Barcelona have a three-man Premier League shortlist to replace PSG target Neymar’.
From Sergio Aguero to Alexis Sanchez to Hal Robson-Kanu to Leroy Fer, players across the country would have read those words and dared to dream. Three players – and one of them could be me.
It’s a headline that creates such a dizzying wealth of possibility that it’s tempting never to click it at all, and instead to cling on to the hope – however faint – that Barcelona want to sign Leroy Fer.
But no. It is Hot Football Transfer Gossip’s duty to click, so click we have. And it is with regret we can reveal that Leroy is not among the three players, and nor is Hal.
Nor, for that matter, are Alexis and Sergio. The Premier League players on Barcelona’s three-man shortlist to replace PSG target Neymar, according to the Mirror, are… Philippe Coutinho, Eden Hazard and Dele Alli.
Underwhelmed? Well, clickbait headlines tend to have that effect. It’s exciting news for Alli though, the only one of the trio who has not already been incessantly linked with a move to Spain in recent weeks.
Spanish paper AS says Coutinho remains Barca’s top target, although the club fear Liverpool will put an “astronomical” price tag on the Brazilian playmaker because the Reds know about Neymar’s astronomical price tag.
As for Alexis, he will have to make do with being a target for Manchester City, says the Mail. It’s perhaps not as glamorous as Barcelona, but City are reportedly ready to offer the Chilean £320,000 a week to soften that blow.
Sanchez is due to return to pre-season training with Arsenal tomorrow, although he claimed on Instagram yesterday that he is “sick”. And not in a good way.
Meanwhile, the Gunners continue to toil in their attempts to bring Thomas Lemar to the Emirates. The Telegraph says Monaco are “adamant” they will not sell the 21-year-old Frenchman, despite Arsenal lodging a third bid of £45m.
Elsewhere, the Gunners will face competition from Everton for £35m-rated Nice midfielder Jean Seri (Sun), Etienne Capoue’s Watford future is in doubt after he had a training ground bust-up with new Hornets manager Marco Silva (Mail) and Manchester United have opened contract talks with Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera in an attempt to fend off interest from Barcelona (Express). Which is interesting, because he wasn’t on the three-man Barca shortlist. Maybe there is hope for Leroy Fer after all.