Today's rumours contemplate the rhythm of cruelty
After Arsenal's "accidental" defeat to Aston Villa at the weekend, they are contemplating resolving their every woe in a single fell swoop. Iker Casillas, the Real Madrid goalkeeper, has been displaced by Diego López, and accordingly, Arsenal would like to sign the former. In particular, they are attracted by his ability to play centre-back, right-back, centre-forward, manager, coach and chairman simultaneously. And Casillas, for his part, is said to be understandably ecstatic at the prospect of swapping Madrid for London, the Bernabéu for the Emirates and Ronaldo for Theo Walcott. But there is, of course, one stumbling block: Madrid consider him to be worth £15m, and Arsène Wenger considers him to be worth a wrinkled glare. The capacity of the Emirates is 60,361, and the cheapest ticket for their next home game is £62.
However, Paris Saint-Germain are poised to ruin Arsenal's pretend attempt to sign Yohan Cabaye from Newcastle by signing Yohan Cabaye from Newcastle; they will overpay as much as £20m, it is said.
But Alan Pardew will not be outdone. No one outdoes Alan Pardew, for he is Alan Pardew, and Alan Pardew is Alan Pardew. Alan Pardew! Therefore he has been dragged to France by Joe Kinnear and Graham Carr, and ordered to sit in silence with his finger on his lips while they watched Bafétimbi Gomis and Yoann Gourcuff. Then, he was forced to eat his dinner, every last bit of it, and sent to bed while the big boys discussed what to do. He is Alan Pardew.
Meanwhile, relief for Manchester United: sometimes this week, Besiktas plan to sign their "left-back" Alexander Büttner on loan. No one at the club is quite sure why but they are rumoured to have a vacancy for a free-kick mannequin.
And United will also be relieved to learn that after an intense period of intense psychotherapy and physical rehabilitation, Everton have recovered from the derision and insult that massacred their Monday. It has been a long road back, but, eventually, they made it, and they're here, and they're ready, and they survived, and waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, of course there will be occasional lapses waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, it's to be expected, triggers, breathe, waaaaaaaah waaaaaaaaaaaah, calm. But they're here, and in the way that light can be found in the darkest places, a bulb has illuminated in the dinky little head of Roberto Martínez: sign James McCarthy from Wigan. Martínez plans to pay Wigan as much as possible, to avoid visiting on them the same horror endured by him.
And across Stanley Park, Barcelona are rumoured to be interested in Liverpool's tattooist and part-time centre-back, Daniel Agger. However, Agger is concerned that were he to leave Anfield, he might, occasionally, be forced to walk alone, a circumstance to which he became allergic after etching "YNWA" on to his fingers, in an act of unparalleled loyalty. But spare a thought for poor Mrs Agger, who, since becoming tired of being woken in the night to accompany him to the toilet while ostentatiously holding a scarf above her head, has engaged the services of a night nurse – but it is felt that the condition might intensify should he move to Spain.
Elsewhere, it's been a few minutes since Sunderland spent money that they cannot possibly be earning on a player of whom they cannot possibly have heard. Consequently, they are close to signing Charalampos "Charis" Mavrias from Panathinaikos. Supposedly, he plays on the right-wing but some of his best friends do not.