappy new home with Paris St-Germain and take him to the Bernabeu and that is despite his employment history with rivals Barcelona. Paris SG paid £200million for Neymar and Real would have to pay £230million to buy him. I hear that Perez intends to fund the deal by selling Gareth Bale and defender Raphael Varane to Manchester United and they will also offer Karim Benzema to Arsenal and James Rodriguez to Bayern Munich for £53million. United will have to pay £89million for Bale and another £31million for Varane. I think you will agree that this is a sensational story and if it all comes off there will be an earthquake in both leagues as some of the world’s most gifted players move around.

Virgil finally turns red

At last the long saga is over…Virgil van Dijk will be joining Liverpool on January 1st when the transfer window opens. The 26 year-old will become the world’s most expensive defender when the Reds hand over £75 million to Southampton. Virgil has agreed a salary of £180,000 a week which is £9million a year. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has finally put in place a player who can stop the defensive weakness which has let them down so many times this season. Van Dijk said, “I am delighted and honoured to have agreed to become a Liverpool FC player. Today is a proud day for me and my family as I join one of the biggest clubs in world football. I can’t wait to pull on the famous red shirt for the first time in front of the Kop and give everything I have to try to help this great club achieve something special in years to come.

 “It’s not my fault” – Mourhino

Jose Mourhino has once again gone on the rampage attacking his players and criticising his board of directors in a veiled threat because United badly trail Manchester United at the top of the Premier League. Mourhino has said that his current squad is not good enough to compete with Manchester City and, pointing the finger at club Vice-Chariman Ed Woodward, he said that the  £300 million spent over the last 18 months is not enough. Mourhino does not like being second to Pep Guardiola and the fact that City have spent around £500million in the transfer market under Pep is annoying Mourhino and he says that is the reason he is so far behind the rival Manchester team. 

Congratulations Harry!

It gives me great pleasure to congratulate Spurs striker Harry Kane on yet another hat-trick this week and finishing the year as the world’s top striker. He has scored 56 goals in 2017 and 8 hat-tricks completing two in the last few days. He has replaced Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Cristiano Renaldo as the world’s most deadly striker and they could not match Harry’s firepower. But that is not the end to Harry’s contribution to the Spurs team. From the outset of the first whistle you will see him charging forward, full of enthusiasm and he is there helping in defence when needed and is likely to save a goal if Spurs are threatened. He shows wisdom, insight, ball skills, and leadership. I can also tell you that Harry is a very likeable young man and shows no signs of boasting or conceit…he is just as down to earth as he was in his early non-league playing days. What a player!

Tragic downfall of Emmanuel Eboue

I discovered a sad story over Christmas that ex-Arsenal star Emmanuel Eboue has to go a local bar to watch his beloved Gunners. He recently put on a hoodie, went to the bar and sat in a corner with his head down so none of the Arsenal fans recognised him. The reason is that Emmanuel has been left penniless after a bitter divorce from his wife Aurelie from which she took all his assets. Now he cannot even afford to pay for SKY TV to watch matches. “I covered my face and I went there.” he said. “I was surrounded by Arsenal fans but they didn’t know it was me. “I sat, I took a beer and I watched the game. But I kept my hood over my head and I hardly raised it because I knew that the Arsenal fans would recognise me. I would have felt embarrassed. I had never been in a pub to watch a game. It used to be in my house. Or maybe in a friend’s house. It was the life I had before compared to now. Normally the fans see me on the pitch. If I’d already said that I’d retired then yes, okay. I wouldn’t mind if they saw me in the pub. But some fans still think Eboue is still playing. “So if they see me they maybe would be shocked,” he said. Emmanuel looks like being forced out of his house in North East London and these days trains alone in a local park and although he has retired he might be forced to return to competitive football at 34 years-old.

Benfica wonderkid coming to United

My sources at Manchester United tell me that the Red Devils are close to reaching a deal with Portugese club Benfica for the Guinea-Bissau youngster Umaro Embalo. I understand that the Benfica Academy trained Embalo will move for £6million. He has already scored 15 goals in 19 games for Portugal’s Under-16 side. United have had their chief scout and head of Development monitoring Umaro’s progress and have reported that he has been doing extremely well this season and recognising that, Benfica are considering raising his value up to £14million. Negotiations will follow after this week.

United set to lose Fellaini

Manchester United’s Marouane Fellaini has still not agreed a new contract and his current deal expires in 6 months. He has rejected the club’s initial offer and is ready to quit Old Trafford and there is a possibility he will head for the lucrative Chinese league. The way the system works is that the player can negotiate a deal with overseas clubs from January 1st – he is not allowed to talk to rival Premier League clubs – and he could also sign a pre-contract. Marouane is 30 years-old now and thinks he should cash in as long as he can and therefore a big deal in China could answer his wishes. Jose Mourhino has made it clear that he would like to keep the big Belgian who has played 12 times in all competitions this season but it might be out of his hands.

Happy New Year

Finally I wish you all A Very Happy New Year and I hope 2018 brings you success and happiness and of course great enjoyment when you join me every week for our latest news of the Premier League.

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