After two-thirds of a single decent but likely fruitless season, news of Brendan Brendan's prowess has spread near and narrow. As such, he thinks that he can attract Isco to Liverpool; the player, whose arrival at the Bernabéu sparked a chain of events that ended with that embarrassing umlaut craze in north London, has lost his spot in the Real Madrid side to Luka Modric. But Brendan sees him as the long-term replacement for "Steven", as holding midfielder, midfield general, captain, and Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
And with Pepe Reina unlikely to return to Anfield following his season's loan at Napoli, Liverpool are arranging the closest possible thing to a like-for-like replacement in taking fellow Spanish liability, Víctor Valdés. Valdés will almost definitely leave Barcelona in the summer, but there is competition for his signature – Manchester City and Monaco have also been duped by the quality of players in front of him.
Elsewhere in Spain, Enrique Cerezo, the president of Atlético Madrid, has reiterated his position that Diego Costa is not for sale. Diego Costa does not appear to have been consulted on the matter, but if the Mill were anyone, the Mill would think very carefully before taking any decisions that impacted on his life without his express permission.
In more genteel news, Paris Saint-Germain are interested in the Spurs goalkeeper, Hugo Lloris. And, more amusingly, Jan Vertonghen has begun issuing threats, after asserting that it would find favour in his eyes were the club to reach the Champions League. "Do I have a decision to make if we don't? I can't say anything about that," he Garry-Cook'd. Has someone quickly reminded him of his lack of pace and at best unproven quality? The Mill hopes and trusts so.
Across London, Johan Djourou has "spelled out his Arsenal exit strategy" and "dropped a clear hint that he wishes to leave Arsenal". It is understood that Arsène Wenger will cope, having dropped countless clear hints that he thinks the player is nonsense. Djourou, currently on loan at Hamburg, would like to stay there.
Meanwhile, the various clubs seeking a decent centre-back continue to desire Eliaquim "Mrs" Mangala. Manchester United would like him, peddling the opportunity to be a part of the club's next great side – but as yet, remain stymied by their failure to recruit a suitable manager. Manchester City and Chelsea are also interested, but it now appears that Barcelona have identified him as a potential replacement for Carles Puyol, exchanging ostentatious hair for the ability to defend.
And it is also likely that Premier League clubs will be outflanked in their pursuit of Antoine Griezmann, Real Sociedad's French winger. Again, Chelsea and both the Manchester clubs have heard of him, but he is thought to prefer a move to Paris, as one would.
However, it seems that Chelsea will succeed in one aspect this summer, and finally rid themselves of Mikel John Obi – a player whom they took more strenuous steps to sign than has any club, for anyone, in the history of football. But Mikel, who José Mourinho once described as "pure gold", has turned out more closely to resemble "green", finding himself unable to get into the side of late. Luckily, Internazionale are precisely seeking a person to hang around in front of their back four doing nothing, and are planning to buy him, while Chelsea plan to replace him with Sporting Lisbon's William Carvalho. David Moyes plans to have Carvalho watched 34 or 35 more times, depending, before proceeding to do nothing.