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Transfer balls: Alexis Sanchez ‘stays at Arsenal’, Bayern won’t pay silly money and Barcelona don’t want him

Transfer balls: Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez has been offered £280,000 a week to continue kissing the badge. He’s in no rush to sign. Chances are high he will leave the Gunners. The Mirror quotes Ivan Zamorano, the former Chile and Real Madrid player, who opines: “What he really wants is to win the Champions’ League. And I don’t think he’ll have that chance at Arsenal.” Well, ‘duh. Arsenal have been in one final ever – they lost. And they’re not even in this season’s competition.

Of course, Sanchez had a better chance to winning the Champions’ League at Barcelona. But they got rid of him and triumphed in his absence. The question must be: is Sanchez a better player because he plays among less stella players? And if Champions’ League victory is his grail, why did Sanchez join Arsenal in the first place?

As for ‘news’, in the race for clicks, the Daily Star take the biscuit with its fake news story: “Alexis Sanchez is staying at Arsenal.” There it is on Google:

alexis sanchez arsenal staying


Take the bait. Click the link and you are told: “That’s according to Chilean reporter Juan Luis who works for TV station El Filtrador.

Who? What? It’s a bit of guessing by a journalist on twitter presented as fact in a British newspaper.

And what about Bayern? The story was that Sanchez wanted to play for Bayern Munich and thereby win everything in the monotonous German league. But Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness says he won’t pay huge money for Sanchez: “The salaries being talked about up front of over €20 million [a year] are definitely an amount that isn’t feasible for FC Bayern.” And if Arsenal won’t sell Sanchez to Manchester City, where does the Chilean go to reap his reported demand of in excess of £300,000 a week?

Maybe Sanchez should just sit tight? In the last year of his Arsenal contract, he could claim his current £140,000 week, reasoning that any signing on fee would outweigh his reduced salary. He can talk to other European clubs in January. So long as his form and fitness endure, Sanchez would head to Bayern on a vastly reduced fee allowing the Germans to splurge all their cash on his wages.

It’s going to be a long summer. And Arsenal fans can spend it wondering how after Robin Van Persi and Samir Nasri were allowed to enter the final year of their contracts before joining rival clubs, the Gunners board let their best player get to this point again.

Posted: 4th, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Arsenal ‘bid’ £125 for Kylian Mbappe, Lacazette arrives and Gooners click

Transfer Balls: Is Kylian Mbappe heading from Monaco to Arsenal, Real Madrid or Liverpool? The Indy says the player’s “dropped a huge hint” he’s leaving the French club. So big is this “hint” that it now “looks certain he will now move”.

The Indy says Mbappe is surely leaving Monaco “after removing any reference to the club in his Twitter bio.” Jack Austin has the facts. But when we looked at Mbappe’s Twitter page we see two photos of the player wearing his Monaco kit? Not exactly shunning them, is he?


Kylian Mbappé Verified account @ KMbappe


After that total balls, the Mirror says Mbappe is leaving Monaco. He’s going to play for…Arsenal. Maybe. The Gunners are “preparing a stunning £125million Kylian Mbappe bid”. Facts to support this story of an astronomical bid for an 18-year-old player there are none. Nil. Ziltch. Zippo.

But in the world of clickbait football reporting,  when one newspaper makes a claim the others pile in and agree. So the Sun reads the Mirror’s scoop and declares: “ARSENAL will launch a mega £125million world record bid for Monaco hitman Kylian Mbappe this week.” It’s source? Yep, the Daily Mirror.

Amidst this human caterpillar of news reporting, the Mirror mentions another Arsenal target:

The Gunners are battling Real Madrid for the 18-year-old’s signature. But a deal for Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette seems far from done as the striker wants to join up with close friend Antoine Griezmann at Atletico Madrid.

So says Steve Stammers in a story timestamped at “22:30, 2 JUL 2017”

But in another Daily Mirror story by Darren Lewis dated “19:50, 2 JUL 2017”, we learn that Lacazette to Arsenal is a dead cert:

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas says Alexandre Lacazette’s move to Arsenal is set to be completed in “one or two days”.

Lacazette is set to sign a five-year deal with the Gunners, who are expected to pay £44million for the French international’s services.

With tight reporting like that, surely we can look forward to more Mirror news on that huge Mbappe bid and work out how many fist-sized pinched of salt we should take it with …

Posted: 2nd, July 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Arsenal and the ‘riceless’ Kylian Mbappe ‘bombshell’

Transfer balls: Will Arsenal sign Monaco’s #100m-rated forward? No. The Mail says the Gunners are “out of Kylian Mbappe race”. They are? Arsenal are rumoured to have made a bid of £87m for the teenager. But the club hasn’t commented on that. And Arsenal haven’t said they won’t sign him, either.

