Big news in the Mirror today, who reveal certain Dutch sources think Louis van Gaal is ready to leave Manchester United this summer. The word on De 9 Straatjes of Amsterdamâ€™s trendy Old Town is that Louis has had enough of being criticised for his sideâ€™s often moribund style of play and is ready to leave Old Trafford a year before his contract expires so that he can enjoy the finer things in life.
Should there be any truth to this talk, Van Gaalâ€™s exit could pave the way for JosÃ© Mourinho to come in as his successor, a state of affairs that would almost certainly end in tears, but probably not for two-and-a-half years and after at least one successful title tilt. The Portuguese is currently on holiday in Shanghai so the rest of us can enjoy a well-earned and long overdue break.
As far as their playing personnel is concerned, Manchester United are keeping tabs on Romelu Lukaku, but will have to stump up Â£65m to convince Everton to let the Belgian striker leave Goodison Park. Still just 22, apparently baggage-free and having been successful at every club heâ€™s played for (apart from the one that actually brought him to the Premier League only to decide they didnâ€™t fancy him), the industrious Belgian striker looks a steal for that amount, considering the kind of silly money being hosed around football circles these days.
Milanese cinema-goers will be swallowing nervously at the prospect of Marouane Fellaini taking the seat in front of them now it has emerged AC Milan have decided they need a lanky, big-haired Belgian to run around the San Siro bumping into opposition players and starting arguments. The Serie A side will have to shell out Â£20m to convince Manchester United to part with the 28-year-old.
Meanwhile in Brentwood, local paper the Gazette claim a petrol station in the locale has had to close down due to an infestation of rats. In unrelated news, they say West Ham are ready to offer Liverpool Â£18m for injury-prone striker Daniel Sturridge, presumably because Andy Carroll is finding it lonely in the treatment room and could do with some company.
Manchester City have joined the long and predictable list of English suitors who are whispering sweet nothings in the ear of Athletic Bilbao strike Inaki Wiliams. A native of the Spanish port town in which he plays his football, the 21-year-old striker is a graduate of the clubâ€™s Lezama academy and can play anywhere across the front three. Last season he became the first black player to score for Bilbao since the club was founded in 1898 and he has 10 goals to his name already in the current campaign. We think youâ€™ll find this one, scored against Espanyol, was a little bit special. Should they wish to bring Wiliams to the Etihad, Manchester City will have to fend off interest from Real Madrid, Liverpool and Arsenal, among others.
Following last seasonâ€™s Championship heroics, Odion Ighalo has taken to the Premier League like a duck to water. Quite how the Watford striker would take to Stamford Bridge is another matter, but Chelsea are determined to find out and will jettison Radamal Falcao and LoÃ¯c RÃ©my if they land their target. In what will come as welcome news to defenders across the land, chippy Chelsea striker Diego Costa may also be leaving these shores to gouge, elbow, snarl and kick his way around his old La Liga stamping ground.
Having offloaded Jonjo Shelvey amid rumours that he was a disruptive, brooding influence, Swansea City have decided to enquire about bringing disruptive, brooding influence Ravel Morrison to the Liberty Stadium from Lazio. The Sun report that Bournemouth are also interested in signing the 22-year-old midfielder whose time in Rome has been underwhelming to say the least.
Elsewhere in Italy, Juventus striker Alvaro Morata is the subject of interest from Liverpool, who will offer the Old Lady Â£45m for his signature once theyâ€™ve decided who exactly at Anfield has the â€œfinal sayâ€ on rubber-stamping this particular deal. Theyâ€™ll need to be careful, mind, as too much procrastination in the corridors of power could result in Real Madrid stealing him from under their nose.
Tuxedo-sporting winger Florian Thauvin really wants Andros Townsend to join Newcastle so that he can get leg it back to Marseille, where his matchday sartorial elegance is the subject of admiration rather than ridicule. And finally, Arsenal full-back Mathieu Debuchy still wants to go to Aston Villa, where he will almost certainly have orders barked at him by Hajduk Split goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic.