Today's flimshaw is trying to break your heart
"Balo on his bike" barfs The Sun this morning, "Balo" being Mario Balotelli to his close personal friends in the media and "his bike" being the mode of transport that City will use to convey him out of Roberto Mancini's hair. Why, why does Mancini want rid of Balo? Because of Balo's "party shame", of course. And yet the Italian striker didn't whizz in anyone's fireplace, brawl with fellow revellers or lock three of the hosts' cats in a freezer – no, instead it seems that merely going to a party constitutes "party shame" for the Sun, which is clearly in one of its prudish moods this morning, on one page at least.
Yes, Balotelli is reported to have gone to a night-club on Saturday night – with some friends (or "his entourage" if you want to make it sound more sinister) and wearing nice clothes ("he certainly hadn't dressed down for the occasion" one concerned eye-witness told the Sun) and all of this just "12 HOURS" before a match in which he was not scheduled to play. Balo, you see, had been told that he was not in Manchester City's squad for the match against Tottenham Hotspur and therefore was not required at the team's hotel on Saturday night. "But he could still have been needed had one of the other three strikers been taken ill," tut-tuts the Sun, adding: "Balotelli has not officially broken any rules by being out as he was not in the squad, but eyebrows have been raised".
Eyebrows has been raised so high, according to the Sun, that Mancini will happily sell the striker to either of the Milan clubs, or anyone else who wants him, and then offset the loss by buying Radamel Falcao from Atlético Madrid . Thing is, Rado (or is it Falc?) has previously been reported to be a target for Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain and to have already agreed a move to Chelsea. Eyebrows have been raised.
Arsenal are said to be keen to relieve Mancini of another striker too, namely Edin Dzeko or, um, Dzeko in Sunspeak. Arsène Wenger is also eyeing up 20-year-old Real Madrid tease Alvaro Morata, Derby's 17-year-old midfielder Will Hughes and 24-year-old Ipswich Town midfielder Liam Trotter. He also has a longstanding in interest in Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha but so does everyone else, including, according to the Daily Mirror, none other than Real Madrid.
On the way out of Arsenal, meanwhile, is Emmanuel Frimpong, the man who puts the B into Dench and who will be allowed to negotiate with other clubs in January seen as how his contract is coming to an end. Rio Ferdinand cold find himself in a similar position at Manchester United.
Manchester United have watched the Porto winger James Rodríguez for the seventh time, which suggests either that they are very keen on signing him or can't make up their minds about him. And that Nani's days at Old Trafford are numbered. United are also interested in defender Vegard Forren of Modle, whose manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, thinks very highly of him. As highly, in fact, as he previously thought of Mame Biram Diouf. Still, Fulham and Everton agree that he might be on to something this time.
Chelsea don't need Oriol Romeu. At least that's what Espanyol and Valencia are hoping. Newcastle, like a bashful teenager trying to pluck up the courage to ask for a date, are still hovering around Lille's Mathieu Debuchy.
Finally, Hartlepool, the town where a monkey mascot was famously elected mayor, now want to appoint Phil Brown as manager. These two incidents are unconnected.