Coral Rumour Reel: Everton make their move in transfer window
Everton, 10/3 with Coral for a top six finish, are close to completing deals to sign two players, as they look to add significant strength to their squad before the transfer window closes.
The double swoop for River Plate centre back Ramiro Funes Mori and Dynamo Kiev winger Andriy Yarmolenko is thought to total £24m (split £6m and £18m respectively), and increases the general feeling that defender John Stones could finally complete a move to Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea understood to be lining up a third bid around the £40m mark.
Both imminent incomings though, signify the club’s continuous ambition and at 24 and 25 (again respectively) are at an ideal age. Yarmolenko lit up the Europa League last season, even getting on the scoresheet as the Ukrainian outfit knocked the Toffees out of the competition, where he scored an outstanding goal.
Elsewhere, London trio Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham have been offered the chance to sign forgotten Brazilian striker Pato, formerly of AC Milan from his native outfit Corinthians, while the latter are thought to have made contact with the player’s representatives.
Spurs are in dire need of a quality striker to provide competition to Harry Kane, though whether he fits the bill is another matter. The north London club don’t exactly have the best reputation for being a club where Brazilian players thrive; case in point, Paulinho (recently departed), Sandro and goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes.
In a week where managers and football clubs have to execute their strategies to perfection, a story, even the most well-versed conspiracy theorists couldn’t contrive, has emerged from Old Trafford.
Reports of Manchester United’s apparent failed attempt to sign Pedro, is now being leaked as a smokescreen, that Ed Woodward was using this to disguise their actual target; Barcelona forward Neymar. The Red Devils would have to splash over £100m to land him, though this is merely a subplot; manager Louis van Gaal has another ace up his sleeve.
He has earmarked the final 72 hours of the transfer window as a ‘window of opportunity’ to try to lure Gareth Bale to the club. The wily Dutchman is banking on the Real Madrid fans giving him a hard time in the club’s first home game of the season, in order to sway Los Blancos’ president Florentino Perez into accepting a United bid for the 26-year-old, though the fee is likely to be around £15m more than the £85m world record price they acquired him at.
With Red Devils’ goalie David De Gea, Real’s prime target of the summer, this could well be the leverage which triggers Bale’s arrival at Old Trafford.