It’s rare that a football match creates its own transfer news, but a couple of things we learned with absolute certainly from the Champions League final is that 1) Gareth Bale and Zinedine Zidane are not friends, and 2) Liverpool – how can we put this sensitively? – Liverpool would rather have Mark Lawrenson in goal next season than either of their current goalkeepers.
Between them, Bale’s post-most rant about his manager and Loris Karius’ personal meltdown should keep the tabloids in gossip for at least another week, and today it begins in earnest.
The Star claims that Zidane did not speak to his Welsh match-winner for “more than three hours” after the final whistle in Kiev. Not even to say “good goal, mate” or “the one I scored against Leverkusen was better”.
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The snub provides further evidence of a broken relationship between the pair, and the team inevitably being tipped to provide a solution is Manchester United.
The Guardian says the Red Devils have a “clear path” to sign the 28-year-old forward because Manchester City are “not interested” – and they are the only other Premier League club who could afford him.
The Sun says United could make a £200m swoop for Bale, who appears to have trebled his value with one overhead kick. However, Gaz Baz is said to have “concerns” over the playing style of Jose Mourinho.
An alternative destination is Bayern Munich, whom the Telegraph says are on “high alert” following Bale’s “come-and-get-me-plea” on the pitch. It’s unclear whether “high alert” is a higher alert than “red alert”, or why a broadsheet is using the phrase “come-and-get-me-plea” without any irony.
Liverpool seek Karius replacement
As for Karius, the Mirror reports – with some understatement – that Liverpool are “stepping up” their search for a new keeper following the German’s display on Saturday night.
Their first choices are reportedly Roma’s Alisson (the same guy who shipped five goals at Anfield last month) and Atletico Madrid’s Jan Olbak, who has a buyout clause of £80m. Other options include Timo Horn of Cologne and Southampton’s Alex McCarthy, apparently.
Italian paper La Repubblica says the Reds are also monitoring the situation of AC Milan’s 19-year-old shotstopper Gianluigi Donnarumma. Basically, the situation is so critical that there is no goalkeeper who won’t be considered, except possibly Joe Hart.
Meanwhile, Hart’s official employers Man City are ready to make an audacious move to sign Paris Saint-Germain’s £166m teenager Kylian Mbappe. The Manchester Evening News says City could swoop for the 19-year-old forward if Financial Fair Play restrictions prevent PSG making the player’s loan switch from Monaco permanent.
And back at Old Trafford, Paul Pogba has allegedly told his agent Mino Raiola to seal him a return to Juventus this summer. The Express says the French midfielder is fed up with being “at loggerheads” with United boss Jose Mourinho and wants to go back to Turin where everyone liked him.
Elsewhere, the Red Devils have made an “opening offer” – a rather high one – of £96m for the Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Metro), RB Leipzig want to sign on-loan Everton forward Ademola Lookman on a permanent deal (Liverpool Echo) and John Terry is set to leave Aston Villa this summer after the Midlanders missed out on promotion to the Premier League (Sun). It’s unclear where he will go, although Chelsea are looking for a centre-back at the moment.