Stop all the clocks.
Cut off the telephone. Ignore a series of wheedling comments from Xavi. Prevent the dog from making a series of mawkish statements about Catalan homesickness with a juicy bone. For He is finally going to just get on with it and go and play for Them. "Fábregas will sign for Barcelona today," brays today's copy of the Sun, falling over the line in a state of some exhaustion after a saga that has drained much of the life from, not just Arsenal football club, the Premier League, or European football, but all life everywhere.
"A fee believed to be £35.9m plus add-ons has been agreed while Fábregas, 24, is expected to pay Arsenal £4.5m out of his own pocket over the next five years," the Sun reports.
The Mill just wants to say: it isn't going to work. Sorry, but it just isn't though is it? It's like the long-delayed consummation of an endless Victorian courtship, where the groom will inevitably have a nervous fit in the bridal chamber, flee into the night, spend six hours weeping with spent carnal anticipation and then never be seen in the marital bed again over the next 60 years, increasingly spending his nights on a deckchair in the potting shed, eternally scarred by the hysteria of youthful over-expectation.
According to today's Daily Mirror Harry Redknapp wants to sign West Brom goal machine Peter Odemwingie if indolent strolling goal-beanpole Peter Crouch finally leaves. Odemwingie, who now has two weeks to cash in on what will, let's face it, be his only genuinely prolific season in the Premier League, still hasn't signed a new contract. Kenny Dalglish, who clearly watches a lot of football on Sky, is considering a shock move for Celtic winger Paddy McCourt who scored a brilliant goal against the Faroes the other day. McCourt is 27, outrageously talented, terribly inconsistent and has a highlights reel of brilliant goals that shows him bamboozling the defences of teams like Stenhousemuir, Edinburgh Kwikfit Third XI and Rangers. Kenny: it won't work.
In the Daily Mail, Spurs have accepted a £1.8m bid – as you would – for Robbie Keane from LA Galaxy. It is of course a dream move for the Irishman, who famously supported the Galaxy as a young boy growing up in Venice Beach. Newcastle have increased their bid for 23-year-old PSV Eindhoven left-back Erik Pieters to £7m. Alan Pardew also wants to sign Nicklas Bendtner as do Stoke City, the tall man's Barcelona. Neither of them want to pay the £11m that Arsène Wenger wants.
And scouts from both Manchester City and Spurs were rubbing their hands on their thighs, making gurgling noises and sending flowers backstage while watching Gary Cahill star for Bolton in the annihilation of QPR on Saturday afternoon. Bolton want to sign Rangers winger Gregg Wylde, who sounds like a notorious central London new romantic nightclub peacock of the early 1980s.
Back in the Sun Chelsea have had a £27m bid for Luka Modric rejected and are all set to "pull the plug" on the non-deal. "We did make an offer, it was rejected and I don't know if it will go any further," club chairman Bruce "Anything For A" Buck said last night, acting all stiff and businesslike and unbothered but secretly choking back the tears.
Adam Johnson says he won't leave Manchester City even if Samir Nasri arrives and has four good games, scores a couple of wonder goals and then effectively disappears for the entire winter. "I had a lot of conversations with the manager, some things I agreed with, some I didn't," Johnson said, going on to pointedly restate his absolute refusal to wear brown shoes with a business suit.
Stoke's 22-year-old defender Ryan Shotton is a £1m target for Burnley and Ipswich. And nice Steve Kean has told Venky's he's not happy with his paltry transfer outlay and want to make four new signings in the next two weeks. Eleven players have already flown the coop this summer. There is a pattern there Steve. Just saying.
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