Today’s rumours were 29°C at 11pm last night
By its very nature, the Rumour Mill is all tease and no money shot. But this is no way for anyone to live, the impotent frustration will do for us all, so today we bring you resolution, a happy finish. Eden Hazard, so long linked in the papers, and therefore this column, with Manchester City and Manchester United, has decided to join Chelsea. So well done to everyone there. Hazard announced his intention to join the European champions on Monday night during a spectacular song-and-dance routine, the first man to make such an almighty fuss over his own move since Harry Kewell left Leeds United for Liverpool by sweeping down some stairs, wearing a glittery top hat, twirling a cane. If the Aussie’s time at Anfield is anything to go by, which it surely must be, expect to witness Hazard standing in front of an open goal, hoofing the ball up into his own confused face, before next season is out.
Chelsea also want to sign Hulk in a £30m deal. If the interminable Hazard wrangle is anything to go by, which it surely must be, expect the Porto striker to join Plymouth Argyle for £28.37 next week.
Nevertheless, it’s all happening, Danny Boon style, at Chelsea. Barcelona and Real Madrid are engaged in a £15m battle for Branislav Ivanovic, Real Madrid also want Didier Drogba, while Schalke are after Salomon Kalou. Most intriguingly of all, Chelsea themselves are keeping tabs on Decision Making’s Theo Walcott.
Arsenal will replace the wee man with the signally larger Fernando Llorente. He’ll cost £28m, with Arsène Wenger also hoping to persuade Athletic Bilbao to throw Javi Martínez in for nix, a couple of tangerines to Llorente’s pound of grapes. Bilbao taking the role of a generous fruit-and-veg-stall vendor, there. Wenger, for the sake of completion and clarity, a paying customer desirous of fruit.
With Mr Roy having done one for pastures new, supporters of West Bromwich Albion, like those at Fulham, Liverpool and Neuchâtel Xamax before them, are soon to be reacquainted with a style of football that doesn’t fill them with the overwhelming desire to do a header out of a window. Chris Hughton is likely to be the chap providing it, as he’s seen off Claudio Ranieri, Ray Wilkins and Ralf Rangnick for the manager’s job.
Speaking of Liverpool, and their vacant manager’s position, well, we’re bored of it. Yes, we know, that hardly makes us unique or special. Brendan Rodgers, Roberto Martínez, Louis van Gaal, Uncle Tom Cobley, you know the pack drill by now. Nothing’s moved on, as far as any of the rags are concerned. No news. It’s almost as though the club are waiting until their fancy new kit deal kicks in at the start of June, whereupon everyone can prance around at the unveiling in their fancy new threads.
Southampton want Burnley’s England Under-21 striker Jay Rodriguez, and are prepared to pay £6.5m. Imagine, that’s nearly two Agustín Delgados. Richard Chaplow, 10 times a Cléber Chalá, will go the other way.
And Saints are not the only newly promoted team looking to bolster their squad this summer. Reading will chuck £2m at the Nottingham Forest defender Chris Gunter, while West Ham United, shunted to the very bottom of the page in flagrant flaunting of established London football media codes, want Spurs reject Louis Saha