Balotelli to PSG, Barca eye Krul, Yanga-Mbiwa to Arsenal?
It doesn’t matter that the transfer window is now shut, the men in suits who make football clubs tick will already be scrawling names on cocktail bar napkins, ensuring they’re ready for business in January. The rumours are sloshing around, tempting the Life’s a Pitch panel to get stuck in. On today’s menu: Manchester City’s Mario Balotelli, who has been linked with PSG; Montpellier’s young defender Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, who has been whispered about at Arsenal; plus Newcastle’s Tim Krul, rumoured to be mulling a move to Barcelona’s subs bench. As ever, each rumour will be marked out of 10. Zero for a fantasy and 10 for a certainty.
First up, Rory Smith of the Times tackles the tittle-tattle regarding Yanga-Mbiwa heading to north London. “He’s a very highly rated French international. He was looked at very closely by AC Milan in the summer, but they wouldn’t match Montpellier’s asking price. He’s got everything you need to thrive in the Premier League, but I don’t think Arsenal need a centre-back, so for January, I’d give that a three out of ten; in the summer, a seven.”
Next up, Balotelli (pictured), and Martin Lipton of the Daily Mirror is also punting a summer move. “If there’s a club that can outbid Man City for players in terms of wages it’s PSG, but at the moment I don’t see any reason for Balotelli to leave. That said, I do think his life expectancy at Man City isn’t the longest, so in the summer I’d give that a seven or an eight.”
Lastly, Dave Kidd of the People discusses the whispers that Newcastle’s shot-stopper extraordinaire might be Barcelona-bound. Surely not? “It’d be a shame for Krul to go and become a back-up keeper, because he’s been excellent for Newcastle – he’s as good as Given was at his peak. Whether Krul would want to go is the issue, so I’d give that a five.”
Watch the full video discussion by clicking on the play button in the image above.
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