Ah, the Glorious Twelfth! As you have no doubt been made aware by all the newspaper pull-outs, Tuesday marks the start of the season. The grouse-hunting season, that is, when certain people have willow ptarmigan for lunch every day and the perfect excuse to ramble around with loaded guns. So be careful, readers, this is no time to go drinking uninvited in moorland. Stick to the streets for a few months.
Or the trains. Because in a few days the Premier League season kicks off and that, following last weekend’s start to lower league campaigns, marks the beginning in earnest of the mass drinking on trains season. So here’s to nine months of cracking open the first can at 8.30am, getting 17 trips to the toilet in before the first delay for engineering works, pulling into the station six minutes before kick-off, paying a taxi fare and – oops! – the £50 soiling charge to get to the stadium on time, belting out the same sweary anthems your lot have been singing for the last 35 years, then trudging back to the station with another bag of cans, a clutch of chips and hazy memories of the day’s events. Result!
One of the players you could get a chance to not remember seeing play this season is Edinson Cavani, who, not for the first time nor probably the last, is being linked with Chelsea, who, following Didier Drogba’s injury, are starting to think they would be unforgivably foolish to go into the new season at risk of another striker deficit. With Cavani said to be unhappy at being continually stationed wide on the left at Paris Saint-Germain, the two clubs’ interests could converge, resulting in the Uruguayan heading to Stamford Bridge and some money and André Schürrle heading the other way.
An alternative theory is that Chelsea will go for Loïc Rémy, who, of course, was deemed unworthy by Liverpool, who, in turn, are now said to be interested in Samuel Eto’o, who, of course, was deemed unworthy by Chelsea. Tottenham Hotspur are also reported to be courting Rémy, with Andros Townsend, a success at Loftus Road when on loan the season before last, being touted as a makeweight.
Joel Campbell knows what it’s like to be a success on loan but not what it’s like to thrive at Arsenal – and he may never get that chance if it is true that Galatasaray are preparing a gargantuan double bid for him and Lukas Podolski. Keep your eyes on the ever-grinning German’s Twitter feed for possible selfies of him being unveiled in his new club’s shirt.
That pair could be joined in Turkey by Kolo Touré, who is as wanted by Trabzonspor and not so much by Liverpool. Perhaps Chelsea will make an offer for him? Although the mooted £30m bid for Mehdi Benatia seems more likely.
Mark Hughes is determined to continue revamping his own and Stoke City’s image by rescuing Nathan Redmond from Norwich.
Aston Villa are hoping to entice Colombia’s World Cup campaigner Carlos Sánchez to Birmingham by offering him the chance to scrap for a diamond in the Bull Ring and against relegation on the pitch.