The Mail’s scoop contains not a single word from the club. So how does it know they are out of the race to sign the player? No idea. The paper just says it’s so and that’s that.

The Express has more. It talks of the “Mbappe bombshell”. What did he say? “Mbappe, 18, has changed his Twitter cover photo to a snap of himself running past an advertising board which says ‘priceless’.”

Or “riceless”.


 Kylian Mbappe


Meanwhile, Arsenal player-getting Ivan Gazidis, the club’s chief executive, tells fans at a Q&A at the Emirates: “I think we do need a better connection with our fanbase.”

In short: it’s season ticket renewal time. It’s going to get so much better. Now pay up! And no, the tickets are not “riceless”. They’re reassuringly expensive.

Posted: 30th, June 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney ‘bullied’ in yet another body-shaming attack

When Wayne Rooney finally waves adieu to Manchester United, the tabloids will miss him. He’s been an environment of on-the-clock sex, foul-mouthed rants, rethreading and explosions of ferocious power and sublime skill. When he goes the Sun will produce a special souvenir issue with Shrek toys for the kids, phone-box calling cards for the dads and a hailing of the theme tune from The Adams Family for everyone to click along to when the paper is opened.

It’s been easy to take the Wazz out of Wazza. Given the amount to abuse chucked his way, Rooney might well we reappraised as a model of self restraint.

For an age Rooney has been a figure of fun – and the tabloids have been at the forefront of mocking the most gifted English football of his crop. Rooney has been portrayed as thick, fat and ugly.


rooney wayne shrek fat

rooney wayne shrek fat

The Sun salutes the captain

wayne rooney sex



Today the Mirror – the paper that told readers Rooney had been “kicked out” of the club years before he became United’s all-time top goal scorer – points and laughs at the man. In “The remarkable differences between Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo with their shirts off”, readers are invited to look at “two men of similar age… and very different physiques: “Take a look at Ronaldo and Rooney and “it’s considerably harder to believe that they are of a similar age… particularly when they go topless.”


manchester united rooney mirror fat


Imagine this were women the paper was talking about, say, comparing Theresa May’s legs to Nichola Sturgeon’s. When the Daily Mail did just that, the Mirror branded the paper “sexist”. Jeremy Corbyn told the paper that supports his Labour Party: “It’s 2017. This sexism must be consigned to history.” It was, said the paper, a “sexist row”. Amelia Womack, deputy leader of the Green Party, called Press watchdog IPSO for “breaking the editors” code and treating women with contempt.

But the Mirror sees a paparazzi photo of Rooney on his holidays and says “given how similar Rooney and Ronnie once were, the recent images of the England captain on holiday in Ibiza become particularly interesting when they are put alongside images of his former team mate. Especially when you remember that the Real Madrid superstar is actually eight months OLDER than the United striker…”

This from the paper that talked of “body-shaming bullies”.

Having diced Rooney into body parts – “the abs”; “the tan”; “the modelling potential” – the Mirror heralds another long lens photo of Rooney minding his own business: “Behold the most unflattering image of England’s record goalscorer you have ever seen.”

Maybe to escape the name calling and body-shaming, Rooney should seek out a new career as an MP? One thing for sure: his skin’s thick enough.

Posted: 28th, June 2017 | In: Back pages, Key Posts, manchester united, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Arsenal should take Liverpool’s cash for disappointing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Transfer balls: Arsenal fans are “worried” says the Daily Mirror. ” The paper says Gooners are fretting because – get this – bit-part player Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is wanted by Liverpool. T

The Ox, as some call him, has been at Arsenal since August 1011. If that time he has been disappointing – a skilful player lacking in killer instinct.

If Arsenal can get £25m for him, it would be a more than decent fee for player who hasn’t progressed as far as was hoped. It would also mean that Liverpool sign yet another player who once wore Southampton’s colours. The Mirror says Liverpool’s move would be a “remarkable transfer coup”.

No. It wouldn’t. Oxlade-Chamberlain is approaching the final year of his Arsenal contract. The Gunners have not offered him a new one says the paper. It’s not remarkable. It’s pretty humdrum.

Note: Don’t panic! He’s not going. “Arsenal star Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ready to turn down Liverpool and commit future to Gunners.” You can read all about Alex’s “bumper new Arsenal contract” in the… Daily Mirror.

Posted: 27th, June 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Alexandre Lacazette leaves Arsenal drifting

Transfer balls – a look a clickbait football reporting in the mainstream media. The Daily Mirror says Arsenal have signed lexandre Lacazette from Lyons. Arsene Wenger, the eternal Arsenal manager, has “tied up” the player for £44m.


Alexandre Lacazette


The Mirror has form, of course, with utter balls. This was the paper that told reader that Wenger will leave Arsenal next week:


daily mirror wenger quits sack resigns arsenal


So the Mirror’s news that Alexandre Lacazette has joined Arsenal for £44m should be met with circumspection. Lyons president Jean-Michel Aulas tells L’Equipe it is “premature” to suggest the France international will end up at the Emirates.

