In a development in no way intended to cram as many big names as possible into a headline, news outlets are reporting that David Beckham would quite like to sign Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo for his new MLS franchise.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid are also plotting a revamp that will tick all search engine optimisation boxes. Zinedine Zidane has decided to eschew Neymar and go for at least one of Eden Hazard, Christian Eriksen and Sadio Mané. With Chelsea facing a transfer ban and therefore reluctant to sell even if that means losing Hazard for nothing next year, and Madrid not keen on facing Daniel Levy, the Spanish club reckon Mané is the most gettable of the trio.
To smooth that transaction, Real may offer Liverpool Raphaël Varane, who has reportedly decided it is time to leave Spain for a new experience. Even if Real recommend Liverpool, however, the player himself is said to be interested in Manchester United, who have been on his trail for years. Remember that all of this may be hooey, the Mill is just telling recycling chat.
One thing that is a 100% true, mind you, is that Manchester United are being linked again with Roma defender Kostas Manolas. The Greek could be got for around £31m. Alexis Sánchez, meanwhile, will leave United for Juventus if he agrees to slash his wages. Andreas Pereira could also be ushered away from Old Trafford.
Arsenal are also planning to have a clear-out, starting with Denis Suárez, who will be handed back to Barcelona pronto after making little impression since arriving on loan. The club also remain open to offers for Mesut Özil, it is claimed somewhat hopefully. On the arrivals side, Arsenal fancy a piece of Gelson Martins, the winger presently on loan at Monaco from Atlético Madrid.
In other news, takeover talk is all the rage at Stamford Bridge, where exiled owner Roman Abramovich is said to be open to selling. But Sir Jim Radcliffe, reportedly worth more than £21bn, is not willing to hand over about a 10th of his fortune to buy the club. The highest offer so far, then, remains £3.50 from a source close to the Mill.
Meanwhile, Bournemouth are sniffing around Chelsea’s Mason Mount, who is impressing on loan at Derby. But that is another move that could be scuppered by that looming transfer ban.
Lastly, Liverpool and Newcastle are snooping around Middlesbrough, where the 18-year-old winger Bilal Brahimi is making waves.