Keep up to date with the latest football tittle-tattle with theguardian.com's round-up of the day’s gossip
|Real Madrid’s midfielder Isco (R) vies with Eibar’s midfielder Pedro Leon|
What’s important is some red hot content for your favourite morningly gossip column, and the scope for some absolutely classic terrace ditties. “Isco Inferno”, for example. “I.S.C.O”, perhaps. Assuming he does well, how about “Isco Love”? You could have “Isco 2000”, although that might rely on a rather spoddy knowledge of his on-pitch minute count. You could probably do something with “Iscotheque”, even if that would mean having to familiarise yourself with U2’s oeuvre, a dreadful task at the best of times.
Anyway, word on the street is that Spurs fancy the Isco kid and will make a move for him next summer, but not a minute earlier. In other Real news, some of our more excitable media outlets are bursting with the news that, should Gareth Balesign a new contract there, as he is expected to do, it will cost Manchester United or whoever a whopping £450-500m. That being the buyout clause in his contract that is always set artificially high, so is not in any way a reflection of what his transfer fee might be.
Speaking of United, for some reason Matteo Darmian seems to be a wanted man. The talk has been that Barcelona are interested in United’s second-choice right-back, and now the word is that Internazionale are set to make a £13.5m bid for him. What a world. And speaking of Louis van Gaal signings who José Mourinho doesn’t seem entirely sold on, Wolfsburg are supposedly keen on Memphis Depay. Another Dutchman who paused at Old Trafford could be on the move, too:Robin van Persie looks to be the latest tempted by the Chinese coin, with Fenerbahce set to sell him to Hebei Fortune for something like €13m.
There could be a queue of clubs forming for Santi Cazorla next summer. We don’t imagine Arsenal will be all that amenable to the idea of their ambidextrous scuttler leaving, but nonetheless Valencia, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla are all said to be keen on bringin’ him on home. Héctor Bellerín is another popular man in his homeland, and Arsenal are set to offer him a new contract in order to ward of interest from Barcelona and the like.
While all of these teams are looking to buy mere players, American tycoon and former baseball owner John Jay Moores (or a consortium led by him) is setting his sights higher, and is after buying a whole club. Well, after a fashion. He’s supposedly closing in on purchasing an 80% stake in Nottingham Forest, current owner Fawaz al-Hasawi keeping the rest. Someone have a word, he knows not what he does.