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07th Jul 2017

JOE’s Transfer Digest – Conte challenges Mourinho to fight to the death in last gasp bid to get Lukaku

A desperate Conte told Mourinho he'd be waiting for him at Stamford Bridge whenever he was ready

Wayne Farry

Welcome to JOE’s Transfer Digest, where we collect the newest transfer rumours of the day and attempt to whittle them down into handy, bite-sized chunks.

Today’s edition contains a transfer that may actually be completed, which is truly a watershed moment for us all.

Conte in last gasp bid to get Lukaku

There was shock in many football circles yesterday when news broke that Romelu Lukaku would travel to Los Angeles to undergo a medical with Manchester United.

Having been strong favourites to resign the player they sold three years, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is reportedly furious at the possibility of missing out on the club’s primary target.

However, unwilling to merely give up, the Italian has decided to challenge Jose Mourinho to a death match, with the winner taking home the Belgian striker.

While many at Stamford Bridge had advised Conte against what they called a “fucking insane idea”, the former Juventus coach has reportedly informed Mourinho that he will be waiting for him outside Stamford Bridge whenever he “has the balls to show up”.

When asked to respond, Mourinho is said to have laughed so much a little tear came out.

Guardiola continues with faith in youth

Pep Guardiola is set to continue with his stellar record of youth development, with the Manchester City manager keen to sell another of the club’s young stars so they can develop elsewhere.

The Catalan’s record of promoting youth at Barcelona is said to have been one of the reasons behind his appointment at the Etihad, and the club’s hierarchy are reportedly delighted that young Nigeria striker Kelechi Iheanacho will finally get that chance at whatever side he moves to.

A member of Man City’s backroom staff has said that the club is proud of all the interest being shown in Iheanacho, with Leicester City are said to be the front runners for the 20-year-old.

“We know what Pep is all about. Pep believes in young players. He believes in them so much that he’ll do anything – even sell them – to help them develop,” said a coach today. “Pep loves Kelechi. He wants to see him develop into the player he can become. If he has to sell him a hundred times over he’s willing to do just that.”

Paul Merson not sure why so teams are interested in a 20-year-old Hanson song

Our final piece of news today comes from former Arsenal forward and current Sky Sports News pundit Paul Merson, who has questioned the wisdom of the transfer tactics of a European clubs.

Speaking yesterday, Merson criticised the likes of Real Madrid, PSG and Arsenal for being so obsessed with Hanson’s seminal hit, Mmmbop, that they’d be willing to pay over £100 million or it.

“I don’t work for a big club, but I used to play for one. And honestly, I dunno what these teams are thinking bidding that much,” said Merson. “Yes, it’s a good song, it’s one of the catchiest songs I’ve ever ‘eard. But you’ve got to ask: is it worth £100 million when you can just listen to it on the radio? And most importantly you’ve got to ask: what can this 20-year-old song do to improve my football team? I just don’t see it.”