Football transfer rumours: Tottenham and Arsenal target Juan Mata?
Juan Mata of Chelsea (and soon to be of somewhere else?)
With only five days to go until the transfer window shuts, several of our big clubs are getting desperate as they scramble to overspend on players they don't necessarily need in order to placate people on the internet and the 0.0000000000000001% of their fanbase who print out unreasonable financial demands on sheets of A4 paper and hold them up near the dugout whenever the photographer from the Press Association saunters past.
Manchester United have a fully functioning team, having won the league with it last season, so will spend £30m on David Luiz, another £200,000 a week on Mesut Ozil, buy defender Eliquim Mangala from Porto, and offer bit-part player Wayne Rooney a new contract.
Tottenham Hotspur already have their best midfield since the summer of 1960 in place, so are in for Chelsea waif and stray Juan Mata, though they might solely be doing that to annoy Arsenal, who are desperate and willing, so there is some logic at least.
Arsène Wenger continues to fixate on his perfectly serviceable midfield to the detriment of the bits of his team which actually do need emergency attention. The imminent signing of Yohan Cabaye will cause Newcastle United a problem they'll require James McCarthy of Wigan to address.
Chelsea have only three top-name strikers on their books in Fernando Torres, Romelu Lukaku and Demba Ba, which isn't enough for a credible tilt at four trophies but is three more than the number required to follow José Levein's tactical blueprint. Samuel Eto'o should prepare for a season operating in a withdrawn role, perhaps at left-back with specific instructions not to go on the overlap or cross the halfway line at all.
Kolo Touré and Aly Cissokho both picked up injuries on Tuesday night against Notts County, so Liverpool do need a central defender, especially one who can play at left back too. That'll explain their interest in Paris Saint-Germain's Mamadou Sakho. But you know how these deals pan out for the hapless Anfield moneymen. So when their under-value offer is rejected, expect Brendan Rodgers to get fed up and go on a fruitless pursuit of wingers who cut inside rather than attempting to beat a man instead.
Manuel Pellegrini has spotted that all is not well at the back atManchester City, but for some reason is attempting to solve the problem with a bid for Valencia's Adil Rami, who as far as we can make out is an outfield player and not a fully functioning replacement goalkeeper who can catch balls, claim crosses and stop pearollers from slithering under his body.
And Real Madrid do not need Gareth Bale. No they don't, no they don't.