What a year it’s been for Marco Silva. Not a good year, exactly, but certainly one you’d like to hear him tell you about in the pub one day.
Twelve months ago, he had rejuvenated Hull City and was rescuing them from certain relegation. Then they got relegated anyway.
Then he went to Watford and they were absolutely brilliant. Then he almost went to Everton and Watford became absolutely terrible. Then he was sacked.
But Silva’s crazy year is not quite over yet, because he might be ending it in Southampton.
The Portuguese coach is the first man linked with the manager’s position vacated by the hapless Mauricio Pellegrino yesterday evening. According to the Mail, the search for his replacement is “already under way” and Silva is under consideration.
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He was reportedly on Saints’ shortlist last summer, which could have saved everyone A LOT of bother.
Oh well, at least we got to enjoy all the things that Pellegrino brought to the Premier League. Like, erm, having a name quite similar to Mauricio Pochettino, and… err. He was better than Steve Wigley anyway. Probably.
Alternatively, the Times says Silva has agreed a deal to take over at Benfica in his homeland, meaning Saints may have to look elsewhere (Times). Return of the Wigley?
There will be no managerial changes at West Brom, however, with the Mirror reporting that the Baggies want Alan Pardew to “slog on” at the Hawthorns until the end of the season. Yes, carry on Alan, sure you’ll crack it in the end mate.
Arsenal want £50m for Bellerin
There is some alarming news about Hector Bellerin in the Mail, which claims that Arsenal are “ready to sacrifice” the Spanish right-back.
But don’t worry, they’re not planning to offer his lifeless body to the Gods in a last-ditch attempt to restore Arsene Wenger’s tactical superpowers; they’re just going to sell him.
— Gurjit (@GurjitAFC) March 12, 2018
The Gunners will reportedly place a £50m price tag on the 22-year-old defender – amid interest from Juventus, Barcelona and Manchester City – and use the cash to “fund their rebuilding plans”.
New head of recruitment Sven Mislintat is apparently keen on signing a goalkeeper, a holding central midfielder and a centre-back this summer. Just like every other Arsenal transfer window for the last 10 years then.
Chelsea eye Courtois replacement
Meanwhile, Chelsea are “monitoring” AC Milan’s teen goalkeeping sensation Gianluigi Donnarumma as they prepare for the possibility of Thibaut Courtois being spirited away to Real Madrid. Talksport says the Blues are keeping tabs on the 19-year-old, whose agent Mino Raiola is busily trying to bag himself another tasty payday.
Elsewhere, Newcastle want to make Blues youngster Kenedy’s loan move to Tyneside permanent and are ready to pay £15m for the versatile Brazilian (Mirror), Bayern Munich and Real Madrid have joined Juventus in the race to sign Liverpool’s potential free transfer bargain Emre Can at the end of the season (Express) and Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho says it “would be great” if his friend Neymar quit Paris Saint-Germain and returned to the Nou Camp (Mail). Those two really need to get married.