Manchester United fans react to missing out on Cody Gakpo
Well, well, well. How long was it? An hour? Two?
The ever-reliable Paul Joyce broke the news that Liverpool were in advanced discussions to sign Cody Gakpo from PSV Eindhoven last night and lo and behold, by the time Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (nowhere near as good as the first one) had finished, everything was all wrapped up. Signed, sealed and delivered.
Who needs season-long transfer sagas when you can get everything done and dusted in one evening?
Manchester United, of course, were considered long-term admirers of Gakpo and favourites for his signature after the Dutch winger had reportedly turned down moves to Leeds United and Southampton in the summer.
It is therefore all the more baffling that they allowed their historic rivals to swoop in and snatch the player up before the January transfer window had even opened.
This brings us to Twitter, still semi-operational despite Elon Musk’s best efforts, where the salt and the tears were turned up to maximum.
United fans, we feel you, we really do, but pretending you didn’t want a player with nine goals and 12 assists in 14 league games this season (along with three World Cup goals) because he plays the same position as Marcus Rashford is a bit silly, isn’t it?
It’s a bit daft. Anyway, let’s take a lot through some Tweets as we navigate those five stages of transfer grief, from denial to acceptance. Here’s denial.
Are you sure Howard? Are you really? Sounds like Erik ten Hag really wanted him. Sounded like he wanted to sign him quite a bit.
Ah, that’s it. The scouts weren’t impressed. Fair enough. Not sure if there’s any group of individuals I’d trust less than Manchester United’s scouting department. I’d personally rather a committee of naked mole rats decide my club’s transfer policy, but that’s a me problem.
Here’s some more.
One man who agrees with the Old Trafford scouts is Mo, unless he is simply stating that Gakpo ‘is midfielder’. But not everyone has the requisite ability to play for United, that is true. Just ask Scott McTominay, who made only 30 appearances in the Premier League last season.
You know it’s possible to have two good players for one position, don’t you? You know that both can play as a 9 as well, right? Gakpo can even function as a 10! You know that they could line up in the same starting 11 and shift between roles? And that maybe that would even enhance their attacking output rather than restrict it, in the right system?
Ten Hag wanted the player, he definitely had a vision in mind for the two to play together. It’s not some impossible riddle.
Now you get to see how Jurgen Klopp does it and wonder what might have been.
Ah yes, Jadon Sancho. Good thing you have Jadon Sancho in the back. Can’t wait for him to remember how to play football.
Dear Carl, are these not both very good things? Yours sincerely, everyone.
A blessing in disguise! Yes, yes, excellent work all round, United. Well done on fluffing that transfer. Will only pay dividends in the long run. 4D chess as ever from the transfer committee.
This seems reasonable but what ‘orthodox number nine’ are they actually going to sign? Because all I’m seeing is Memphis Depay’s name being bandied around and let me tell you… he is not the man to solve your long-term striker problems.
Nor is Joao Felix. Come on now. How are you going to complain about Gakpo’s fit and then wish for the signing of Felix? Have you seen him play? Make it make sense.
Can’t wait for the right solution to become obvious. Wonder who it’ll be. Complete toss-up at this point. Patrick Bamford? Maxim Choupo-Moting? Slabhead himself up top?
The official translation of ‘weird signing’? A really good player for a really good fee, by one of our rivals.
The most polished young attacker there’s been in the Eredivisie for quite some time but who cares? United won’t regret this one bit. Nope. Given their record in the transfer market they’ll unearth an even better gem somewhere else.
By the way, has anyone still got Odion Ighalo’s number? Just asking for a friend.
Alejandro Garnacho is great… but he’s 18 years old! Maybe let’s not throw all our eggs in that basket just yet. Do you remember the tale of Adnan Januzaj? How about Federico Macheda? Let’s maybe just ease the pressure on this guy a little bit.
‘Preferred destination’… my brother, you are literally playing in the Europa League.
Love that saying “it’s about balance not quantity.” Use it all the time.
And to end…
Yeah.. this one is very reasonable. Spot on really. Can’t argue with it. Well done Tom McDermott for seeing the failed transfer for what it is. Hats off to you.
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Tottenham director Fabio Paratici banned from football worldwide by FIFA
Tottenham managing director of football Fabio Paratici has been banned from football worldwide after FIFA extended the punishment imposed in Italy following his involvement in Juventus’ penalised accounting practices.
