Thursday, 29 March 2012

The Rumour Mill: PSG linked with cast-offs from Arsenal, Liverpool, and Real Madrid

Flourishing you say?
Generally I find the Daily Mail highly offensive. I'm aware that this is an experience almost as universal as knowing what wearing a t-shirt feels like, but still: it's true.*

They outdid themselves this week by linking Paris St-Germain with a move for Liverpool midfielder Joe Cole. Sod the scare-mongering, racial hatred, and the continuing presence of Liz Jones, this is without doubt the worst thing Paul Dacre's rag has ever printed. 

Fortunately the story is, as usual with the Mail, light on substance and big on generalisations. You may vaguely remember that Cole is on loan at our Ligue 1 rivals Joe Cole's Lille. I say vaguely because he hasn't done much in recent months, losing his place in the starting line-up and making little impact when he's come off the bench.

"He [Cole] has flourished in French football and Ancelotti's wants to make him part of one of the grand project at Paris St Germain," claims the Mail story, which seems to be based entirely on the fact that Cole worked with Carlo Ancelotti at Chelsea. Still, if any part of it is true I will cry big, real, tears.

The fee for Cole would allegedly be £5million, £1million less than the Daily Mirror says we're prepared to play to bring Marouane Chamakh back to France. The Arsenal "flop" is apparently going to be part of a Gunners summer clear-out, but is also on the wanted list of former club Bordeaux and Italian side Fiorentina. Chamakh has apparently said in the past that the only French club he would consider playing for are Bordeaux. But if his head was turned by the cash challenge of playing for PSG, I wouldn't be too gutted to have him around, though you would think we could, and will, do better.  

Finally for now, the Spanish press are reporting that we're keen on Real Madrid's centre-back Raul Albiol, who has slipped down the pecking order at the Bernebau, with the likes of French youngster Rafeal Varane now ahead of him in Jose Mourinho's thinking. Albiol would appear to be an ideal purchase - he was part of the Spain squad that won Euro 2008 and World Cup 2010, and is still relatively young for a centre-back at 26. But then I thought Lugano seemed an ideal purchase, and look what happened there.

*Thanks to the excellent Charlie Brooker for this line, it's a good one.


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