You simply wouldn’t find a successful footballer called Bernard these days, but stick an O on the end of his name and suddenly he’s worth £70m. That’s the premium Manchester United are reportedly willing to for Monaco midfielder Bernardo Silva.
The 22-year-old Portuguese international has been identified by Jose Mourinho as the man to “provide the ammunition” for fellow transfer target Antoine Griezmann, says the Sun. But Silva is likely to cost significantly more than the £58m United paid Monaco for Anthony Martial 18 months ago, especially because he is also wanted by Real Madrid.
It’s almost enough to persuade anyone else named Bernard to head down to the deed poll office immediately and get that extra O added. It only costs £15, but it instantly make you sound 500 per cent cooler.
Juventus have made a cheeky enquiry about signing Arsenal contact rebel Alexis Sanchez this month, says the Mirror. The perennial Italian champions are ready to offer £60m in hard cash and throw midfield star Miralem Pjanic into the bargain too, but Arsene Wenger has allegedly told them to “forget about it”. Hopefully in a New York gangster accent.
Marseille are “preparing” a third offer for West Ham’s unsettled playmaker Dimitri Payet, reports Sky Sports. The preparations shouldn’t take too long if the French club continue their tactic of offering £1m more than their previous bid. Could take a while to get one accepted though.
The Hammers, meanwhile, are believed to be interested in signing Inter Milan defender Andrea Ranocchia, who the Express says will be allowed to leave the Serie A giants this month. There are apparently a “host of Premier League clubs” tracking the 28-year-old centre-back, including Watford and Hull. Hmm, maybe he’ll ask one last time if they’ll let him stay at the San Siro instead.
West Ham have also been linked – again by the Express – with a move for Southampton centre-back Jose Fonte. But presumably the Portugal defender didn’t go the trouble of demanding to leave St Mary’s just so he could earn a move to the London Stadium.
Burnley look set to gazump the Hammers in their pursuit of Robert Snodgrass. The Mail says the Clarets have lodged a £7.5m bid for the in-form Scottish midfielder – more than double the Hammers’ ridiculous opening offer of £3m.
Elsewhere, Southampton and Swansea are battling to sign Young Boys midfielder Yoric Ravet, who has 14 assists for the Swiss club already this season (Mirror), Aston Villa’s £6m bid for Middlesbrough striker Jordan Rhodes has been rejected (Mail) and Crystal Palace are preparing a £10m bid for Tottenham left-back Ben Davies – but Spurs want £20m (Sun). Good old Daniel Levy.