Sports news, commentary and scores with wit and added value. We compare and contrast the best and worst sports reporting in the mainstream press, blogs, TV and online. We love the English Premier League (Arsenal, Liverpool, Spurs, Manchester United and Manchester City) and all things football but we cover cricket, rugby, the Olympics, tennis, golf, F1 and highlights of the sporting year.
Transfer balls: Is Arturo Vidal to become an Arsenal player?
Daily Star, June 27:
Arsenal AGREE £21m deal to sign Juventus star Arturo Vidal
Daily Express, June 28:
Man Utd ROCKED as Arturo Vidal AGREES personal terms with Arsenal
Daily Mail, June 28:
Arsenal ‘agree deal’ with Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal ahead of £21million move from Juventus as Manchester United miss out
The Sun – June 28:
ARSENAL insist Arturo Vidal is not on their summer shopping list … a high-ranking source at the North London club said last night the 28-year-old was never on the their radar.
Last summer the papers said Vidal had signed for Manchester United.
Such are the facts.
Transfer Balls: Manchester United have bought Morgan Schneiderlin for £25m.
The Daily Mirror reports on June 27:
Manchester United have sealed a £25million deal for Morgan Schneiderlin… Schneiderlin will join United from Southampton when the transfer widow opens on Wednesday.
Manchester United fans should recall that on April 12, one paper announced:
Arsenal news and transfers: Gunners agree deal for Morgan Schneiderlin
The fee was £15m.
The newspaper with that headline was the Daily Mirror.
Transfer Balls: Arsenal reject Morgan Schneiderlin signs for Manchester United (unless Schweinsteiger does)
Transfer Balls: it’s been a busy week for Morgan Schneiderlin, the Southampton player reportedly targetted by Arsenal and Manchester United.
Thursday June 25, Daily Express: “Man Utd, Arsenal and Spurs target Morgan Schneiderlin AGREES £24m Southampton exit”
Schneidelin would be anyone’s for £24m. But he wants Champions’ League football, say all reports, so Spurs are out.
Saturday June 27, The Metro: “Manchester United agree transfer deal to sign Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin”
Done deal. Manchester United have signed the player.
Saturday June 27, Daily Express: “Man Utd Transfer News: Schneiderlin Arsenal SNUB”
Schneiderlin rejected Arsenal.
Saturday June 27, Daily Mail: “Morgan Schneiderlin poised to seal £25m Manchester United switch as Arsenal pull out of running for Southampton midfielder”
Arsenal rejected Schneiderlin.
Sunday June 28, Daily Telegraph: “Man Utd told to speed up signing of Morgan Schneiderlin – but Van Gaal holding out for Bastian Schweinsteiger”
Manchester United have not agreed to sign Schneiderlin.
Sunday June 28, Daily Star: “REVEALED: Why Arsenal let Manchester United sign Morgan Schneiderlin – ARSENAL pulled out of a deal to sign Morgan Schneiderlin as they didn’t consider him value for money.”
Sunday June 28, Sunday Times: “Schweinsteiger tempted by Old Trafford starting place”
Neither Arsenal nor Manchester United are all that into Schneiderlin.
Number of words from the player: zero.
Number of words from Southampton, Arsenal and Manchester United: zero.
Such are the facts.
Transfer Balls: The Sun says Manchester United are intersted in Everton’s right back Seamus Coleman. United will offer £20m for him.
The Mirror says Manchester United will offer £15million for Coleman.
The story of Manchester United’s rightback has been a confused one. Coleman is not United’s first choice.
The Daily Express reported on June 5:
“Manchester United AGREE deal with Liverpool target Dani Alves ahead of summer transfer”
That was utter balls. Alves agreed a two-year deal to remain at Barcelona.
Next up was Southampton’s Nathaniel Clyne. The Metro said he had agreed to join Man United:
Jamie Sanderson noted:
“Clyne would likely cost United in excess of £17million.”
Clyne is likely to head to Liverpool for £12.5,
Which brings us to Seamus Coleman, who will be flattered to learn that he is Manchester United’s third choice for right back.
Transfer Balls: Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea, 24, want to play for Real Madrid.
The Manchester Evening News says United will only sell if the fee supasses the £32.6m deal that took Gianluigi Buffon from Parma to Juventus in 2001. Real have had a £15m offer rejected.
The Sun says United will only sanction De Gea’s sale if Real allow Sergio Ramos to head in the other direction. But Ramos, who has two years left on his contract, says he will stay at Real if he gets more wages. He’s hardly itching to go.
United have made a £30m-plus bid for Ramos. Real rejected it.
The Sun adds:
United are quite prepared to keep David De Gea and let his contract run out next season rather than let Real have him on the cheap.
