Transfer news is somewhat thin on the ground this morning, with recycled guff about Roma’s Mattia Destro/West Ham’s Winston Reid to Arsenal doing the rounds again, not to mention Kevin Mirallas to Spurs after the Everton forward’s foolish penalty against West Brom.
Manchester United are the subject of two returning rumours regarding La Liga centre-halves Nicolas Otamendi, of Valencia, and Barcelona’s former Red Devil Gerard Pique.
According to Rafa Benitez’s best mate Guillem Balague, United have had a €35m offer rejected by Los Che for oft-linked Otamendi.
Furthermore, Valencia confirmed they received such an offer for the Argentine without naming the club in question, according to Sky Sports.
Otamendi is 5/2 to swap the sunny Mestalla for the red half of Manchester before the transfer window closes, which seems a big price given all the noise.
The Daily Express are among a number of media outlets running with Pique’s potential £15m Old Trafford return, six-and-a-half years after the 65-cap La Seleccion stalwart went back to Barca, where he came through their La Masia youth setup.
Unfortunately, the paper gives the game away by claiming the 27-year-old has ‘fallen out of favour’ at Camp Nou.
Ten starts in Los Blaugrana’s past 13 matches, with two of the games missed against tiny Huesca in the Copa del Rey, means there’s something fishy about this theory.
In other transfer news, Crystal Palace are hoping to see off competition from Serie A pair Genoa and Torino for the services of Nantes’ Togolese winger Serge Gakpe, according to Italy’s Tuttomercatoweb.
The 27-year-old enjoyed a fine season with Les Canaris last term, bagging eight times in Ligue 1 and laying on three assists.
He hasn’t been nearly as productive so far in this campaign, with one goal and zero assists, but is creating chances at practically the same rate as in 2013/14, so the profligacy of Nantes’ centre-forwards may be to blame for Gakpe’s diminished numbers.
And finally, Chelsea have reportedly opened talks with Partizan Belgrade for Serbian midfielder Danilo Pantic, although the word is the 18-year-old will be immediately farmed out to Blues feeder club Vitesse, so there’s no cause to get too excited.