When you hear that Silvio Berlusconi is preparing an offer for a raven-haired siren who's caught his eye, you can't help fearing someone's about to get their bottom pinched. And, indeed, it would be interesting to see what would happen if the incorrigible Italian tried that approach with the latest leggy object of his affections, since it is generally believed that it takes crosses rather than crassness to get the best out of Andy Carroll.
Yes, Milan want to loan Andy Carroll, who, they suspect, does not fit into Brendan Rodgers' plans. He doesn't particularly fit into Massimilano Allegri's plans either but that's OK, since Berlusconi's idea is presumably for Carroll to become the new Luther Blissett and thus serve as a general catch-all figurehead for anarchist collectives and agit-prop troupes all over the world, rather than an actual partner for Zlatan Ibrahimovich, who may have a similar pony-tail but is an entirely different breed.
While Carroll improved towards the end of last season and raised his profile by scoring a fine header against Sweden at Euro 2012, it is thought that his often clumsy touch makes him ill-suited to the slick game to which Rodgers aspires but is well-suited to a place by Berlusconi's side.
Liverpool will obviously have to strengthen their forward options whether Carroll stays or goes but Rodgers isn't having much luck in the transfer market so far and, indeed, his bid for the Real Madrid midfielder Esteban Granero has been rejected, possibly because Real think they can drive the price up a tad, what with Everton and West Ham also being on the case.
Meanwhile at Arsenal directors will try to win back the affections of fans who may have defected to the Alisher Usmanov camp by forking out up to £30m for the Fiorentina forward Stevan Jovetic. And they may complete that coup by slipping the Italians Marouane Chamakh too. Arsène Wenger will pursue this breach of Arsenal's thrifty doctrine by making a "mega-bid" for Victor Moses. Roberto Martínez wants to replace Moses with Chicago Fire's Guatemalan winger Marco Pappa.
The Russian Football Federation is planning a mega-bid too. In their quest to find a replacement for Dick Advocaat as national team manager they are working to a shortlist said to include Pep Guardiola, Joachim Löw, Cesare Prandelli, Fabio Capello and Roberto Mancini. In case the prospect of trying to coax consistency from Andrey Arshavin is not appealing enough, the Russians are willing to make the new man the highest paid manager in the world, which is good news for the new man. Or the man currently finalising a new contract with Man City.
The Daniel Sturridge to Tottenham rumour is back again. Swansea's new manager Michael Laudrup has not only heard of Bristol City but wants to buy one of their players, 24-year-old winger Albert Adomah. West Bromwich Albion's new manager Steve Clarke, meanwhile, is more of a Yassine El Ghanassy man. The 21-year-old Ghent playmaker has been described as "an extraordinary talent, a real magician" by … his agent.