While the MEN sets the fee that £35m, the Sun says United want £25m-£30m for the Spaniard.
Transfer Balls: The Metro spots the “next Ronaldo”.
Who is he?
Jamie Sanderson tells his readers that the next Cristiano Ronaldo is Yannick Ferreira Carrasco. And Spurs are in for him.
Tottenham have made a £9.9million transfer offer to sign Monaco ace Yannick Ferreira Carrasco, according to reports.
Number of reports linked to: none.
Spurs, who are already believed to be negotiating with Monaco for striker Anthony Martial, have been following Carrasco’s progress closely.
Believed by whom?
The 21-year-old winger has bags of pace and tricks and has been compared to Cristiano Ronaldo in the past.
But we’ve looked and can find not single source other than Sanderson saying that Carrasco is like Ronaldo.
It’s being claimed in some sections that the offer has been rejected, but Tottenham are likely to make a new bid to do business.
In a single story we learn of a bid for player might have happened and that it might have been rejected. Maybe.
Of course Daily Expess readera know this is balls. After all, in May they head in the Express that Carrasco was heading to Arsenal:
And in summer 2014, the Express told us that Carrasco was on his way:
Such are the facts…
Trasnfer Balls: The Sun days Manchester CIty are “close” to paying £60million battle for Juventus and France star Paul Pogba.
With City fans excited the Sun then supplies the facts:
Etihad boss Manuel Pellegrini believes he has beaten off Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid to capture the most sought-after young star in football.
And City hope the signing of midfield powerhouse Pogba, 22, from Juventus will be tied up before they make a final move for Liverpool rebel Raheem Sterling.
They believe he will make them a major force in the Champions League and increase their global support.
Ana what does that mean for City’s £50m chase for Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling?
City’s determination to land Pogba means they may hang fire on making another bid for Sterling.
All total balls, then.
And as the Daily Mail puts it:
Paul Pogba ‘very excited’ to join Barcelona
Barcelona presidential election candidate Joan Laporta has said that Paul Pogba wants to come to the Catalan club…
Such are the facts…
Transfer Balls: Is Morgan Schneiderlin leaving Southampton for Arsenal, Manchester United or Spurs?
Today’s Sun’ reports that the Frenchman is heading to Old Trafford:
The Sun says:
The Red Devils have beaten off interest from Arsenal to land the French midfielder
On February 2, the Independent told its readers that Morgan was a Arsenal player:
On May 14, the Daily Star agreed that Schneiderlin was a Gunner:
Such are the facts.
Transfer Balls: The Sun says that Barcelona are keen to hire Manchester United “flop” Angel Di Maria. Barcelona will rescue Di Maria from Man United “hell”.
Given that Di Maria played for Barcelona’s deadly rivals Real Madrid this move seems brave and foolish.
However, reading more of Martin Lipton’s “exclusive” we learn that it’s not Barcelona who want Di Maria at the Nou Camp but the Catalan’s Lionel Messi, who wants his Argentina team-mate to join him.
Messi has become the driving force of Barca’s bid to land the British record £59.7million winger — even if United will want their money back and more.
Can it really be true that Di Maria the “flop” is now worth more than £60m?
Lipton then adds that “Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich are also interested in the ex-Real Madrid ace.”
How can Di Maria be both an “ace” and a “flop”?
And United would want big money after Real inserted a clause in Di Maria’s transfer contract stipulating £10m be paid to them if he was sold to arch-rivals Barcelona.
So. Not £60m, then. £70m.
Having been told in the Sun that Di Maria “wants out” of Old Trafford, the Daily Mail reports:
Angel di Maria vows to stay at Manchester United despite admitting he is unhappy
Such are the facts.
What do we know of Liverpool’s newest player Roberto Firmino Barbosa de Oliveira? Not much.
We know that in January 2011 Bundesliga club Hoffenheim signed Brazilian Firmino for €4m. And he scores around one goal every three games.
While we await the news that Firmino grew up supporting Manchester United, preferred Brookside to EastEnders and enjoys long walks on the beach, writing in the Times, Tony Evans nails it:
So, it is in many ways both inevitable and understandable that the decision to make Firmino the second-most expensive player in the club’s history behind Andy Carroll is greeted with suspicion. When you have a reputation for buying badly, you cannot complain if the idea that you might have bought well does not immediately take hold.
That Firmino is something of an unknown quantity might add mystique to the deal, but beyond the exotic and the YouTube videos that make most players look good, a lack of knowledge leads many to ask how Liverpool could have paid £29 million for a player they do not even know.
All of that, though, remains moot. Beyond the sizeable minority of Bundesliga addicts who have tuned in to watch Hoffenheim games and kept abreast of Firmino’s progress in Germany, it is impossible for the rest of us to pass any kind of judgment on the 23-year-old. All we can do is wait and see.
