There is no one who does deliberate blind spots quite like Arsène Knows. For years, he inflicted Manuel Spud upon his team despite overwhelming evidence as to his uselessness, and watched as their every effort was undermined accordingly. Then, he refused to sign players able to run fast, despite the success he enjoyed with those who could, and watched as they played side-to-side, in front of the opposition, like a table football team. Finally, he arranged them in a 4-5-1 formation with a decent-but-not-excellent striker therefore unsuited to such a system, and watched as their best title chance in years, perhaps their best title chance for the foreseeable future, sputtered to a halt.
But now, he may finally have given in, having "reportedly" "met" with "Mario" Balotelli's agent to discuss the possibility of recruiting him this summer. As previously "revealed" in these pages, Puma, sponsors of both, are interested in contributing to the transfer – and Knows, a celebrated altruist who tried to sign Luis Suárez last summer, is on board with the ruse. As such, Arsenal are considering making - nay, "slapping in" an offer, noch.
To restore the cosmic balance, Arsenal retain an interest in yet another tricksy type of unfixed position, Julian Draxler. After failing to lower any grundies in January, Schalke have restated their enthusiasm to philanthropically accept a mere £37m for a player who has done reasonably but inconsistently well at a not particularly high level. And of course, all of this makes him an ideal signing for Arsenal, likewise Wolfsburg's Maximilian Arnold, on whom they are also keen.
Meanwhile, in Oporto, Fernando has paused his efforts to hear the drums on a starry night, and decided to cross the metaphorical Rio Grande. Accordingly, his agent quickly proclaimed his desire to play in the Premier League – "God willing", of course, because the big man has nothing to better to do than secure the financial future of António Araújo, whose appreciation will be shown forever after via ATM skywards point. And good old Araújo was also kind enough to let us know that Manchester City were not the player's sole suitor: "He had a good contract from Monaco, but Porto found out that proposal was inconsistent with his aims."
As yet, a team of codebreakers armed with an Enigma machine, has been unable to decipher what precisely this means, but it is suspected that greenbackreadiesbenjamins are in some way implicated.
Talking of which, Chelsea. After failing to buy Diego Costa in January, they are planning to return with a further bid in the summer. The mooted fee is £35m, so Chelsea plan to offer a £15m package comprising £20m cash and Fernando Torres.
Chelsea are also looking at Davy Klaassen, whose name is actually Davy. Yet another Ajax product heavily scouted by English clubs, Klaassen, an attacking midfielder, has attracted interest from Manchester United on account of existing, as well as Tottenham and Villa.
Elsewhere, Barcelona fancy David Luiz, seen as a like-for-like replacement for Carles Puyol on account of lacking defensive ability, teamed with attention-seeking wringlets and ostentatious aggression. But José Mourinho is "believed" to be unwilling to sell to them, and their valuation of the player "may only be" around £22m. Accordingly, it is impossible to fathom why anyone felt this purported news worthy of report.
And finally, that Internazionale are in something of a state has avoided excessive attention, the club eclipsed by its local rivals in traditional style. But, though the Italianportmanteauzzuri remain 24 points off the top of Serie A, their new owner - renowned football expert Erick Thohir - has formulated a plan. He plans to buy the Tottenham failure Erik Lamela, the Real Madrid reject Alvaro Morata, and the past-it Nemanja Vidic. Sorted.