An odd offshoot from the avalanche of extra cash spilling into the coffers of Premier League clubs, following the latest TV rights deal, is the ability of ‘lesser’ outfits to genuinely compete with the big boys for the best talent around.
We’re seeing it at Crystal Palace, who narrowly missed out on Chelsea’s new £33m striker Michy Batshuayi and are in for Liverpool’s Christian Benteke at similarly silly money.
Following on from Portugal’s shock Euro 2016 final win over France, Selecao holding-midfielder William Carvalho is once again being touted for the English top flight, but the 24-year-old’s potential destinations, according to The Sun at least, are somewhat puzzling.
Having featured in a stunning Portugal rearguard that shipped just one goal after the group stage in France, you’d think the much-heralded Angola-born bruiser would be headed for the likes of Arsenal, who have been constantly talked of as potential Carvalho suitors over the past three years.
Manchester United also need players of the Sporting star’s ilk in the centre of the park, with the same paper predicting Jose Mourinho will reshape his new club’s decimated midfield further by axing 2015/16 strugglers Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin.
However, despite both Arsenal and United’s repeated transfer links to the man with a strong claim to make Euro 2016’s team of the tournament, The Sun believes Everton, Southampton and Leicester are the clubs battling to land Carvalho’s signature.
With all due respect to that trio, which includes the current Premier League champions, this serves as a clear indication of how the ‘natural order’ of the top flight has broken down, and quickly – the story would have been laughed out of the News UK offices 18 months ago.
Saying that, predicting Leicester’s title win would hardly have fared any better.
The Sun also suggests he ‘will be available for £20m this summer’, despite reports in January that Carvalho had signed a new contract tying him to Sporting until 2020, with a £35m release clause.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.