Michy Batshuayi is a name you’re going to see a lot in this column in the coming months. By July, you might even be able to spell it. And by August, you’ll know how to pronounce it when a Match of the Day commentator talks us through his first Premier League appearance. But who he’ll be playing for, we have no idea.
The Express is kindly trying to work that out on our behalf though, and it reports today that Arsenal and Tottenham sent scouts to watch the 22-year-old Marseille striker in action against Rennes last night. It might not have been the best time to catch him, because Marseille lost 5-2, but one dodgy display is unlikely to stem to tide of £25m bids that are set to come the French side’s way this summer. The Belgian is also apparently “top of West Ham’s shopping list”, while Newcastle made moves to sign him in January.
For Batshuayi’s part, he has repeatedly stated he is happy to stay at the Stade Velodrome. We’ll see about that.
A Ligue 1 striker whose name is slightly easier to spell and pronounce is Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette, who is also said to be a target for West Ham by the Mirror. The Hammers are reportedly prepared to “break the bank” for the 24-year-old with a £20m bid, although there are three other clubs said to be interested too. Can you guess them? Yes, it’s Arsenal, Tottenham and Newcastle. Hopefully the scouts know that these are two different players.
Real Madrid have apparently “won the race” to sign Eden Hazard for £78m - a one-horse race, we assume. The Express says sources at the Bernabeu claim there is already a “deal in principle” for them to bring in the Belgian this summer, which they explain is good news for Arsenal and Manchester United.
Why on earth is it good news for Arsenal and Man Utd, we can hear you scream angrily. Well, it’s because signing Hazard means Real will happily flog James Rodriguez, who United want to buy, and Isco, who is a long-term Gunners target. See?
The prolific Express also reveals that United have been “rocked” by Felipe Anderson’s agent’s claim that his club Lazio has received no offers for the Brazilian, who everyone keeps saying is going to move to Old Trafford for about £40m. Which doesn’t really sound like the Red Devils have been “rocked”; it merely sounds like they haven’t made a bid for Anderson and therefore don’t really care.
Elsewhere, Man City are keen on a £20m summer deal for Borussia Dortmund starlet Julian Weigl (Mirror), West Ham are interested in Barcelona defensive duo Thomas Vermaelen and Marc Bartra (Star) and there is bad news for any managers who wanted to bring Andrei Arshavin back to the Premier League because he has signed for a club in Kazakhstan (Daily Mail).