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Football transfer rumours: Angeliño to Brighton? Jamie Vardy to Chelsea?

Having joined Manchester City as a teenager only to spend several years being bounced around on loan at New York City, Girona, Mallorca and NAC Breda, Angeliño must have relished the chance to make a fresh start when he signed for PSV Eindhoven in 2018. That fresh start lasted precisely one season, before City re-signed him and then largely let him twiddle his thumbs on the bench. Now, having escaped to RB Leipzig, it seems he is being dragged back into the club’s orbit once more. With City and Chelsea vying to sign Marc Cucurella, Brighton are now considering Angeliño as his replacement.

If Cucurella ends up at the Etihad – and Chelsea seem to be doing their utmost to make sure that doesn’t happen – City will feel vindicated in moving on Angeliño, then a 24-year-old Spanish left-back, only to sign a 24-year-old Spanish left-back a year down the line. Transfer strategists call that playing the long game. Superficial comparisons, intended humorously, between two different players aside, Angeliño is not the only player struggling to disembark City’s transfer merry-go-round. With their hopes of signing Cucurella hanging in the balance, they have opened talks with Anderlecht over – you guessed it! – Spanish left-back Sergio Gómez.

Gómez is only 21, in fairness, making him a sound long-term investment. The same cannot be said of Jamie Vardy, now 35, who has been speculatively linked with Manchester United and Chelsea, both of whom are looking for reinforcements up front. Is he the future of either side’s forward line? No, he is not. Would it be extremely good fun? Undeniably, yes.

Elsewhere, as clubs rush to loan out their spare centre-backs, it appears that Chelsea’s Malang Sarr would prefer a move to Monaco over Fulham. Sun, sea and hanging out on gleaming white yachts over playing in freezing mist blowing in off the Thames for much of the season? If it seems like an easy decision, well, maybe that’s because it is. Meanwhile, having relived the 2021-22 campaign via the newly released All or Nothing: Arsenal, Pablo Marí has decided he would immediately like to be loaned out to Monza with an obligation to buy.

While Antonio Conte hasn’t given up hope of signing Nicolo Zaniolò from Roma, he has other options in case José Mourinho makes life difficult for Tottenham. One of those is Adama Traoré, who is back at Wolves after failing to secure a permanent move to Barcelona. In a more concrete development, Brentford have had a £16.7m offer for Mikkel Damsgaard accepted by Sampdoria. Thomas Frank has identified the Denmark midfielder as the successor to Christian Eriksen.

With pleasing circularity, we come back to the Etihad and the news that Phil Foden has agreed a new contract worth a reported £225,000 a week. At least someone is getting an above-inflation pay rise.

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