Sky Sports saw the interview and whacked it through Google Translate. The result makes Aulus sound like he’s raving mad:

“I do not intend to cede Alexandre quickly, because there is always the will of Atletico Madrid to bring it to January 1… Everyone knows that Atletico’s offer is 53m euros plus 12m bonus. That’s 65m euros [£57m]. As the leaders of Arsenal are well informed, they will be in those waters.”

So much for the tied-up deal, then.

Posted: 25th, June 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal Balls: Mesut Ozil kisses the badge but Welbeck get Sanchez’s Number 7 shirt

Transfer Balls: The Daily Telegraph no longer exists to report news. It exits to foster rumour on the back of unbelievable fantasy and what it dramatically calls “cryptic messages” –  and the rest of us call tweets. In today’s Telegraph, we read that Arsenal fans are “rejoicing” in the news that “Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez have helped launch the club’s new 2017/18 kit”.

Anyone not reading that with a jaundiced eye hasn’t been using the internet and noticing how newspapers have gone from informing from gathering facts to churning continual denial and assertion. So the fact that two employees of a club bother to model the club’s new kit is a matter of intrigue and guesswork designed to entice.

The paper spins the launch of a new kit into: “The pair’s presence in the promotional material for the new kit will give Arsenal fans renewed hope that they will both extend their contracts with the club.”


arsenal balls


Arsenal fans rejoice! Just as you rejoiced when before the 2012-2013 season, Arsenal’s then captain Robin van Persie pulled on the latest kit. He left soon afterwards to play for Manchester United.

Oh, and just to ensure all bases are covered the Telegraph then belches this out:


arsenal balls


No. They don’t accidentally do anything.

Posted: 21st, June 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Broadsheets, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Peak Clickbait: Arsenal player transfers to Arsenal

Have we reached peak clickbait in the Daily Telegraph? In “Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to leave Arsenal? Seven destinations and seven replacements”, the paper of record ticks all the boxes in how to create clicks from nothing.


clickbait arsenal telegraph


Having asked the question to which you’d once-upon-a-time have expected a national newspaper with experts to answer – and the answer is always ‘No’ to any question posed in a headline – the paper then sets about making a Transfer Balls list.


The Tele argues that Oxlade-Chamberlain could leave Arsenal for – deep breath – Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City, West Ham, Everton, Manchester United and…Arsenal! Can you leave and remain at the same club?

As the paper mangles the English language, it also lists 7 players who could replace the underwhelming Ox. One of them is Kylian Mbappe, a striker, which Oxlade-Chamberlain most certainly isn’t.


Posted: 20th, June 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Broadsheets, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Will Ronaldo snub Manchester United for the beer?

Much chatter over Cristiano Ronaldo making a return to play in England. Well, it is the summer and off-season since he left the Manchester for Madrid we get the same story.

Apparently, Ronaldo is no longer in love with Real Madrid. The rumours are many and varied. Ronaldo, 32, wants his agent Jorge Mendes to seal a “dream return” to Manchester United, says the Sun. But Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho (agent: Jorge Mendez) doesn’t want him, says the Daily Star. In Spain, Marca say Real Madrid may yet twist Ronaldo’s arm to remain at the club.

The Daily Mail says Manchester United have £183m to see if spunking loads of cash will iron out any wrinkles. They’ll offer Madrid that gargantuan sum and David de Gea in exchange for Ronaldo and Spain striker Alvaro Morata. The Mirror says United will offer De Gea plus £175m for Ronaldo.

@OfficialBWFC – Bolton Wanderers – have weighed up the pros and cons and “can confirm we won’t be holding talks with Cristiano Ronaldo.”

German third division side Fortuna Koln will go for him. They have offered Ronaldo a lifetime supply of Kolsh, the local beer.

Ronaldo has yet to make any comment.

Posted: 19th, June 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez isn’t cryptic he’s just spouting nonsense

Transfer balls: Is Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez speaking in code or just trite attempts at aphorisms?

The Daily Mirror has been watching Sanchez’s Instagram account. It tells readers: ‘Arsenal fans beg Alexis Sanchez to stay as he posts cryptic message saying his “heart cries” amid intense speculation.’ Never mind the pathetic sight of fans begging a man to remain at a club he wants to leave, and take a look at his words. Says Sanchez: ”



Ya tengo 80 años 😊y Sabes porque en mi cara siempre hay una sonrisa ?
Porque la vida me enseño que siempre hay que buscarle el lado bueno a las cosas y recordar que “TODO PASA POR ALGO”. Mantén tu sonrisa siempre aunque tú corazón llore

Slap Sanchez’s wods though the Mirror’s automatic translator and you get:

“I’m already 80 years old. And you know why there’s always a smile on my face? Because life taught me that you always have to look for the good side to things and remember that everything goes on something.

