Football transfer rumours: David de Gea to Manchester United?
There remains a biting, eye-watering chill in the air, but spring is definitely on the horizon. It is a period of the year one manager refers to as 'squeaky-bum time', and others calls 'my arse is for the sack unless I get some wins in the next two months'. Much can, and will, happen from now until May.
But as football's focus squares onto on-pitch matters there is, sadly, a knock-on effect. For all this worrying about who will win what and who may nor may not get relegated leaves very little room, or will, for the juice that normally gets this country moving – transfer tittle-tattle.
The Mill has never known it so quiet. It rose this morning expecting, as ever, to be bombarded with stories of Tottenham 'moving for' Spanish sensation José Bloggues, and Chelsea and Manchester City 'ready to battle it out' for German wunderkind Thomas Tractionengine, but instead was left staring into the abyss of match reports and, get this, stories about horse racing. Horse racing? On a Monday? The world has flipped on its flipping axis.
Thankfully, there are still some tit-bits for the Tell-all to get stuck into, most notably the news that Manchester United have decided they want to replace Edwin van der Sar with David de Gea next season. Sir Alex Ferguson has apparently decided that the 20-year-old Atlético Madrid goalkeeper is the right man to take over from van Der Sar, who confirmed on Saturday night, following United's 2-0 win over Arsenal, that he will retire in the summer. De Gea will reportedly cost United £15m and is so wanted at Old Trafford that the club's goalkeeping coach, Eric Steele, has started taking Spanish lessons in preparation for his arrival.
Speaking of United, Rio Ferdinand can rest assured after being told by Fabio Capello that he will remain as England captain even if John Terry is given the armband for the Euro2012 qualifier against Wales on 26 March. Ferdinand was apparently concerned that he was on the verge of being ousted from the position given his chronic injury record and subsequent lack of games for the national team, but Capello has told the defender to calm down and, as Ferdinand would likely say in the 1,000 or so tweets he sends on a daily basis, chillax. The captaincy is his. 'Whoop, whoop tweeps!'
Life is not so good for Aston Villa centre-backs Richard Dunne and James Collins, who are apparently going to be fined £300,000 for ranting at club staff and team-mates during a break at a Leicestershire spa last week. The trip was meant to bring the squad closer together but instead turned into a "rowdy alcoholic bender" instigated by Dunne and Collins. The pair have apologised but rumour has it that Dunne crossed the line amid the facial creams and massage oils and will now be sold by Villa in the summer.
And finally, Nottingham Forest are interested in signing Danny Guthrie on loan from Newcastle United. Yes readers, that's as good a climax as I can offer you. It's that quiet. The Mill's off for a frustrated walk in the sunshine. If I hear one more person mention Cheltenham...
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