Today’s Tales: A cracking idea for United to improve their squad for no extra cost – let Ronaldo leave


Another week has passed in the world of football and all we have to cling to is a few Premier League transfers and a bucketful of rumours to pass the time.

Are United actually going to get anyone over the line? Frenkie is taking forever to say yes. Tyrell Malacia’s imminent move from Holland seems to be going cold. Christian Eriksen hasn’t made his mind up yet. Antony and Lisandro Martinez are still Ajax players. Maybe Ten Hag and the recruitment crew might want to consider players without a Dutch connection?

They are way ahead of us as Serge Gnabry seems to be on the non-Dutch list. He is out of contract at Bayern in 12 months’ time, meaning his value is at a low of just £60m this window. Arsenal are sniffing around as well, more than happy to show the world they made a £60m error by letting Gnabry go for nothing in the first place.

It might be easier for United just to recall players who are out on loan – like Sergio Romero for example. He’ll be the ideal backup to David de Gea after Dean Henderson was sent out to Nottingham Forest on loan where he’ll get a lot of shot-stopping practice.

Or, if they are struggling to sign anyone at all – here’s a clever idea to improve the side instantly. Bite Ronaldo’s arm off on his request to leave the club immediately.

CR7 has had a look at Eric Ten Hag in action and decided his future belongs elsewhere. This is wonderful news to Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Sporting and Roma who are believed to be sniffing around the commercial opportunity. It’s also wonderful news for United if they can be brave enough to let him leave.

This summer’s most-wanted list is topped by Leeds’ Brazilian Neymar-lite, Raphinha. Chelsea want him, but then they are keen on Ronaldo, Neymar and Ousmane Dembele too. Barcelona want him, but they are keen on Neymar, Ronaldo and let Dembele leave on a free. Arsenal would love him, but did you see who else wants him? He’s not going to the Emirates when he could be coming off the bench each week at Stamford Bridge.

Having officially waved goodbye to Fernandinho who set sail back to Brazil last week, Man City are about to invest £100m in his replacement – Kalvin Phillips. You have to admire Pep’s commitment to overpaying for English footballers.

Slightly more off the beaten track is City’s new number two keeper. Stefan Ortega (no, me neither) has signed on a free from some team in Bundesliga.

New Chelsea supremo Todd Boehly is still determined to get this player trading concept fully firing across Europe. He is calling Juventus daily, trying to explain that Timo Werner for Matthijs de Ligt is a wonderful swapsie. Those of us who grew up doing Panini swapsies in the playground are calling this deal what it is. Bad. For Juventus, that is.

Boehly also sees buying players not good enough to play for the champions every week as a way of making Chelsea champions. He wants City’s Nathan Ake, Oleksandr Zinchenko and, of course, Raheem Sterling to head south.

We must not forget that Mohamed Salah’s contract negotiations at Liverpool were nothing to do with money – though it would only be right to suspect that the £18m a year on offer helped signatures to land on contracts. Salah stays at Anfield, picking up Sadio’s wages now he’s gone. He’s probably getting Minamino’s as well, as he’s been sold to Monaco for £15m.

Tottenham are approaching this window slightly differently to the last one – rather than waiting to the final hours to actually do anything, they are getting themselves fitted up ASAP this time out. Richarlison has joined for Everton – the fee a mere £60m, which equates to £1m per time he rolls on the floor half-dead on his debut only to recover instantly when he doesn’t get the free-kick.

Spurs have also contacted Jesse Lingard’s ‘people’ to see whether he’d rather feed off Harry Kane or Michail Antonio next season. I suspect Antonio might just be a better match for Lingard on and off the pitch. Clement Lenglet could well be joining from Barca too.

Joelinton would love Neymar to come and play for Newcastle – no word from Neymar on his interest levels or if he even knows who Joelinton is.

Eddie Howe has finally got Sven Botman through the door though, for a cool £32m.

Speaking of central defenders, Everton’s cunning plan to shore up their leaky defence is to sign one who got relegated last season. James Tarkowski has come in from Burnley to put pressure on Michael Keane – which will probably result in Keane shinning it into the crowd just like every other time he is put under a bit of pressure.

Wolves have failed in their plan to flog Adama Traore to Barcelona following his loan deal. Barcelona may be a bit stupid in the market but even they noticed there’s not a lot of end product there.

In France, Jorge Sampaoli quit Marseille frustrated at their inability to do anything decent in the market – the same day as Arsenal wild child Guendozi made his switch permanent. Coincidence?