Sometime sixty years from now, with the last vestiges of the human race huddled on top of what were once mountain ranges—now tropical islands—I’ll be lying in some hut with a specialized corrugated roof designed to keep out the marauding hordes of mutated nocturnal owls which are now humanity’s last and greatest threat. While idly thumbing through my one and only published book, The Final Whistle: The Incredible Story of How Analytics Finally Ended Football for Good, I hear the sound of tiny fists banging at my door. It’s the village children. They want to hear…the Story.
“Tell us again, Old Man Whittall!”
“No. Go away, and let an old man die in peace.”
“No!” A boy cries, “We want to hear it!”
If only to get them to leave me alone for a little while, I acquiesce and open the door.
“Alright, gather round, make room, make space. And prepare yourselves to hear the greatest transfer window story ever told…”
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has hijacked Tottenham’s proposed £30million deal for Brazil winger Willian.
And the dramatic swoop for the Anzhi Makhachkala player immediately put Gareth Bale’s world-record switch to Real Madrid in doubt.
…Sportsmail understands Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is so furious about Mourinho’s £32m move for Willian that he is threatening to pull the plug on Bale’s departure.
Stunned White Hart Lane officials will consider their next move today.
You don’t even need me to tell you how wonderful this is. Daniel Levy thought he’d Stringer Bell’d himself into the Champions League with the Summer of Love, and there was Marlo waiting in the wings. But more importantly, here is Mourinho gloriously, wonderfully, maniacally, burning his last bridge to Madrid by destroying their one marquee vanity deal. It is a revenge fantasy more heinous than Titus Andronicus, and more calculating than Old Boy. By putting in for Willian, Jose Mourinho may have single-handedly scuppered the Gareth Bale transfer, which Guilleme Balague not two days ago told us was mere hours away from completion.
It is, to my memory, the greatest ever transfer story. And I don’t think it will ever be matched.
Ladies and Gentlemen: Behold! Modern Football
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) August 22, 2013
Apparently Manchester United are throwing in for Juan Mata this deal, which might make Chelsea’s bid for Willian even more important. “It is unknown at this point whether the contact has been part of the ongoing Wayne Rooney saga, or whether the English champions would be open to a long-mooted straight swap between the players, just that their interest has been piqued and they believe a deal could be possible.” [ESPNFC]
Spurs destroyed Dinamo Tbilisi 0-5 in their Europa League playoff yesterday, and Danny Rose added to the goal tally in ruthless fashion…just no ruth at all here:
Amy Lawrence and Jacob Steinberg take us through their ten things to expect from this weekend in the Premier League. Obviously much of it involves the anxiety that last minute transfer deals induce, but Steinberg takes aim at poor old Newcastle: “The frustration of a bewildering summer, in which Pardew’s position was seemingly weakened by Joe Kinnear’s appointment as director of football, is threatening to boil over.” The Mike Ashley popular opinion roller-coaster rattles on [Guardian].
And Arsenal aren’t done just yet, either [Marca].