“Keep your smile always, even if your heart cries.”

In short: always look on the bright side of life. Not a single word about Arsenal. But to the Mirror it means something about his leaving Arsenal.

Utter balls, of course. And it’s balls that keeps on coming. The Metro has been at the forefront of taking Sanchez’s Instagram feed and dishing it up news.

6 March 2017: “Alexis Sanchez responds to Arsenal speculation with cryptic ‘warrior’ Instagram post”

Sanchez says: “The true warrior fights not because he hates the ones in front of him, but because he loves those behind him. 🔴⚪️ Let’s go Gunners.The only failure is not trying.”

Translation: Hope we win!

27 Apr 2017: “Alexis Sanchez posts cryptic Instagram message amid transfer speculation”

He says: “You’ll notice that what today appears to be a sacrifice, will end up being the greatest achievement of your life’ said Sanchez.”

Translation: Do your best!

12 May 2017: “Alexis Sanchez posts cryptic Instagram message amid Bayern Munich and Chelsea transfer links”

He says: “If you want to know your past, you need to look at your present to get results. If you want to know your future look what you do now to achieve everything you want.”

Translation: Glad we won!

It’s not cryptic is it. It’s just the sort of therapeutic guff you read in self-help books – or ‘news sources’, as the tabloids would put it.

Posted: 16th, June 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Arsenal look to Liverpool to resolve Alexis Sanchez to Manchester City transfer

Transfer Balls – with Alexis Sanchez Watch: The Arsenal player wants to leave the Gunners. Will he join Manchester City or Bayern Munich? Arsenal should get shot of him, of course. Any player who wants to leave isn’t committed to the cause. You cut them out. Let’s see what the paper’s are saying:


alexis sanchez man city


The Daily Mirror leads with news that Sanchez ” fears” Arsenal will block his move to Man City. The paper says City will “trump Bayern’s £40m offer and give Sanchez £280,000-a-week”.   Arsenal, we read, have offered Sanchez “in excess of £275,000-a-week to stay at Arsenal”.


sanchez arsenal mirror


But hold on. On June 8, the Mirror told us that Bayern were offering Sanchez £350,000 a week. Are we to believe Sanchez will take less money to play for Man City? Is he in a Dutch auction?


sanchez arsenal mirror


The Evening Standard relays what Sanchez has been telling the local Chilean Press: “I’m looking at what my agent is doing. For now, I’m focused on the Confederations Cup in Russia and trying to do well. The truth is that my agent will see to it. He knows and he will sit down with the club to look for the best option for me. I’d like a lot of things but I’m only thinking about the national team.”

Is all the drip-feeding of information the agent’s work, a ploy aimed at gaiting the best terms for his client? As it stands, no deal has been done. Sanchez remains an Arenal player.

The Metro says “Manchester City are reportedly getting increasingly confident that Arsenal will buckle and end up selling Alexis Sanchez this summer instead of losing him on a free transfer in a year’s time.” The Metro presents it as Sanchez holding all the cards. But does he? He’s 28. He’s on £130,000-a-week at Arsenal. Unless he plays to his optimum level next season that huge pay rise will vanish. As for a loss of transfer fees, well, if he fires Arsenal into the Champions’ League or to the Premier League title, £40m will be worth the gamble, and that’s not taking into account the £7.5 in extra cash Arsenal will pay Sanchez under a new deal nor the cost of recruiting his replacement. Add in the fact what selling your best player to a rival says about your club’s ambitions and negotiations look less biased towards the player.

Jeremy Wilson notes:

Arsenal should this time call the player’s bluff. They should make a statement about their ambitions in relation to a Chelsea or City, just as Liverpool did at their expense in the summer of 2013 over Luis Suarez.

Liverpool were in an admittedly stronger position but Arsenal’s offer of £40 million, even allowing for the extra £1, was hardly derisory. Arsenal thought that Suarez’s very public desire to join them would force Liverpool’s hand, in the same way as they had felt obliged in previous summers to let star players leave. Liverpool said no and how did it work out? Suarez eventually settled down and signed a new contract four months later on the understanding that he would leave the following summer. Liverpool almost won the Premier League and then still received a far bigger fee – £65 million – from Barcelona for their player.

Over to you, Alexis.

The Manchester Evening News says, “Manchester City have been left hoping Alexis Sanchez can hold his nerve long enough to force a move to the Etihad.” the paper cite’s anonymous sources who “claim Sanchez has set his heart on a reunion with Guardiola, who signed him for Barcelona in 2011.”

