There are all sorts of funny hypothetical football scenarios you could come up with. Sam Allardyce picking Carlton Cole in his first England squad, Mark Hughes appointing a cat as Stoke’s assistant manager and watching all future matches with the animal on his shoulder, Memphis Depay scoring a hat-trick.
But the idea that has tickled the Manchester City hierarchy is a bit more mundane. According to the Sun, City chiefs have “laughed off” suggestions that Joe Hart could leave the Etihad on loan. They think that suggestion is hilarious. Instead they have insisted the goalkeeper will leave Manchester in a cash sale only of “at least £30m”. Some people would think that’s the funny bit.
Everton and Borussia Dortmund are said to be the two clubs most interested in England’s number one, although whether they will pay in excess of £30m for him is debatable.
The man to replace Hart will be Barcelona’s Claudio Bravo, the Mirror confidently proclaims. Barca have reportedly agreed to sign Jasper Cillessen from Ajax for £10m, which paves the way for them to sell Bravo to City for £17.4m. Hart is still worth more than £30m though, right?
Arsene Wenger cited a lack of defensive experience for his Arsenal side shipping four goals to Liverpool last weekend, so it makes perfect sense that the man he wants to solve his centre-back crisis is 21-year-old Jose Gimenez.
The Mail says the Gunners are “in talks” with Atletico Madrid about the £40m-rated Uruguayan, who is said to be “open to a move to London”. However, the Star disagrees and declares that Wenger will instead agree a fee of £25.9m for Valencia’s Shkodran Mustafi on Friday.
Joe Allen revealed in the Telegraph that he only discovered he had been sold by Liverpool when he got a text from a friend congratulating him on his move to Stoke - much to his dismay. If only he’d read Hot Football Transfer Gossip in the preceding weeks, it wouldn’t have come as a shock at all.
Elsewhere, Swansea want to sign an Italian defender to replace Ashley Williams but they don’t know which one (Wales Online), Chelsea are considering signing their former midfield colossus Michael Essien for a laugh (Express) and Ronald Koeman has told Oumar Niasse he needs to leave Everton “for the sake of his career” (Liverpool Echo). Which is a nice way of saying, I’m won’t be playing you because you’re rubbish.