But journalists at other newspapers feel a need to look like they know about Firmino.
Transfer Balls: the BBC says Liverpool have signed winger Roberto Firmino, 23, from Hoffenheim for £21m – but the fee could rise to £28m with add ons.
Firmino is Liveprool’s second most expensive signing ever – only Andy Carroll, a £35 million signing from Newcastle United four years ago, has cost Liverpool more.
The Brazilian knows where the net is, scoring 49 times in 153 appearances for Hoffenheim.
But which of the faces above is he?
Transfer Balls loves The Metro, the free newspaper full of sensation. Take this news story on Paul Pogba, the France player wanted by every top European club with £70 million to spend.
The Metro says that Paris Saint-Germain “look set to land France Paul Pogba [sic] after making Inter Milan a £70m offer”.
Would that be the Paul Pogba who plays for Juventus or a Mr France Paul Pogba who doesn’t?
Transfer Balls: how much will Manchester Untied need to pay Spurs to sign Hugo Lloris?
Daily Mirror: “Manchester United transfers: Hugo Lloris given ‘verbal agreement’ on sale if Tottenham received £18m bid”
The Metro: “Manchester United ‘to make £25million transfer bid for Hugo Lloris very soon’
Such are the facts when the Metro can’t work out the difference between euros and pounds.
The story is rooted in L’Equipe, which reports that Lloris has an agreement that Spurs will sell him if a bid for €25m (£17.8m) arrives.
Are Arsenal fans happy their club is likely to buy Petr Cech from Chelsea? Yes. Very. The Bleacher Report (via Pies) have produced this brilliant vine to illustrate Arsene Wenger’s anointing of Cech as his new number one.
Chelsea’s John Terry says Petr Cech can win Arsenal the Premier League title. Arsenal want to buy Cech for £10 million. His first competitive match for the Gunners could be the Community Shield agsint Chelsea on August 2.
“If they do get him, that will strengthen them for sure. He will save them 12 to 15 points a season. I am sure if he does leave — which nobody wants to see, but we understand he wants to play football — he is going to be sorely missed. He will improve whatever side he goes to.”
Are Manchester United really going to sign Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos? The media is full of speculation linking the Spanish defender to Old Trafford
Ramos’ contract at Madrid runs until 2017. He wants to stay at the club. And he will if he gets a new contract and more money.
Manchester United are keen to take Ramos as part of a deal that sees their goalkeeper David De Gea head to Real Madrid. United have already tested the water with swap deals involving Madrid’s Karim Benzema and Raphaël Varane. Both times Real refused. Now United are looking at Ramos.
United assume that Real are desperate to sign De Gea and will release one of their own stars to make it happen. But De Gea has only one year left on his United deal and wants to join Madrid.
United’s position is weak.
As for Ramos, yesterday’s La Razón newspaper led with a photo of the player and the message “Respect the badge”. The Spanish organ, which has close ties to Florentino Pérez, the Real president, says playing for Manchester United is a step down:
Louis Van Gaal has been unable to compete with Chelsea for the Premier League this season and will play the qualifying round to enter the Champions League. Di Maria went there a year ago and is aware that his football took a step backwards.
But in the Sun, readers are told:
The player himself is convinced he is on his way and has said his goodbyes to team-mates.
Says who? How do we know that?
The Sun says United ‘Won’t play Sergio’s games’. But they already are. The whole story is of media briefings from Ramos’ agent and Real.
And then there is the small detail of Ramos’ current contract. It contains a €180 million buyout clause.
So. Will Manchester United sign Sergio Ramos? No. They won’t.
Transfer Balls: The Sun says Manchester City will try to buy Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere if they fail with a bid to sign Paul Pogba from Juventus.
City are desperate to land the French star but Juventus want a whopping £71million while Barcelona and Real Madrid are also interested.
Pogba to City seems a longshot. The Sun adds:
Arsenal midfielder Wilshere is on a list of possible alternatives drawn up by City director of football Txiki Begiristain if they cannot get Pogba, 22.
But they won’t get Wilshere.
Pellegrini is a huge fan of Wilshere, 23, and the fact he is English is another major plus. But City fear the Gunners will want at least £40m. The England star is aware of their interest and ideally wants to stay at Arsenal — but only if he is playing regularly.
Of course Wilshere is aware of the interest – the story is being played out in the media. And the bit about him staying at Arsenal if he gets more games is straight out of his agent’s Press Briefings Handbook.
So he will seek assurances he will get the game time he craves before committing to a new deal at the Emirates.
