Goosing The Gossip: United Announce Lukaku Agreement, Sbagria Returns

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The official Manchester United website surprised everyone this morning with the announcement that a fee had been agreed with Everton for Romelu Lukaku and that the deal is subject to a medical and personal terms.

If we’re being naughty we might suggest personal terms won’t be an issue, whilst Lukaku is already in Los Angeles awaiting the arrival of his prospective future employers.

However news broke last night that Chelsea had matched United’s bid. This news came with the caveat, that Chelsea were unwilling to pay the required fee for Mini Raiola’s services. This is presumably an attempt to be seen as noble from the West London club, who are apparently hoping that their stand against agents is applauded by those with short memories who don’t remember that they were as responsible, if not more, for transfer fees accelerating beyond the normal rate of inflation thanks in no small part to the involvements of Pini Zahavi back in the day. But no, bravo Chelsea, little old Chelsea, battling against the odds.

The biggest headache in the deal is not for Everton, United or Chelsea, it’s for the journalists who had to write up a new angle; Lukaku is a lumbering, over-rated, modern Emile Heskey with the worst first touch in football if he’s going to Old Trafford, but if he finds his way to Stamford Bridge, he is of course the second coming of Didier Drogba, a signal of intent from the champions buying the best available striker on the market.

But, anyway, now United have announced it, it’s all hunky dory…

…right?

Here’s some news that definitely has happened. Ricky Sbragia, reserve team coach from 2002-2005, has rejoined. Fans of the reserve side will remember that being a fairly successful time, particularly the 2005 team, which featured the likes of Rossi and Pique.

Sbagria’s return is a welcome one but while we’re on the subject we are still disgruntled that Paul McGuinness was let go last year; at Manchester United it’s not so much what the players are taught but how. We’ll of course reserve judgement until we see how things unfold but we can’t help but feel there is a little lost in the identity of the club, even with Nicky Butt involved as he is.

Elsewhere, it appears Wayne Rooney to Everton is a done deal, with the talk being that the Toffees are now working on a creative way to announce the deal, in reference to the cringeworthy social media announcements that some clubs are making (and we are not blameless, the Pogba transfer started it all).

The ‘rumour’ of the day is Eric Dier, and United’s supposed £50m interest in him. Such a figure would surely make Hell freeze over in Daniel Levy’s kingdom and convince him to negotiate. We like Dier, but we think £50m is an awfully large amount, and we would be thinking perhaps it might be better to just up Chelsea’s offer for Monaco’s Bakayoko and see what happens there. Just like with the Lukaku deal, the absurdity of it all makes us believe there is a little bit of truth, at least in United’s interest, if only because perhaps Mourinho hasn’t really experienced what it’s like for a Manchester United manager to deal with Tottenham Hotspur.

Until next time, take care of yourself, and each other.

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