Today’s piffle is having to divert at the last minute
Going Dutch is the in thing at the moment. Whether it’s paying for your own food and drink at some wildly overpriced summer pop-up restaurant, or paying for somebody else to give Wayne and co a kick up the arse and implement a fluid 3-5-2 system on a previously mojo-less set of Manchester-based footballers, everybody seems to be doing it. And Ryan Babel, Winston Bogarde and Marco Boogers aside, when the English go Dutch it seems to work out pretty well.
Having started the summer with not a single Dutchman in their squad (!!!), Tottenham soon rectified the situation with the acquisition of Michel Vorm from Swansea, but surprise, surprise, Mauricio Pochettino is on the hunt again for another Oranje-boomer. Having scored two in the World Cup, Memphis Depay fits the bill and Daniel Levy is said to be dangling £15m in front of his club PSV’s noses in an attempt to persuade the 20-year-old winger to come and show some of Spurs’s lacklustre Belgians what’s what. One of which, Nacer Chadli, could even be used by Levy to sweeten the deal. Watch this space.
With seemingly all of the rest of the domestic-based Dutch squad having secured lucrative moves abroad since their Brazil exploits, Daley Blind has suddenly realised he wouldn’t mind a bit more money as well, and is reportedly keen on joining Louis van Gaal at that there United. Ajax are demanding £17m as the Dutch Footballer of the Year 2014 is highly sought after, with Barcelona also sniffing about, and Van Gaal eager to use him as competition for Luke Shaw at left-back, or as a versatile defensive midfielder.
Copy-and-paste virtuoso Yevhen Konoplyanka is still on the hit-list of four Premier League clubs – Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham and West Ham – after his move to Liverpool failed to get over the line at the end of January’s window. However, Roma seem to have skipped to the front of the queue and could pick up the Ukrainian for less than £10m, as he only has one more year to run on his contract at Dnipro.
Rafa Benítez is hopeful of popping back to Merseyside and returning to Naples with Lucas Leiva. Liverpool are open to the idea of selling the Brazilian outright, but Napoli want a season-long loan deal, on preferably better terms than the £4m-a-year they were quoted for Manchester United’s Marouane Fellaini.
Elsewhere, Sam Allardyce wants Sunderland’s Connor Wickham as stand-in for the unable-to-stand Andy Carroll, while Nottingham Forest’s midfielder Henri Lansbury has caught the eye of the Premier League new boys Burnley.