The Premier League’s fit and proper person test could really do with a rethink. First there was Manchester City’s unscrupulous owners refusing to properly acknowledge Yaya Touré’s birthday and now Uncle Mike Ashley has not been showing enough gratitude towards poor old Alan Pardew.
So disheartened by this is Pardew that the Newcastle manager has taken to publicly thanking himself after the Magpies swooped for Rémy Cabella and we can expect more self-congratulation on Tyneside imminently with both Daryl Janmaat and striker Emmanuel Rivière set to join for a combined fee of £11m from Feyenoord and Monaco respectively.
Pardew’s previous trendsetting attempts – namely, eight-year contracts and touchline headbutting – have failed to catch on but public patting-yourself-on-the-back may well have legs. Louis van Gaal was never shy in taking praise during Holland’s run to the World Cup semi-finals and expect a big “Dank U” in the mirror from the Dutchman if he can pry Arturo Vidal away from Juventus.
Manchester United did appear to be in the “crossing the i’s and dotting the t’s” phase for a fee of up to £40m but the Old Lady has taken off her gloves and challenged the Red Devils to a game of hardball. It could well be double disappointment for Van Gaal with Ángel di Maria ready to snub a move to England in favour of Paris Saint-Germain.
Meanwhile, Liverpool manager, Brendan Rodgers has £75m burning a hole in his pocket and a Luis Súarez sized hole to fill at Anfield. It has also been more than a week since the Reds tilted their chequebook in Southampton’s direction and they are not going to let Jay Rodriguez’s knee injury get in the way. Wilfried Bony and Loïc Remy are other options being mulled over by Rodgers but Marco Reus is unlikely to have his head turned by Liverpool’s reported £45m offer, even if Borussia Dortmund do. The Reds may have more joy with Sevilla’s left-back Alberto Moreno.
Arsène Wenger is more likely to be found whispering “Merci Beaucoup” to himself however – the Gunners, fresh from tying up a deal for Alexis Sánchez – have agreed a £3.2m fee for Colombia and Nice goalkeeper, David Ospina, according to reports in France. Sami Khedira’s wage demands are likely to rule him out of a move to the Emirates however.
He might not have a degree in bridge-building but that is not going to stop Edinson Cavani looking to engineer a move to the Premier League – the Uruguayan has a host of clubs on red alert after telling his agent he is after a move to England.
The good times do not appear to be on their way back to Villa Park with Roma set to swoop for the Holland centre-back Ron Vlaar for £6m. But Harry Redknapp appears to have got his way and convinced the QPR board to pay the wages of “top, top player” and everyone’s new favourite low-cost airline pilot, Rio Ferdinand. Trust the QPR owners to get things right ...