With James Rodríguez and any grasshoppers he may be carrying poised to complete a move to Real Madrid for a fee of around €75m, Monaco are looking for a new top playmaking talent to excite their tens of fans.
The club’s first choice was Rodrigo but the Benfica schemer is more interested in Atlético Madrid or Valencia so the French accountancy firm will instead turn their attentions to either Xherdan Shaqiri or Wesley Sneijder. Manchester United are also wooing the Dutchman, possibly out of habit more than anything, so Galatasaray may yet find themselves pocketing far more than the 30-year-old’s £22m buy-out clause. Billionaire-backed French clubs could prove quite the bane to United this summer, as Paris Saint-Germain are intent on coming between them and Angel Di María.
Monaco do not just want a playmaker; apparently they are also keen on a prolific selfie-taker, which means that Arsène Wenger will have to find something else to do in the 60th minute of matches other than substitute Lukas Podolski.
United are also reported to be preparing a £17m bid for the Ajax midfielder Daley Blind and an offer of nearly £20m for Borussia Dortmund’s Mats Hummels. Leicester City are trying to pick up 34-year-old Florent Malouda. Yes, United and Leicester are in the same league this season.
In a move for which even José Mourinho must have grudging admiration, Manuel Pellegrini has decided to try to gazump Chelsea for the services of Didier Drogba. Rumours that City have also set aside a fund to pay any interested parties not to offer to take Fernando Torres off Chelsea’s hands are as yet unconfirmed.
In a further blow to Chelsea, Tiago Mendes has decided to stay at Atlético Madrid rather than return to Stamford Bridge. As a result, Chelsea are said to be contemplating buying Javi García from City, but surely even Pellegrini couldn’t really envisage such a turn of events.
New York City FC are on the brink of capturing another former Spanish World Cup winner, with little Xavi set to join David Villa in the Big Apple.
Mark Hughes is still hopeful that he will get to find out whether Bojan Krkic can do it on a wet Tuesday night in Stoke but he is less confident of landing Jonathan Biabiany, with Sunderland seemingly favourites to prise the French winger from Parma. Wilson Palacios’s mooted move to Qatar has fallen through, a development which may have the Honduran kicking himself in frustration.
Finally, Roberto Martínez has gathered his closest confidantes in a huddle to discuss a possible bid for Yacine Brahimi, who was last seen being a nifty presence in the heart of the Algeria midfield at the World Cup.