The Mill was digging through some old comedy clips last night and stumbled across the classic Monty Python ‘fish slap’ sketch. You know the one, a safari-clad Michael Palin repeatedly running up to a similarly dressed John Cleese and giving him little taps with a small fish before Cleese pulls out a gigantic trout and clobbers Palin into a river.
This same dance appears to be happening in the Harry Kane transfer saga. Bayern Munich have spent the entire summer giving the Tottenham chairman, Daniel Levy, a series of little taps in a bid to prize the England striker away from north London. But Levy, like Cleese, is standing firm and ready to bat Bayern aside.
The Bundesliga champions are now believed to have put in a fourth bid of around £94.5m, having previously said that their third of £86m was a final offer and an outcome would be decided one way or another last Friday. Ominously, we couldn’t help but notice that when Palin goes in for a fourth time, this is when Cleese has had enough and smashes his provocateur over the head to put an end to it.
At least Gary Neville doesn’t believe the idea of Kane moving is a dead parrot that has ceased to be. Oh no, speaking on the latest episode of The Overlap, the former Manchester United defender reckons the brains at Old Trafford are hatching a plan. “I am hoping they are watching what is happening and being clever and waiting, seeing an £86m deal might get agreed with Bayern and Kane goes: ‘I’m not going, I want to go to United’,” said Neville. “Tottenham have rejected that bid because they know he isn’t going to Bayern. Harry Kane wants them to believe he will accept that money and then will go: ‘No I want to go to United’. Levy would be dead. He knows he won’t go to Munich otherwise he would accept it.” Righto.
Perhaps Neville has some theories on Liverpool’s attempt to make Roméo Lavia their latest purchase from Southampton. The Reds could have saved themselves the best part of £1bn had they scouted as well as Saints down the years so are reluctant to toss another £50m Southampton’s way. A new offer of around £46m was turned down earlier this week, following earlier bids of £37m and £41m.
In a twist/non-twist, Lavia was left out of Southampton’s travelling squad for Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup defeat at League Two Gillingham. Earlier in the day, the Belgian teenager had posted a social media update saying he had “good vibes”. They can’t have been for his current employers as Saints were subject to the night’s shock result.
With Kyle Walker set to snub Bayern Munich and stay at Manchester City, the Mill is getting frustrated at all this inertia. Come on, someone just bloody move! Thankfully, there could be pens being readied at City after all, with Pep Guardiola keen on signing West Ham’s Lucas Paquetá. The Brazilian midfielder was purchased by the Hammers last summer for a club-record fee of £51m but City may have to stump up £70m.
That would leave quite a hole at West Ham following the loss of Declan Rice but they’re looking to fill it with the capture of the Mexico midfielder Edson Álvarez from Ajax for £32m and, hopefully, James Ward-Prowse from Southampton although that one has gone into ‘fish dance’ territory with the Hammers tapping away at £30m and Saints wanting £40m.
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Harry Maguire is still on West Ham’s radar and rumours swirl that David Moyes would make the out-of-favour centre-back his new club captain. Moyes’s former club, Everton, could have something to say about that and other gossip suggests the Toffees would send Amadou Onana to Old Trafford in a bid to bring Maguire to Goodison.
Elsewhere, Arsenal look set to sign the Brentford goalkeeper David Raya after a £30m fee was agreed, while Chelsea and Juventus are trying to thrash out a swap deal involving Romelu Lukaku and Dusan Vlahovic. Also at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea have released a new list of squad numbers. That’s caused excitement as two of the vacant ones could possibly be the kind that £80m Brighton target, Moisés Caicedo, might wear. If this is where we’re at, perhaps we should just all just hurl ourselves into a river.