Finally, the Daily Mail says Arsenal will accept no bids from English clubs. It says Manchester City and Chelsea “are ready to pay £45m” for Sanchez. “But due to Arsenal’s stance, he will have to look at offers from the likes of Bayern Munich, Juventus or Paris Saint-Germain instead.”

Or he could stay at Arsenal. The Telegraph says: “Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, does, however, retain some hope of convincing Sanchez to stay. Watch this space…”


Posted: 14th, June 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Liverpool, Manchester City, News, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Man City’s Joe Hart’s Liverpool limbo

News is that Joe Hart hasn’t received any offers. Oh, come on, someone must have offered the big lunk a job as a clothes line or a figuring in a bi snow globe (he’s not advertising anti-dandruff treatments any longer so look out below).

The Sun and Mirror say the Manchester City and England goalkeeper is “in limbo”, having received no offers to play for a new club. The idea of Joe Hart, a man possessed with all the composure of a loon screaming at pigeons in the precinct, being agile enough to dive for a ball let alone limbo is far-fetched.

But can this be the same Joe Hart who had agreed to joined Liverpool?


joe hart balls liverpool


joe hart balls liverpool


The Mirror then produces one of those awful ‘7 things’ columns:


joe hart balls liverpool


Such are the facts.

Posted: 12th, June 2017 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Alvaro Morata expects Chelsea move, joins Arsenal and agrees to play for Manchester United

Transfer balls: Alvaro Morata has “agreed to join Manchester United” from Real Madrid. The BBC says a fee of “around £60m” has been agreed.

The Guardian says Morata’s agent, Juanma Lopez, has negotiated a deal for the former Juventus player’s move to United.

But the deal’s not done. And in the greedy world of the football meat trade, nothing is completed until the player pulls on the shirt and kisses the badge. The Guardian adds that negotiations between the clubs may not be straightforward because of friction relating to David de Gea:

United have frustrated Madrid’s attempts to sign the goalkeeper and fear the Spanish club will drive a hard bargain over Morata as a result. The De Gea issue has led to a strained relationship in the past, with a proposed move breaking down in 2015.

The BBC has jumped the gun – just as the Bleacher Report went too soon in 2014, when it reported that Morata had joined Arsenal, which he never did:


morata arsenal

Guillem Balague told readers:

Alvaro Morata, the 21-year-old striker who was considered a potential starter at Real Madrid in years to come, has agreed to join Arsenal. Not on loan, but transferred.


morata chelsea


And in February 2017, Morata was on his way to Chelsea, said the Telegraph:

Chelsea’s hopes of landing a significant transfer blow on Saturday’s opponents Arsenal have been boosted after Álvaro Morata told friends that he expects to move to Stamford Bridge in the summer.

And on May 25, the Express told its readers:

Real Madrid News: Alvaro Morata snubs Manchester United and Chelsea to agree AC Milan move

Either Morata isn’t a man of his word or else the media is full of utter balls.


Posted: 10th, June 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Wayne Rooney committed to Manchester United months ago

Transfer balls: Is Wayne Rooney staying at Manchester United? The Daily Mail has a scoop:

Wayne Rooney may decide to see out Manchester United contract which has one year left to run


manchester united rooney


Or to put it another way:  Wayne Rooney may not decide to see out Manchester United contract which has one year left to run.

But there is no maybe about any of it. In February 2017, the BBC told us Rooney was staying.



And before that, back on November 5 2016, the Observer told us Rooney was saying at Old Trafford:

Wayne Rooney is determined to stay at Manchester United until his contract ends in summer 2019 despite losing his place in the first team.



Rooney’s not going anywhere.

But the Metro likes to guess:

Rooney china

Readers were told:

The 31-year-old has 18 months left on his deal at Old Trafford but has decided to leave after breaking Bobby Charlton’s scoring record last week.

Nope. He didn’t decide to leave. He decided to stay.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 9th, June 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Kylian Mbappe goes from £17,000 to £114m as Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United get dizzy

Transfer balls: there’s lots of chatter about Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United bidding for Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe. The numbers are staggering – and mostly guesswork.

£17,000 – “Chelsea could have signed Kylian Mbappe for £17,000 as a 14-year-old – but SNUBBED the wonderkid” – Daily Mirror



Kylian Mbappe


£230,000 – “Arsenal could have signed Kylian Mbappe for just £230,000 last year” – Daily Mail

Rob Draper tells readers:

Arsenal could have signed Kylian Mbappe for just £230,000 last year but £100m-rated teenager heads list of targets…

He’s worth £100m.

Arsene Wenger’s side have put away €100m (£87.5m) for his signing

Curse those euros and pounds! Arsenal don’t have enough.

What do the other reports say – all are from this year?

