Chelsea to test Sancho’s ‘evil twin’, puppet fight at Villa Park and PSG to battle the Mackem Morpheus

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In psychiatric circles, Capgras delusion refers to a disorder in which the sufferer holds the unshakeable conviction that somebody close to them has been replaced by an identical impostor. Ordinarily, the syndrome afflicts a single person, and is fixated on a loved one or close acquaintance. All of which makes the ongoing case at Old Trafford, endured by some 74,000 people on a weekly basis, something of a medical marvel. You see, after a little under 18 months, Manchester United supporters are still absolutely convinced that there is simply no way in which the man running up and down their left wing is Jadon Sancho.

The 22-year-old, once prophesised as a kind of cage football messiah, has floundered and sputtered in the Premier League like a goldfish in a puddle of vinegar. Naturally, the only reasonable justification is a convoluted plot involving a maliciously-planted doppelganger, or at the very least an evil twin. Extraterrestrial interference cannot be ruled out at this stage either.

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Now, treatment for Capgras delusion has not been well-studied, but Chelsea are understood to be willing to make a hefty donation to aid with research into the phenomenon. Of course, that would require Sancho to be transported to West London for further analysis, but mad professor Todd Boehly is quite happy to fund such an experiment. Whether United would be willing to let their £73 million clone leave remains to be seen, however.

Elsewhere, Unai Emery, a man whose general demeanour is reminisce of the Count from Sesame Street, appears to have applied his felted numerical adroitness to the coffers at Villa Park, and has thusly persuaded Aston Villa chiefs that they do in fact have enough money kicking about the gaff to sign Atletico Madrid’s £113 million forward Joao Felix. If he’s going to add up that kind of tally in a single episode, they might have to cut the Cookie Monster’s segment or something.

Emery’s ambition will no doubt come much to the chagrin of former employers Arsenal, who are also being linked with the Portugal international. Maybe they can send in Captain Scarlet look-alike Mikel Arteta to scrap Unai for a deal. Last puppet standing wins.

And finally, Paris Saint-Germain overlord Nasser Al-Khelaifi has outlined his side’s interest in England midfielder Jude Bellingham. Speaking to Sky Sports, the president said: “Everybody wants him, I’m not going to hide it. He’s at his club, and [we have] respect, so if we want to talk to him we’ll talk to the club first.”

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Evidently, PSG’s scouting network are to recruitment what the Top of the Pops Christmas special is to discovering new music; retrospective and bleeding obvious. If Al-Khelaifi is to have any hope of luring Bellingham to the City of Love, however, he’ll have to get through Jordan Henderson first. The Liverpool captain has taken to following the Three Lions’ prodigious saviour around in a pair of sunglasses, always watching, always protecting, like a Mackem Morpheus to Jude’s Neo. Nonetheless, if PSG are serious they will no doubt throw their considerable financial might at the situation - as they tend to do. Remember, folks; you can’t spell ‘spoil’ without ‘oil’.

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