In January, the Italian giants suffered a shock 15-point deduction after the club was deemed to have inflated player transfer values in swap deals among other financial offences.
Paratici joined the Juventus hierarchy in 2010 and was the club’s sporting director between November 2018 and the summer of 2021, before he took up a similar role at Tottenham. The investigation into Juve’s accounts scrutinised transactions between 2019 and 2021 – when Paratici was at the heart of the club’s dealings.
At the start of the year, Paratici was one of several former Juventus board members that were banned from football following the conclusion of the investigation by the Italian Football Federation. Initially, Paratici was handed a 30-month ban from just Italian football, although the threat of extending the scope of that punishment internationally always loomed.
On Wednesday, FIFA released a statement confirming that they had indeed taken up that option, extending the ban handed out to Paratici and the other Juventus board members – including former owner Andrea Agnelli – worldwide.
The statement read: “FIFA can confirm that following a request by the Italian FA (FIGC), the chairperson of FIFA disciplinary committee has decided to extend the sanctions imposed by FIGC on several football officials to have worldwide effect.”
Paratici was due to be in court this week for a a preliminary committal hearing regarding a portion of the charges levelled at Juve, but the date for those proceedings have been shunted back to 10 May. Juve appealed their 15-point penalty – which the prosecution only recommended as a nine-point punishment – and will hear the ruling of which on 19 April.
On this edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders, Graeme Bailey & Toby Cudworth discuss Julian Nagelsmann’s future and links to the vacant Tottenham head coach role, Barcelona’s ambition to bring Lionel Messi ‘home’, Brighton teenager Evan Ferguson, Florian Wirtz, Kalvin Phillips and more!
If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!
Sir Alex Ferguson & Arsene Wenger inducted into Premier League Hall of Fame
Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger have become the first managers to be inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame.
The duo won 16 Premier League titles between them across respective long-term spells with Manchester United and Arsenal.
With 13 of those championships, Ferguson is the most decorated manager in the history of the competition. He is the only coach to have won the Premier League three times in a row, doing so on two different occasions.
Ferguson said: “I’m truly delighted to be inducted into the Premier League Hall of Fame. It’s an honour when you receive recognition like this. However, it’s not just about me as a person. It’s about the job at Manchester United and the bond we had over many years, so I’m also proud for the club, the staff and my players.
“My job was to send the fans home happy. United’s history and my own expectations were the things that drove me, and I then had to try and develop all my players with the same expectations and make sure we could go out and achieve them.
“I feel Arsene is a very worthy inductee as he transformed Arsenal Football Club fantastically. They became a tough team to compete with and we both wanted to win, which motivated us further. Through the years since retirement, we’d go for dinner together in a little restaurant he knows well in Switzerland. He is a really interesting man and I enjoy his company, but it is still my job to pick the wine!”
Wenger arrived in England in 1996 as one of the Premier League’s first foreign coaches, and quickly proved sceptics wrong, transforming Arsenal into title winners and changing English football’s culture with his scouting and dietary expertise.
The Frenchman won three Premier League titles with Arsenal, including an unbeaten ‘Invincibles’ season in 2003/04.
Wenger said: “I am very grateful to have been selected for the Premier League Hall of Fame. We always wanted to give something special to the fans and when you have players capable of remarkable things, the most important thing for me is the obligation of perfection.
“I’d like to be known as someone who loved Arsenal, who respected the values of the club and left it in a position where it can grow and become even bigger.
“To share this with Sir Alex is a great honour for me. It’s like two boxers, you fight like mad and go the distance together. At the end of the day, you have respect and it will be a great opportunity to meet with him, share a good bottle of wine and memories of our old battles.”
In addition to Ferguson and Wenger, there are 16 other inductees in the Premier League Hall of Fame.
Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry were the first two people inducted when the Hall of Fame was created in 2021. They were followed later that year by Eric Cantona, Roy Keane, Frank Lampard, Dennis Bergkamp, Steven Gerrard and David Beckham.
In 2022, Wayne Rooney, Patrick Vieira, Sergio Aguero, Didier Drogba, Vincent Kompany, Peter Schmeichel, Paul Scholes and Ian Wright were inducted.
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