£60m  – “INTER MILAN believe they can sign one of Europe’s most-wanted talents, Kylian Mbappe, on a discounted £60million fee.” – Express

£70m – “PARIS ST-GERMAIN are reportedly ready to offer £70m for Monaco sensation Kylian Mbappe.” – Daily Star

£80m – “Mbappe: Monaco’s £80m teenager” –  The Times

£85m – “Kylian Mbappe ‘says yes’ to Real Madrid move as Premier League giants appear to miss out on £85m starlet” – Daily Mail

£87m – “YOU’RE KYDDING ME Arsenal could have signed Kylian Mbappe for just £230,000 but could now have to spend over £87million for the Monaco striker” – Sun

£96m – “Monaco reject £96m bid for Kylian Mbappe from English club” – Express

£100m – “Manchester United enter £100million race to sign Monaco star Kylian Mbappe” – Manchester Evening News

£105m – “Arsenal have had a €100million euro (£87million) bid for Kylian Mbappe rejected by Monaco.” – Daily Telegraph

The offer is the third turned down already this summer by the French champions, including a world-record fee of €120million (£105million) made by Real Madrid.

£114m – “The France international, apparently valued by Monaco at a massive £114m” – Daily Star


And up it goes – where it stops, nobody knows.

Posted: 5th, June 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Griezmann didn’t ‘snub’ United he stayed loyal to Atletico

Transfer balls: After all the chatter and scoops about Antoine Griezmann agreeing to join Manchester United for £280,000 a week, the France striker is staying at Atletico Madrid. The Spanish club have been banned from transfers for breaching Fifa rules over the signing of minors.

So does Griezmann ask to move on for loads more cash? No.

“It’s a hard time for the club,” Griezmann tells French television. “It would be a dirty move to leave now – we talked to the leaders and we will be back for next season.”


Griezman man united


Gotta love him.



Posted: 4th, June 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: ‘free agent’ Ozil gets new Arsenal deal

Transfer balls: compare and contrast the reporting on Arsenal’s Mesut Oil.

June 1 2017: “Alexis Sanchez plans to quit Arsenal and Mesut Ozil will reject new deal before moving for free.”

June 2 2017: “Mesut Ozil ready to sign £280000 A WEEK new contract as Arsenal.”


mesut Ozil transfer news arsenal the sun


He’s not singed anything.

Posted: 2nd, June 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal balls: Arsene Wenger and the Daily Mirror’s fake news (scoops)

It was a busy season for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. The Daily Mirror and its reporter John Cross have been at the forefront of Wenger contract news. And the paper’s clear message was that he wasn’t going to sign one.  The paper knew. Wenger was out! And then he signed a new deal keeping him at the club for two more years. It’s not fake news. It’s possibly true:


daily mirror wenger quits sack resigns arsenal


Daily Mirror – John Cross – August 23 2016 – “Boss Wenger will celebrate 20 years in charge of the Gunners at the start of October and there is a growing feeling that he will stand down when his contract expires at the end of this season.”

Daily Mirror – John Cross – Feb 3 2017 – “Arsenal fans’ abuse nudging hurt Arsene Wenger towards the exit THIS summer”

Daily Mirror – John Cross – 16 Feb 2017: “Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger IS set to leave in the summer following shattering Bayern Munich defeat”

Daily Mirror – John Cross, March 2 – “Arsene Wenger gives another clear hint he’s ready to leave Arsenal this summer”

Daily Mirror – John Cross – March 7 – “Arsene Wenger’s position is now untenable after Arsenal suffer another sorry European capitulation”

Daily Mirror – March 19 – Arsene Wenger set to STAY at Arsenal — even if they miss the Champions League for first time under him

Daily Mirror – John Cross, April 10 – “It seems unthinkable Arsenal will give him a new contract. Time to go, Arsene. Arsenal cannot possibly put their supporters through another two years of this”

Daily Mirror – John Cross, May 10 – “Arsene Wenger could still leave Arsenal this summer – there are various factors at play”

Arsene Wenger stays mirror


Such are the facts.


Posted: 1st, June 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal balls: Kroenke ‘orders’ the title as Wenger goes back to the future

Arsenal fans rejoice! Arsenal’s board have “ordered” (Sun) Arsene Wenger to win “a major trophy in the next two years”. “NOW WIN THE TITLE!” barks the Mail’s back page. “Arsenal lay down law to Wenger after new £16m deal.”



wenger arsenal mail


The Daily Star says under Wenger the Gunners have not won the Premier League since 2004 – true enough – and “not had success in Europe during the Frenchman’s 21 year reign”.

Under Wenger, Arsenal were beaten finalists in the 1999–2000 UEFA Cup and the 2005–06 UEFA Champions League final. They qualified for the Champions’ League for 20 seasons running. Whilst not stella stuff, Wenger has always billed qualification to the Champions League as akin to winning a cup. You only need to see the joy on Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp’s face to know how a top-four finish can define a season. Wenger’s regime does not represent decades of failure.

