Man Utd ‘agree’ controversial transfer deal as Fulham eye £20m swoop, Everton ready Crystal Palace raid
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On this day in 1527, Niccolo Machiavelli - he of divide and conquer fame - died. His towering masterpiece ‘The Prince’ paved the way for modern political science, and the ethics by which those who govern - even today - aspire to abide. He also wrote comedies, carnival songs, and poetry too, but that’s less headline-grabbing, I suppose.
Anyways, what better way of commemorating Ol’ Nicky than by having a brief run through some of the various schemes and machinations that the Premier League transfer window has spewed forth in the past 24 hours? Shall we? We shall...
Fulham want Fred
There’s something innately reassuring about a man named Fred moving to a cottage. It conjures images of well-kempt allotments and cable knit fisherman’s jumpers, of hearty broths and sheepdog companionship. But this is not that kind of Fred, nor is it that kind of cottage.
According to the Telegraph, Fulham are interested in signing the Manchester United midfielder this summer, with the Red Devils willing to part company with the Brazilian for around £20 million. For his part, the 30-year-old has one year left on his current deal at Old Trafford, and is said to be open to a move in the coming weeks.
The 3AM Verdict: What a wonderful signing this could be for Fulham. After a stellar campaign last time out, the Cottagers will know that a positive summer can go a long way towards ensuring that they avoid a tricky sophomore season in the top flight. Fred might not have always shone at Old Trafford, but he has offered a lot, and would bring experience and class to the centre of midfield.
Man United to sell Iqbal
From one potential midfield exit to another, Manchester United have reportedly agreed a deal to sell promising talent Zidane Iqbal to Utrecht. According to The Athletic, the 20-year-old has agreed a four-year contract with the Dutch side, and will leave Old Trafford for around £850,000.
Are United fans happy about this deal? In a word, no. In fact, judging by the reaction on social media, it would have been less of an affront had Erik ten Hag marched into their front room and sent their own first born child to the Netherlands instead, like a sinister cross between King Herod and Brendan from Coach Trip.
The 3AM Verdict: In fairness to United fans, this does feel like a very low transfer fee. Iqbal might be inexperienced, but he is a senior Iraq international who has been around the match day squad of one of the biggest clubs in world football for a while now. Surely he is worth a little more than £850,000. Let’s just hope the sell-on clause in his contract is a hefty one...
Everton keen on Johnstone
And finally, Everton could look to replace one England international goalkeeper with another England international goalkeeper this summer. We haven’t seen Toffees this inventive since Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
According to reports, Sean Dyche’s men could look to activate a £10 million release clause in Sam Johnstone’s contract with Crystal Palace amid ongoing interest in Jordan Pickford from Manchester United. The merry-go-round keeps spinning...
The 3AM Verdict: This would be a solid enough move for Everton. Johnstone is a proven Premier League stopper with plenty of experience, and if Pickford is to leave Merseyside this summer, they could do far worse than this relatively cheap deal for the Crystal Palace man.