Football transfer rumours: Theo Walcott on his way to Barcelona?

We’ll just get it out of the way early doors, shall we? José Mourinho is staying at Chelsea. For now. But will be out on his bottom if results don’t improve double quick time pronto like. Cool. Glad that’s clear. Have some details on that one if you like.

And on a slightly related note, word on the calle in Spain is that Pep Guardiola is “very close” to agreeing a new deal with Bayern Munich, which must be at least part of the reason for Chelsea’s reluctance to bin a man who very much looks to have gone behind the eyes.

Good. Now we’ve got that out of the way, we can concentrate on what we all came here for – tittle tattle, hearsay, half-truths and rumours. And where better to start than Barcelona, who by the looks of things have fired up their ace player-spotter ‘Scout-o-matic’, watched it splutter a bit, hit it on the side with a hammer which as it turns out just made things worse, tried turning it off and on again but the infernal thing wouldn’t do the second bit of that operation and now lies dormant.

That’s one explanation for their supposed transfer targets, with our old pal Reports In Spain claiming little Theo Walcott is the current apple of their eye. A fine player no doubt but even with out his hamstrings made of Blu-Tack, Walcott is not what the Mill would call the man to really push Luis Suárez, Leo Messi and Neymar for a place in the Barça team. Meanwhile, Reports In Spain’s slightly more languid cousin Rumours In The Netherlands have it that Barça are also keen on Mr Robin van Persie, a player who has looked like one with a foot in the crate marked ‘Knacker’s Yard’ for a little while now. But, the heart wants what it wants, and who are we to declare that these two aren’t the men to put a little lead into the collective Catalan pencil?

Speaking of vaguely baffling interest in formerly excellent players now neither use nor ornament, Wayne Rooney is being fought over by two sports companies – the one with the stripes and the one with the tick/swoosh/whatever – to wear their gear and unconvincingly glower in their adverts. Do you want to tell them, or shall we?

Good news for Arouna Koné: not only did he score a splendid hat-trick in Everton’s 6-2 shellacking of Sunderland on Sunday , not only does he appear to be good buds with Romelu Lukaku, who seems like the lovely sort of man who would borrow your casserole dish and make sure it was scrubbed clean and returned in good time, but also his appearance at Goodison Park set off a big ‘CONTRACT CLAUSE’ klaxon somewhere deep in the bowls of Everton’s admin department. The mere act of stepping onto the turf, his 35th appearance for the club, triggered a one-year extension to his current deal, meaning Koné will be at Everton until the end of next season. No small thing, given that he’s been injured for a lot of his time at the club and a fresh deal would not have been a given next summer. Excellent. This is all very nice. Good news for everyone. Casserole all round, Romelu’s cooking!

The 31-year-old Koné is a veritable whipper snapper compared to Didier Drogba, but that doesn’t mean the old lad isn’t still spry and gets out of the house as much as he can. So much so that Bologna are mulling over a move for the 37-year-old, who’s currently doing his thing for MLS bods Montreal Impact, but could still head to Italy on loan during the American close season. The old boy scored 12 goals in 11 starts for Montreal, goals that have apparently convinced Bologna he’s the man to drag them from the nether regions of Serie A.

At the other end of the age scale, Manchester City and Manchester United are said to be duking it out for Anderlecht’s 18-year-old midfielder Youri Tielemans, the lad ripping it up in Belgium and who made his Champions League debut at the revoltingly young age of 16. Presumably both teams will lay on a fine spread to try and tempt their young target, some hot drinks and a selection of cakes and sandwiches perhaps, served in the afternoon. Or, you might say, tea for the Tielemans. Eh? No? Anyone? Is…is this thing on?

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Guardian Sport
Guardian Sport works from London, England. Sport Correspondent, Sky News. Formerly Guardian Chief Sport Reporter. Sport Journalist of the Year 2017. DM's open for stories. Guardian Sport has over 15755 followers on Twitter.

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