Over in the Express, readers see Stan Kroenke,”the man with the money behind Arsenal”. That rather makes it seem that the American billionaire has bankrolled the club. He says: “Our ambition is to win the Premier League and other major trophies in Europe… Arsene is the best person to make that happen.” He is?  Kroenke has been Arsenal’s majority shareholder since 2011. He’s never seen Arsenal win the title under his ownership and Wenger’s management, let alone come all that close to doing so. So why does he think it will happen next season? Because he’s “ordered” it and made it part of Wenger’s new two-year deal?


wenger arsenal mirror


As the i points out, Arsenal’s chief executive Ivan Gazidis hailed Wenger’s new contract by talking about “pushing forward”, “evolving” and “looking forward”. But do Arsenal fans believe Wenger represents the future more than Klopp, Mourinho, Pochettino, Conte and Guardiola, the managers whose sides Wenger’s Arsenal need to beat?

Readers hear from Wenger in the Mirror, who tells fans. “Let’s be together to support our players, to support the club and  all give our absolute best to be at the level that we want to be. We can move  up to the next level.”

Arsenal finished fifth last season. They qualified for the Europa League. The next level might well be fourth followed by a shaky Champions League campaign.

It’s plus ca change at the Emirates.

Posted: 1st, June 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Alexis Sanchez takes Bayern Munich pay cut and joins Manchester City

Transfer Balls: The summer is shaping up into a big one at Arsenal. Much news will revolve around Alexis Sanchez, now in the final year of his Arsenal contract. Is he staying or not? Here’s a round-up of today’s news:

The Times: “Wenger stays but Sánchez wants to leave Arsenal.”

Sánchez’s contract expires in 12 months but he is determined to force his way out of the club this summer to join Bayern Munich…

Sánchez has attracted firm interest from Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea, Manchester City and Bayern in recent months, with the Bundesliga champions his preferred destination.

But he won’t go there unless she takes a cut in his wages.


alexis sanchez transfer arsenal


The Metro:

Bayern Munich cannot match Alexis Sanchez’s wage demands and have all but given up hope of signing the Arsenal star, giving Manchester City a free run at his signature

So Sanchez is off to play for Manchester City. Right?

The Express: ” Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil to leave Arsenal as Arsene Wenger signs two-year contract”

Arsenal have been attempting to convince Sanchez and Ozil to commit their long-term future for at least a year. Express Sport understands the club are ready to pay as much as £300,000-a-week to keep them. But no agreement has been reached with the duo and they are now entering the final year of their contract.

Wrong. Arsenal and Sanchez are talking. Or as Manchester City’s local newspaper puts it:

Manchester Evening News: “Man City director travels to London to sign Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez”

But hold on:

Daily Telegraph: “Arsenal prepare contract offers to make Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil highest-paid players in club’s history”

There has been more outside interest in Sanchez, who ended the season with 30 goals and his situation is being monitored by Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Paris St Germain, Juventus and Chelsea. Sanchez, though, likes it in London and Arsenal hope that he might be willing to commit for an extension of two years until 2020. That would give him the option of moving at a stage in his career when he is still likely to interest the very elite of Europe.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 31st, May 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal balls: Wenger stays beyond his leaving date

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has signed a new two-year contract. Wenger’s contract was set to finish at the end of the current season. The man who never breaks a contract will be at Ashburton Grove until 2019.

The Daily Mirror makes the Wenger deal its lead sports story:

Arsene Wenger stays mirror

Or as the Mirror previously scooped:

daily mirror wenger quits sack resigns arsenal

He never was going to leave the club. Wenger’s an obsessive. Arsenal is his place and he wants to stay there.

Posted: 31st, May 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Manchester United’s £300m splurge

Transfer Balls: a look at iffy football transfer reporting. The Daily Mail says Manchester United have targeted “Antoine Griezmann, Andrea Belotti, Romelu Lukaku and Michael Keane in a £300m summer spree”.

That’s spending big. Ian Ladyman has the facts and figures. Or rather, he doesn’t. What he tells readers of which players Jose Mourinho wants at Manchester United is:

There are likely to be four. Burnley defender Michael Keane will be one, with the Lancashire club wanting £30million for the United old boy, while Mourinho wants the Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann to be his stellar signing.

Who else?

Do not be surprised if Marcus Rashford ponders a request to go out on loan, meanwhile. The chances are quite slim of the 19-year-old England striker playing in his favoured position once somebody such as Griezmann arrives.

And that’s it. The headline figure of £300m is fabricated. Ladyman mentions two players, whose combined transfer fees would register around £120m. The other £180m is made up of a sub-editor lobbing in the names Andrea Belotti and Romelu Lukaku.

