At some point during Chelsea's defeat to Everton last Saturday, the Mill noticed that José Mourinho appeared to have had a quick shave, either as a ruse to get inside Roberto Martínez's head for being Spanish and liking passing or as a deliberate snub to Juan Mata, who of course sports one of the finest beards in the Premier League and who is also offensively, disgracefully, egregiously Spanish.
Just as intriguingly, rumours persisted throughout the summer that a tactically dishevelled Mourinho wanted to slice Mata out of his squad, and the chatter over the midfielder's future refuses to go away, with Juventus and Napoli eager to fondle his facial hair come January.
Arsène Wenger, always smooth of cheek and smooth of football, has never had a beard. He has also never signed a Romanian striker for Arsenal before, but there's a first time for everything and perhaps, soon, he will have both a beard and a Romanian striker at Arsenal. That's if he can convince the former Schalke forward and free agent Ciprian Marica to join him at the Emirates instead of Fiorentina, who need a new striker after Mario Gómez went and knacked himself for a few months. Germany's Andy Carroll there.
It appears that Aston Villa have cracked the lucrative Bulgarian market, with Paul Lambert planning a January move for the Kuban Krasnodar midfielder Ivelin Popov, who was a target during the summer. Villa may have to pay £8.4m for Popov though, and could face competition from PSV Eindhoven and FC Twente. Time to activate the Paul Lambert Death Stare.
Last week, Liverpool were set to miss out on the Anzhi Makhachkala forward Lacina Traoré to Juventus. They're still missing out on him, but this time it's to Galatasaray and no amount of poetry readings from Brendan Rodgers is going to change that reality. Across Stanley Park, Everton are also eyeing a new striker but will have to duke it out with the formidable Joe Kinnear if they are to beat Newcastle to CSKA Moscow's Seydou Doumbia (pronounced Sid Dumbo in Kinnearish).
Meanwhile filming of When Harry Met Harry is set to begin at Loftus Road soon, with Queens Park Rangers set to bring in the Tottenham striker Harry Kane on loan.