FOOTBALL RUMOURS: United break Euro record, Chelsea eye Hart, Pogba's Arsenal dream move, World Cup to expand to 48 teams?
The latest rumours from the world of football on Tuesday, 4th October 2016 . . .
Sitting sixth in the Premier League after seven games, Manchester United may have yet to find their groove under Jose Mourinho, but a report by CIES Football Observatory has shown they are top of the table when it comes to money spent on transfers. The Red Devils’ current squad was assembled for an eye-watering €718m - roughly £626m - making it the most expensive in history of Europe’s top five leagues.
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte was on hand to watch Torino’s 2-1 victory over Fiorentina on Sunday, triggering speculation the Blues could make a move for Joe Hart. The England goalkeeper is on loan at the Serie A side from Manchester City after new boss Pep Guardiola omitted him from his first-choice XI. (Daily Mirror).
Paul Pogba’s brother Florentin has revealed he dreams of playing for Arsenal one day. The Saint-Etienne defender told French TV station Telefoot: “This is the dream I had since I was a kid. I had a few opportunities during the last transfer window but it did not materialise. I am waiting, I am patient and I want to continue my good performances with my club that would allow me to go. I love Arsenal.” (Daily Express).
Fifa president Gianni Infantino has proposed expanding the World Cup finals to 48 teams - after initially suggesting he wanted to boost it to 40. According to the 46-year-old Italian, 16 countries would be eliminated after a preliminary knockout round. The rest of the tournament would then be the same as it is now, with 32 teams competing in the group stages, followed by further knockout rounds. (BBC Sport).
Steve Bruce is favourite with the bookies as Aston Villa begin their search for a fourth new manager since the start of 2015. (Sky Sports).
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Former Liverpool and West Halm star Rigobert Song is fighting for his life, but has woken from a two-day coma and is breathing by himself after suffering a stroke on Sunday.
Song, 40, who has been flown to France to continue his treatment, is the uncle of former Arsenal, Hammers and Charlton midfielder Alex, 29. He was at his home in the Odza neighbourhood in Yaounde when he had his stroke. Song captained Cameroon and won 137 caps for his nation during his 16-year career. (The Sun).
Jesper Karlsson is flattered by rumours linking him with Manchester United - but isn’t getting carried away. The 18-year-old is currently plying his trade for Falkenberg in Sweden’s top-flight. Despite his side Falkenberg sitting bottom of the Allsvenska,Karlsson has scored eight goals in 27 appearances this term. (Daily Express).