And because the media works in a continual voracious feeding frenzy, what one newspaper prints the others copy. The Sun duly thunders:

QUIDS IN FOR JOSE Manchester United target Antoine Griezmann, Romelu Lukaku, Michael Keane, Andrea Belotti and Eric Dier in staggering £200m-plus transfer spree.

Five players!

The Sun tells readers:

According to The Times, up to £200million has been set aside as Mourinho looks to continue rebuilding the struggling squad he inherited from Louis van Gaal.

But over there, the Times only mentions three players –  “Griezmann, Dier, Keane in £200m spree”.

The trick is to get the names one source makes an educated guess at and then add another and round the price tag up to the nearest £100m.



Posted: 26th, May 2017 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Manchester City balls: Daily Mail betrays Jesus and milks the carnage

Having heard that Manchester City players have given generously to the victims of the Manchester bomb, the Mail delivers a story that casts a shadow over the club.  “Jesus returns to his native Brazil following Manchester terrorist attack,” states the paper.


Jesus returns to his native Brazil following Manchester terrorist attack

Suggestive much?


Is there a link between his return to Brazil and the horror? Has he run away? A click on the link and we read beneath one of the story’s photo: “The Brazil international’s apartment is just metres away from the Manchester Arena.”

And then we get to the actual story – the one reported by ESPN on Monday. Jesus says – and this through Google Translate:

“Everybody is helping me here, [Brazilian teammates] Fernandinho, Fernando, but the club as well. They help my family, my friends that are here with me.

“I’m missing my mum a little, she is in Brazil with my brothers and nephews. But, when she is happy, I am too. This week we will meet and end this feeling.”

There’s no mention of the atrocity at all in his interview. Which is odd because the Mail’s headline suggested a clear link between Jesus’ movements and the massacre on his doorstep. Why didn’t he mention the carnage? Because he had already made his plans to fly to Brazil earlier and had spoked to ESPN on May 21st – one day before the explosion!


Posted: 24th, May 2017 | In: Back pages, Manchester City, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Manchester City and Manchester United players dig deep for the city’s victims

Manchester City pair Pablo Zabaleta and Yaya Toure have donated a lot of money to the relief effort following the attack in Manchester Arena.

The Sun says:

Zabaleta showed just why he is so respected as a man across the city […] by donating £90,000 from his final match fee.

Meanwhile, Toure did likewise…

Yaya Toure and his agent Dimitri Seluk to donate £100,000 to help the victims of the attack in Manchester last night

 Seluk later told Sky Sports News:

The news an eight-year-old girl went to see her favourite singer and didn’t return home is too much to bear.

Yaya and I want to help. We talked this morning about what happened and he asked me what he thought we could do.

We have agreed to donate £50,000 each to help the victims of this terrible crime. It doesn’t matter whether the victims are from Manchester or not.

Those of us lucky enough to work every day in football can do so because of the generosity of fans across the world.

Yaya is from Cote D’Ivoire, I am Russian. It doesn’t matter. Today is a chance for those of us in football to help out.

Former Manchester Untied player Phil Neville had a van-load of food delivered to a local children’s hospital after hearing their supplies were running low.


Posted: 24th, May 2017 | In: Back pages, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Arsenal balls: ‘Sanchez damaged Gunners by training on his day off’ – Keown

“PRIMA GUNNERS,” accuses the Sun on Tuesday. “Keown blasts over-indulged Alexis and Ozil.”

Keown Arsenal Ozil Sanchez


Gunner-turned pundit Martin Keown has a view on Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. They damaged Arsenal with their behaviour, says Martin. What did they do? And did they do it worse than Francis Coquelin, Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott, Alex Iwobi or Kieran Gibbs?

“It became about Ozil and Sanchez for too long in the season. Their behaviour let Arsenal down in that period,” says Keown.  “Sanchez is a difficult man to manage off the pitch. I was at the training ground on one of his days off and he suddenly turned up and was bouncing around the training pitch.”

The nutcase turned up on a day off and trained. The selfish,  useless c…!

“They were having to facilitate him and put a training session on for him,” Keown continues. “It’s not necessarily about you as a player – you have to fit in as well with the group.”

Maybe if all the other Arsenal played trained on their days off, the Gunners might have done better?

As for Ozil, says Martin:

“If I was playing in some of the games when Ozil doesn’t get a perfect pass, I would have been in his ear telling him my bit. ”

Ready? It’s going to be long break in play as Martin critiques his team-mate mid-match:

“I’d have said, ‘I’m trying to give the ball to you, don’t disrespect me in the way you do when I don’t get the ball to you. And how about you working just as hard out of possession as I’m working out of possession? I can’t ever get close to the creativity you can create but I want you to work hard when we are not in possession – because we’re not quite good enough to win things without every single player applying himself in possession and out of possession.'”

Why can’t Ozil be more like Keown? Answer in the form of a long ball into the cheap seats.


Posted: 23rd, May 2017 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0