As Diego Costa completes his cunning “I want to play in China” ruse by signing a new Chelsea contract that will earn him a lot more money, there are fears his antics could prompt a flurry of other
greedy clever footballers to play the pretend “China card” to get their salaries bumped up. But Danny Rose won’t be one of them because he’s a good old salt-of-the-earth Englishman who loves his mum, that’s why.
The Sun says the Tottenham left-back has turned down a £14.5m-a-year offer from Shanghai SIPG, currently managed by former Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas, in order to “remain part of Mauricio Pochettino’s Premier League dream factory” (the Sun’s words). We guess anything’s a “dream factory” compared to playing for AVB.
Another player who could be lured to the “dream factory” is Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha, reports the Express. The Eagles winger has been subject to several approaches from Spurs in the past few months, and chairman Daniel Levy is banking on the fact that a move to north London will become more appealing with each dismal Palace defeat. The Eagles apparently value Zaha at £25m, but they might struggle to get that for him if they get relegated.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is preparing to have some “showdown talks” with Jose Mourinho about extending his Manchester United contract for another year, says the Sun, although the phrase “showdown talks” possibly makes the meeting sound more dramatic than it should be.
What’s most likely to happen is that Mourinho will ask Zlatan to stay at Old Trafford and keep scoring goals, and Zlatan will say yes that sounds good. UNLESS the Swedish striker decides to pull out the “China card” and threatens to sign for Beijing Athletic where he can earn a million pounds a day, prompting United to double his salary. Either way, Zlatan will stay.
Elsewhere, Atalanta’s highly rated Ivorian midfielder Frank Kessie (new Yaya Toure, blah blah) says he is “flattered” by interest from Chelsea (Standard), Marcus Rashford is not thinking about leaving Man Utd despite his lack of game time (Manchester Evening News) and West Ham midfielder Mark Noble says he wants to stay with the club forever and ever and ever (Mail). Nobes is missing a trick there – he’ll never get a Costa-style pay rise with that attitude.