With the klaxon now sounded on Jose Mourinho’s move to the Manchester United dugout, the papershop shelves are groaning with rumours regarding who the struggling 13-time Premier League champions will buy this summer.
North East clarion Chronicle Live makes it into the Bank Holiday BBC gossip column with news that United scouts have followed Jordan Pickford to the Under-21 Toulon tournament, where the Sunderland keeper is representing England.
The young Wearsider made three first-team appearances for the Black Cats last term and holds the distinction of playing in all four divisions of English league football, plus the Conference, by the age of 21.
Of course, the Red Devils scouts could be over in France to run the rule over any number of players, but let’s not ruin the fun.
A name familiar to United rumour watchers since the days of David Moyes is Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez, with former assistant coach Phil Neville deployed to follow the Spanish central-midfielder’s progress while on loan at Rayo Vallecano a few seasons’ back.
No doubt Old Trafford executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward will once again regret not getting hs transfer ducks in a row sooner, as 21-year-old Niguez is said to be worth £54m now, according to the Daily Star at least, who claim Mourinho has told United to pay it.
The Times adds an even more known quantity in the form of Juventus’ Paul Pogba, the 23-year-old would-be superstar spirited away from the North West under Sir Alex Ferguson’s nose four years ago.
Fleet Street’s finest tabloid claims Pogba has been informally placed on the transfer list by the Old Lady of Italian football in order to attract bids from Europe’s other elite clubs, while the Independent suggests Gareth Bale’s £86m world record transfer fee could be in danger.
In other Man Utd-related transfer news, Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke says rumours surrounding Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, a reported target for Mourinho and Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, are ‘nonsense’ in well-named German publication Bild.