Get the right keeper in at the right age and you’ve got the position sorted for a decade, so goes the logic.Chelseastruck gold when they upgraded Carlo Cudicini for Petr Cech in 2004, and the 11 years’ service they got from him took in four Premier League titles, one Champions League win, one in the Europa League, plus four FA Cups and three League Cups. Thibaut Courtois might have toddled off a little early for their liking, after just the four major trophies, but bringing in Kepa Arrizabalaga for more than £70m showed full intent to repeat the trick.
Now, with the worst defensive record in the Premier League’s top nine,Bayern Munich cutting through them like a hot knife through already melted butterand – crucially – the former Manchester City figure of funWilly Caballero suddenly being preferred to the Spaniard, the Do One door at Stamford Bridge is not so much slightly ajar than off the hinges with an industrial garden vac on the other side. Hence word that Frank Lampard is sanctioning an eye-catchingArrizabalaga-plus-£25m dealto Atlético Madrid to landJan Oblak.
Good news for Mill correspondents from next week onwards:Manchester Unitedare intent on getting that wholeJack Grealishsaga done and dustedthisweek. That’s £45m to you right now,Aston Villa, and let’s not worry about him potentially putting in a decent turn at the Euros that might make you want to charge more than the market rate for one and a half Alex Iwobis.
That’s not all United have in mind, either. They’re keen to attract theBelle and Sebastian dollarby bringing in the New York-born Canadian forwardJonathan David– Canada’s player of the year, don’t you know? – who has 22 goals this season for the Belgian side Gent. The 20-year-old has already attracted a £5m bid from Porto, which was roundly laughed at. And the Old Trafford scouting tentacles also found their way to Real Sociedad’s win over Valencia last weekend, to have a look-see atFerran Torres,Carlos Soler,Willian José,Martin ØdegaardandAlexander Isak.Jesse LingardandAndreas Pereiracould be among those making way for what is sounding like being a LOT of new arrivals this summer.
It’s probably for the best that Ed Woodward is eyeing deals for most of the players in Europe, becauseJadon Sanchohas decided he may actually quite like to stay at Borussia Dortmund after all. And lo: the shoulders of United,Chelseaand Liverpool did sag.
“What do you mean you don’t want to commit to a new deal atArsenal?” Mikel Arteta wondered toBukayo Saka. “Fine – I’ll buy that lustrously manedMarc CucurellaGetafe have on loan from Barcelona then.” That’ll show him.
And a bit more keeper news to report:Huddersfieldhave their designs on the Celtic veteranCraig Gordon, while at the other end of the experience scale, England under-19 internationalCurtis Anderson, who plied his youth trade at Manchester City, is training atCharltonand could be ready to sign a permanent deal after a spell with Charlotte Independence in the US.