What a difference five days make. Tottenham, slipping from title contenders to top-four hangers-on, look set to repeat history rather than make it and the implications may stretch beyond May.
That’s because, relatively-new contract or not, Mauricio Pochettino wants trophies and – according to reports this morning – knows he can win them at Real Madrid. There’s bound to be another vacancy at the Bernabéu soon, particularly after Santiago Solari’s side suffered a 3-0 shellacking to none other than Barcelona earlier this week. Will Pochettino now be tempted by the job he’s been linked for over such a long period of time – and perhaps even the opportunity to make a transfer or two and help keep this pretty little Mill ticking along.
Less damagingly – for now, at least – it seems Championship leaders Norwich are keen as mustard for Spurs’ young defender Maxwell Statham, whose contract ends at the end of this season and is yet to be handed another. Sunderland, Brentford and Nottingham Forest are also nibbling around after the 20-year-old, whose dad is the former Spurs man Brian Statham, though not the legendary Lancashire quick bowler.
But it’s all about the managers today and if Chelsea do want to dispense with Maurizio Sarri they’d better sort out his replacement pronto. Zinedine Zidane is believed to be their top target but Juventus, who are likely to lose Massimiliano Allegri in the summer, wouldn’t mind seeing their old hero back in town. One of these gigs definitely looks stabler than the other but it’s all about who shows up first.
Elsewhere in London, Robert Pires has suggested that Arsenal might be in the box seat for Paris Saint-Germain rebel
Adrien Rabiot, who should be up for grabs on a free in the summer. The reason? Unai Emery, of course, and the relationship the pair forged at Parc des Princes. Rabiot would be a serviceable replacement for Juve-bound Aaron Ramsey, if perhaps a spikier character.
Manchester United are one club that certainly fancies making a few signings. They’ve pinpointed Palace whizz Aaron Wan-Bissaka as a must-have in the right-back position and have a couple of more experienced faces in their sights, too. Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly, a staple of this and presumably every other rumour-related organ over the past two or three years, could finally get his move and they’d also like to see Ivan Rakitic running the show in midfield.
Inter Milan would like to see Real Madrid’s Isco doing exactly that at San Siro, and might get their wish in a swap deal for the troubled Argentinian striker
Mauro Icardi – whose future in northern Italy appears very much uncertain. More news from Italy suggests Wesley , the 18-year-old Flamengo defender, might very soon become a Juventus player.