Man, you take a day off to celebrate your wedding anniversary and get feted for Father’s Day, and the silly season leaves you behind in no time. Ever since I dismissed any attempt at signing Kylian Mbappé as something akin to financial suicide, it seems that the rumour mill has gone into overdrive. Note to self: see about rescheduling wedding anniversary and Father’s Day for before the transfer window opens. In the meantime, what we have here for you today is an attempt at checking in on the good, the bad, and the ugly.
No news. Is that good news? Hard to say. One anonymous source known only as ExWHEmployee has claimed that Rice has told other clubs that he’s only interested in Arsenal, and that’s why there haven’t any other bids. I don’t know why Donald Trump would know anything about West Ham, but—oh. WH= West Ham, not White House. This does make more sense. This ExWHEmployee’s story does track with the apparent snail’s pace of talks and the apparent lack of any other substantive moves other than vague fears that Man City will just swoop in and sign the lad. If this source knows what he’s talking about, that’s fine and dandy like sour candy.
This one has been moving quite a lot more quickly that talks with Rice, perhaps because of how desperate Chelsea are to unload players instead of rolling the dice on whether FFP is anything more than an imaginary unicorn that poops jelly beans. Havertz, who has also attracted interest from Bayern, is an intriguing player who could potentially play almost anywhere from an 8 to a false 9 to a 10 to an eleventeen. Unlike Rice, we haven’t seen what Havertz can do due to the, uh, unsettled state of affairs over at Chelsea. While we won’t match Chelsea’s demand for a £72m fee, we might be able to land him for something closer to £60m
Here’s a new development. Partey and the club are apparently exploring a transfer to one of the Saudi clubs. Saudi Arabia, stealing the idea that China and MLS came up with, are hoovering up players young and old, left and right. If we were to lose Xhaka and Partey this summer, we’d have to do more than sign Rice and Caicedo to replace them. However, given Partey’s advancing age and increasing fragility (not to mention certain unsubstantiated legal woes), it might be best for us to sell him on. We could probably get a larger fee than we could selling him anywhere else. When we deal with the Saudis, it’s just good business acument. That’s all there is to it.
Okay, so Chelsea are not a player in our squad. However, they’re apparently close to selling Mendy, Koulibaly, and Ziyech off to Saudi Arabia in what is clearly a corrupt deal. Any club that is willing to do business with the Saudi’s Public Investment Fund has sullied its reputa—uh. hold that thought. While there is a lot of sordid stuff to sift through here, clubs are not signatories to the UN Declaration of Human Rights. On the nearer horizon, selling those three (as well losing Kante on a free) might just be enough to help the club escape that FFP unicorn’s jelly beans. Would the fees be enough to let them go after Rice or Caicedo? Possibly. Let’s hope not. I just wish there was an ExBHAFCEmployee who would reassure us here.
The striker, fresh off his role in helping the USMNT win the CONCACAF Nations League, has insisted that he won’t go out on loan again and wants either a transfer or to join the first team. Sneer if you will at scoring 21 goals in Ligue 1 (I know I have ), but Balogun may have earned a right to expect a permanent role whether it be here or elsewhere. Signing Havertz may only increase competition here, There’s apparently interest from Inter and AC Milan, but i hope he gets a chance to train with the squad to see if he might have a higher upside and quicker upward trajectory than Nketiah. If he does, and if he’s willing to deputise to Jesus, all the better. If, however, there’s ambiguity about his performance or his desire, we might as well strike while the iron’s hot (by which I mean sell to the highest bidder, of course).
I’m going to stop there for now before this post gets too much longer. We’ll have to take a look at Romeo Lavia, to whom we’re now being linked (adding greater credence to the idea that we might sell Partey. It’s truly been a dizzying couple of days, and I’ve learned my lesson. Rest is for the wicked. With that, I’m off for a nap.