It started as a slight tremor underfoot. Then the lightshades began to sway a little, as if picked up by a breeze. Now the Mill will be sending José Mourinho a bill for the three – three! – porcelain animals that fell from the windowsill and shattered on the floor as a stampeding mass of Football League managers passed, on their way to try and persuade the Chelsea manager to let them have a loan of Thorgan Hazard. Apparently Eden's younger brother is to be recalled from a spell in Belgium and given time in English football, to hasten his readiness for a spot in Mourinho's humble wee underdog side. It's exciting news all right, José, but that hand-painted okapi won't be easy to replace. Six weeks, we collected those tokens.
Those of you who take the Sunday papers will have spotted a theme in yesterday's transfer talk: Manchester United were signing everybody. "Buy all the things!" David Moyes appeared to have shouted, frantically pointing at Everton's Seamus Coleman, Southampton's Luke Shaw, the Juventus midfielders Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba (yep), and Atlético's free-scoring Diego Costa. With United having snatched a draw from the jaws of victory in the intervening period, this morning's papers look a bit different. There's Wee Davey, rubbing his face as if he means to have his eyebrows off. There he is, staring hard at the collar of his coat. That's him trying to get his hand to his itchy nose without stuffing his fist into his mouth and clamping down hard. Today, Manchester United are going to be beaten to Porto's Fernando by Manchester City, and are probably not going to sign Alen Halilovic from Dinamo Zagreb. Still, neither are Spurs or Barcelona, it says here.
Once he's finished being all sorts of grateful to United for taking the heat off, Arsenal's Arsène Wenger will concentrate on the job of shoring up his "feeble" side by talking Porto's Eliaquim Mangala and the Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry in to joining in the summer. According to the Star, though, he'll be losing the services of Bacary Sagna and Lukasz Fabianski, who both want out when their contracts are up in a few months' time. Liverpool, meanwhile, are being linked with Ashley Cole, a free agent at the season's end, and the Nottingham Forest defender Jamaal Lascelles.
While we're at the City Ground (where your totally topical tasting Rumour Mill can tell you it's not mist but the swollen Trent that's threatening to roll in), there's talk of a loan move for West Brom's Graham Dorrans. Sheffield Wednesday, too, are looking at loan deals, with Sunderland's Conor Wickham top of the list. Hull City, though, want a proper sale on the Bolton Wanderers midfielder Lee Chung-yong , and they're prepared to stump up £3m to make it happen.
According to the Daily Mail, Mauricio Pochettino will be called upon to replace Carlo Ancelotti if he doesn't secure enough loot for Real Madrid. Remember what your mother told you about sentences that begin 'According to the Daily Mail', mind. And finally, Britain's tabloid sub-editors journeyed to work this morning wearing paper hats and blowing enthusiastically into party horns after getting word that Fulham will finally get their hands on Schalke's Christian Fuchs this summer. Calamitous own goal? FUCHS SAKE! Groin knack? FUCHS ACHE. The possibilities are
quite limited but amusing nonetheless endless.