Now that the terrible crisis at Manchester City is finally over, Pep Guardiola can kick back and relax by indulging in his Emirati owners’ favourite pastime – disgustingly extravagant spending.
Ironic, then, that Pep’s latest expensive transfer target could arrive at the Etihad by virtue of some disgustingly extravagant spending by the Qatari owners at Paris Saint-Germain.
Because it turns out that PSG’s extravagant £167m “loan” purchase of Kylian Mbappe last summer may have actually been too disgusting for UEFA’s tastes.
According to the Sunday Mirror, the Ligue 1 leaders may be forced to sell Mbappe this summer (presumably immediately after buying him, because they haven’t actually given Monaco that £167m yet) if European football’s governing body rules that his transfer broke Financial Fair Play rules.
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And if they do, City will be waiting in the wings to take advantage of this shocking injustice – because Sheikh Mansour would never dream of bankrolling a football team to the point of immorality – by snapping Mbappe up.
And they won’t stop there. The Mail on Sunday says Guardiola is also lining up a £50m move for Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara, who he has previously managed at Bayern and Barcelona.
The 27-year-old Spaniard would supply an injection of relative youth into a City midfield currently populated by lumbering over-30s such as David Silva, Fernandinho and Yaya Toure.
Also on Pep’s radar is the young Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt, who the Sunday Mirror says City are “favourites” to sign ahead of Arsenal and Bayern in another £50m deal. It’s only money, innit.
Chelsea are on “red alert” again, this time because Robert Lewandowski has been made available for transfer and they really want to buy him.
The Daily Star Sunday says the Bayern goal machine has been “offered to top clubs”, so it’s unclear why Chelsea would have heard about it.
But apparently they have – and the Blues are now aiming to beat Real Madrid, Man City and Liverpool (teams evidently plucked out of thin air by the Daily Star Sunday) to the signature of the £70m-rated Pole.
Manchester United are set to launch a £35m raid for Leicester City defender Harry Maguire, claims the Sunday People – which frames the move as some kind of personal duel between Maguire and Chris Smalling.
It says the 25-year-old Foxes centre-back has already taken Smalling’s place is in the England team and now plans to usurp him at Old Trafford too, as if he is doing it as revenge for Smalling spilling his pint in 2011, or something.
Meanwhile, West Ham are beginning another long, hard summer of seeking a 20-goal-a-season striker, or even just a 10-goal-a-season striker, and this has led them to Alassane Plea. The Sun on Sunday says the Hammers are keen on the 25-year-old Nice striker, who would cost £25m.
Elsewhere, Hammers hero Carlos Tevez is being lined for a move to MLS outfit DC United, along with current Irons striker Javier Hernandez (Sun on Sunday).
Tottenham and Arsenal target Malcom says he wants to play for PSG (Le10Sport) and Everton will link up with “super agent” Mino Raiola to “mastermind” their summer transfer strategy (Sunday Mirror). Maybe he can get them Romelu Lukaku back.