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Saturday, 15 April 2017

Hot Football Transfer Gossip: Barcelona ‘Target £20m Clyne’, Man Utd ‘to Offload Smalling and Blind’

(Yahoo Sport ) It seems there’s been a terrible mix-up. The sensational news that Barcelona were chasing former Liverpool right-back Glen Johnson, brought to you not exclusively by Hot Football Transfer Gossip yesterday, has been superseded by a report in the Sun that the Catalan giants are trying to sign current Liverpool right-back Nathaniel Clyne.
It’s unclear whether this was a case of mistaken identity - Luis Enrique declaring to his scouts, “Get me the Liverpool right-back! The one with the tattoos on his arms. Not Jon Flanagan!” - and someone thought Johnson still played for the Reds.
But whatever the reason, all the Johnson rumours have been hurriedly swept under the carpet and Barca are instead reported to be targeting Clyne in a big way. The Sun says he is their “number one target” to (belatedly) replace Dani Alves and they will bid £20m for him in January.
Exciting news for Clyne, but for poor old Johnson it must feel like he’s been sent an email telling him he’s won a lifetime’s supply of Monster Munch, and then receiving another email the next day saying that email was meant for someone else, sorry.
Meanwhile, Manchester United want to sell lots of people. The first ones out the door will be the defenders, according to the Daily Mail, which says the Old Trafford futures of Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo and Daley Blind are “under a cloud”.
Jose Mourinho is said to be “plotting a revamp” of his defence with Roma’s Antonio Rudiger on his wish list.
Luke Shaw is also “yet to fully convince” the United boss, while Matteo Darmian could stand outside Mourinho’s office all day, every day doing keepie-ups and he still wouldn’t get picked.
Next to leave Old Trafford will be Wayne Rooney, who the Sun says is wanted by LA Galaxy. The MLS outfit, who are about to lose Steven Gerrard, evidently want to swap one washed-up Scouser with another.
Rooney currently earns four times’ as much as Gerrard though, and the chances of him volunteering for a pay cut while he still has a couple of years left to run on his United deal seem slim indeed.
Elsewhere, United are battling Arsenal for the signature of 22-year-old Benfica defender Nelson Semedo (Mirror), Liverpool are set to sign 6ft 5in, 15-year-old “man mountain” Emeka Obi from Bury (Mail) and the Star have unleashed the “Arsenal transfer bombshell” that Mesut Ozil held a “secret 17-hour meeting” with Fenerbahce in the summer about a move to Turkey. A 17-hour meeting?! There surely aren’t enough biscuits in the world.