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  1. Great post.
  2. For me, any side that would voluntarily leave David Silva out of their line up is out of every last one of it's collective minds. Based on the way Pep talks about Spanish Dave I can't believe he would even consider it. More likely that the little magician would be the first name on the teamsheet. Which of course makes the Sanchez problem, should he join, a little bit harder still.
  3. I agree with @Argo about this except I'd go even stronger than he did and say this idea is a complete myth which is utterly debunked by the facts. Managers don't prefer their own players, they prefer points. They'll select the players they feel are most likely to help accumulate them. Studge got starts on loan. So did Thibaut, Tammy, Andreas, Bertrand, Izzy, Lew, numerous others and Rom himself of course. If the manager thinks you're his best option, you'll get games. If you are not however, you'll be overlooked. It's tempting to think players should spend loans only at clubs where they are certain to play but there is always pressure to show progression and to edge up the levels. Sooner or later players find a level which is beyond them.
  4. I'm sorry to say I'm with you to the extent that Diego's hopeless post Christmas form seemed too bad to be true. So bad that it's hard to escape the notion that there was some purpose in it. I think it's harsh to say however that it's all about greed. Maybe the decision to deny his move to China P'ed him off, if that is the whole truth about that story, but now I think at least some of his stance is that he thinks he'll be happier in Madrid. That's fair enough, and at least he's been consistent about it. He only came here for the money in the first place and returning to a happier life will probably cost him some cash in lower earnings. At least it will if we stand firm on any possible claim to have his contract paid up.
  5. Because, as I explained above, that is the way we have interpreted a reliably attributed statement of their club president. On the other hand, your assertion that this transfer can't be possible because we're not in the loop, seems to rely on the improbable notion that we might ever be in the loop anyway. In fact you can be absolutely certain that I have never been in the loop with any CFC transfer, ever. How can you be sure of that? The same way I can be sure that you never have been either. There is nothing wrong with believing this deal is a non-starter. That's a perfectly legitimate and rational view to take based on experience. Loops have nothing to do with it, and just confuse the issue.
  6. The 3 x £30m logic only holds if VVD's presence meant you could trim your squad size be two bodies because he effectively covers those other two positions, if indeed it's accurate to consider them three separate roles, requiring to be covered by three different 3 squad members whch I don't suppose we would think was necessary. In short £90m is right out of the question. Mind you, so too is £60m as far as I'm concerned.
  7. I agree with you about Koulibaly being the better player of the two. In fact I reckon VVD's ball playing skills are overrated, whereas I think KK can also operate as a DM. Koulibaly for me, without doubt.
  8. When would we be in the loop about any of this?
  9. None of us know of course but it would be unusual for a club to pursue a player without some encouragement. That encouragement may be real, or it may be in furtherance of the player's own agenda, but it must exist, and the club must believe in it, for them to continue. Where I do take issue with you, and please correct me if I've misinterpreted you, is your apparent implication that you know something the club's executives do not. We can agree, can't we, that they wouldn't maintain a chase for a player if they did not believe there to be a chance of success? If you and I can give each other credit for not being stupid, then surely we can apply the same assumption to the people handling this bid.
  10. OK, we're just using different definitions of 'open to' but I think we agree on where Juve stand. If I've understood you correctly, you take 'open' to mean actively looking to sell. Well, as far as any of us know, you're correct about that, Juve are not actively looking to sell. They are however prepared to do so under the right circumstances, and that is how I interpret the phrase, 'open to'. For example, when Wenger says he would prefer to allow xyz player to run down his contract than to sell him, that's what I call not open to selling. Of course whether we should believe Wenger when he says that is another matter. Clubs have shown in the past that they can resist a player's determination to leave but it's a risk. On the whole, Juve's attitude seems sensible.
  11. The "but" part.
  12. Not super silky but efficient enough and made some good decisions in that video. Nothing in that vid looks like a red flag to me and, since this is definitely true, I'm pleased for the lad and hope he can force his way into next season's FA Youth Cup side.
  13. He will have been showing it longer than that. We have only become aware of it in the last three years.
  14. I'll be sad for John if that happens. Unless he feels he needs the money, he should retire. I don't think he has enough left to offer on the pitch at Premier League level. I know people speak of leadership and experience but is that enough? Watching the bloke run through treacle a few times last season suggests to me that his time is up*. In any case, 20 year olds leaving you for dead time and again is going to undermine your authority and damage the value of your leadership. Hang 'em up John. * In fact I thought John's time was up the season before last so I would not have given him that 12 month extension last year.
  15. Technical quality is only one indicator of how likely it is that a player will be effective, but it is by far the most reliable one. What's more, it is the last of a footballer's attributes to be claimed by father time. Zlatan was always going to do well I think.