No. He will seek more money – in football terms, the pay packet dictates the hierachy in the changing room. Indeed, the Independent says Arsenal cheerleader Wilshere will get “a new five-year contract that doubles his current wage” to £100,000-a-week.
Which leaves City scrambling for top English talent.
Transfer Balls salutes the Daily Star, which tells Arsenal fans:
Arsenal Transfer News: Kondogbia DONE DEAL
That sounds a lot like Monaco’s Kondogbia has singed for the Gunners, right? Wrong.
Geoffrey Kondogbia has signed a deal to join Inter Milan, snubbing a move to Arsenal.
Transfer Balls: FC Porto striker Jackson Martinez, 28, is waiting for Arsenal to comer and get him, says the Daily Express. The paper declares:
Jackson Martinez heading to Arsenal for £25m
Back in February 2015, the Express told readers:
Porto AGREE to sell Jackson Martinez to Arsenal for £30m
FOOTIE ace Jack Grealish lies beside a half-empty SIX-LITRE bottle of vodka costing £1,000 at a boozy pool party.
When we first see Jack in his baseball cap, lounging in the sun surronded by smiling, bikini-clad lovelies, we thought it was Prince Harry. But it’s not. It’s likeable Jack Grealish, what Prince Harry could be if he had talent.
One holidaymaker said: “He looked drunk…”
Days later he flew to Tenerife and angered Villa by being snapped lying in the street, apparently drunk and unconscious, during a bender there. That followed a warning by the club in April after The Sun ran photos of him inhaling hippy crack.
When did Jack Grealish become a spokesman for Abstinence UK or the Public Health England? Check the smallprint on that Aston Villa contract, Jack, and pay attention to the part about you being a ‘role model’.
It’s utter drivel. The elite like using footballers to teach fine morals to the working class.
You can read what a young David Cameron and his Bullgindon boys allegedly used to get up to on other people’ money here.
Transfer Balls: The Daily Mail says Manchester United are “close to signing Sergio Ramos from Real Madrid”. Ramos has a contract keeping him at Real until 2017. He’s 29. How close are United? Well, the Daily Star says talks between Real and United will begin this week.
Reports the Mail:
Manchester United are close to signing Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos in a dramatic twist to the David de Gea saga. Ramos is upset that Madrid have allowed his contract to run down into its final two years and has told advisers he wants out of the club with Old Trafford his preferred destination.
If United can make the deal happen their goalkeeper De Gea will effectively swap places with his Spain team-mate Ramos, in the biggest piece of business between the two clubs since Real signed Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009.
In “Stingy Kolo gave me a £10 tip… my window cleaner clients pay more”, the Sun hears more from Sandra Ntonya, the woman who claims to have met Manchester City’s married Yaya Toure in a Sainsbury’s and shagged him for cash.
Sandra Ntonya now says she’s also had sex with Yaya’s brother, Liverpool’s Kolo Toure in his spare bedroom, garden and dining room. We peek through the clean windows at chez Toure:
THE £140-an-hour hooker linked to Premier League ace Yaya Toure has told how she romped with his footie brother Kolo. Sandra Ntonya, 34, enjoyed a string of sex sessions at the married Liverpool defender’s home and in his Mercedes. But she blasted the £60,000-a-week star as “stingy”, saying: “He only gave me a £10 tip. I have clients who are window cleaners who pay better.”
Manchester United are nearing a £7.5million deal for Bayern Munich star Bastian Schweinsteiger, writes Steve Bates in the Sunday People. Old Trafford boss Louis van Gaal is confident he can lure his former player away from the Allianz Arena and transfer negotiator Ed Woodward has been tasked with making it happen.
Is Van Gaal more confident of landing Schweinsteiger than he was last summer?
LOUIS VAN GAAL will turn to Bastian Schweinsteiger to kick-start his Manchester United revolution.
Transfer Balls: a look at rubbish football rpeoting in the mainstream media. Today the Daily Express says Manchester will pay £50m for Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling. Having had a £40m offer rejected, the Express is hardly alone in reasoning is that City will offer more for the talented young English player.
The Express says this is an “exclusive”. And it is one – in much the same way that the contents of you toilet are exclusive to that toilet.
John Richardson writes:
As Sunday Express Sport has revealed Liverpool are prepared to sell the 20-year-old but not for a penny under £50 million.
As all papers, blogs, radio stations and carrier pigeons have also revealed, Sterling wants to leave Liverpool and the Reds wants to get as much as they can for the player.
Sources close to the Merseyside club have indicated that City won’t drop their interest for the sake of another £10 million in a summer in which they are committed to bringing in top English talent.
These sources are unnamed. They are also on the Liverpool side of the deal. The Express‘ scoop about what Manchester City will do contains not a single word from anyone at Manchester City.