The Football Freak feels that this weekend could be very illuminating in terms of the title race. If Leicester can get a result at Arsenal then they have to be considered a genuine bet for the title. Here’s the latest news leading up to the action.
It seemed a little odd that Manchester United didn’t spend in January. With such ground to make up on the leaders and another top forward clearly needed, the chequebook remained closed this winter.
But United did try to complete at least a couple of deals, according to two Inter players.
Their young captain Mauro Icardi says he wants to stay at the Italian club despite United interest:
‘I heard something, but I want to stay at Inter,’
‘My answer will always be the same: I want to stay here.
‘If Manchester try again, it will not be the first club or the last that I refuse. I feel good in Milan and I will not leave.’
FourFourTwo reports that 29 year old full-back, Yuto Nagatomo, turned the club down too:
“I like everything about Inter, I want to stay here and renew my contract,” Nagatomo told Inter’s TV channel.
“I turned down an offer from Manchester United, as my desire is to stay here. I have an excellent rapport with Roberto Mancini.”
Up top and at full-back are exactly the areas that you would expect Manchester United to be attempting to strengthen the team, which adds weight to the statements.
So we can read these transfer misses in two ways. Either it represents a decrease in status and allure at the club that they didn’t want to come. After all, Manchester United are out of The Champions League again and don’t look close to returning to it at this point.
Or Manchester United may have been warned off by the prohibitive prices that regularly get quoted when clubs this big come in.
Meanwhile at Chelsea, Guus Hiddink has given a couple of rather sobering morsels of news in the run up to The Blues’ game with Newcastle at GMTea Time on Saturday.
He disappointed us by stating that Pato won’t be fit to start against The Toon this weekend:
“We’ll see how he goes into the next tough programme, planned for next week. The skill is something nature gives. You can improve that, but the level of fitness and frequent actions of speed, for instance… that needs training sessions.”
And, even worse, he has intimated that Chelsea could struggle in general to attract top players to the club in future, according to The Guardian.
And, finally for now, Chelsea’s stand out performer Willian reckons that Blues youngster Ruben Loftus-Cheek:
“…has everything needed to become a great footballer. He’s a quality player and works hard in every training session.”
With such a strong youth academy right now, perhaps Chelsea won’t need to delve into the market so much in the coming years anyway.
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