Five-second Friday Fragments: Courtois & Barcelona, Marin & Galatasaray, Oscar & diving

Alexander Hassenstein

There are a few stories floating around that are probably not worth a post of their own, but probably should be mentioned for the sake of keeping everybody current.  Since there's no real narrative connection between the three - I did try to make something like 'Marin flops, Courtois dives, Oscar doesn't' work, but it just wasn't happening.  So then, in order:

MARKO MARIN

No, it's not a new update on his ongoing quest to Kokiri Forest, but rather some random rumors from Italy, which claim that the German international on loan in Spain from an English club is the transfer target of a club in Turkey.  Because of course it makes plenty of sense that the Italians would have all this tancredible information.

As to why anybody would want to spent real money on Plexiglass Marin is beyond me.  Once again, he's spent the vast majority of the season so far injured, succumbing to yet another case of hamstring polio back in early October.  He had enjoyed a decent start to his season at Sevilla (after once again showing us that he is in fact the greatest pre-season player ever) and he's possibly set to make his return in Sunday's match against Getafe.  Unless of course he's going to Galatasary to chill with the Big Man himself.

THIBAUT COURTOIS

Staying in Spain, the word is that Barcelona are about to seal a deal for Marc-Andre ter Stegen, which would then rule out a potential swoop for the young Belgian.  Not that we ever took those rumors too seriously, but here's papa Courtois to reassure us that it will in fact be Chelsea with whom they will sit down to decide the goalkeeper's future.  Surprise!

"Thibaut was not at all disappointed that Barcelona chose another keeper.  Barcelona were never really an option"

"It is only logical to speak with Chelsea about Thibaut's future. And that is what we are doing right now."

-Thierry Courtois; source: Het Nieuwsblad via Inside Futbol

OSCAR

Oh good, for a minute I thought the media would let Mourinho have the final word on that dive (which, we should repeat for clarity, was justly punished by a yellow card, as per the letter of the Laws of the Game), but they were back at it on Friday.  But no worries, because Jose called their raise and then re-raised to bring none other than Sepp Blatter into the narrative, calling on the FIFA big boss to start dealing with this epidemic that's spreading ever faster through the world of football.  Starting in "other countries" of course (by which he was most definitely not referring to Spain and thus Barcelona, I'm sure); England's still ok and can be left for last because "England is the best country."

Oh, Jose.

Bonus:  JOSH MCEACHRAN

McEachran has returned to Cobham after a disappointing 93-day loan spell at Watford, who are nowhere near as likable nowadays without Gianfranco Zola to lead them.  Just eight appearances (tasting victory just once in those eight) to go along with some recurring injury/illness issues mean that McEachran will be desperate for a good second half of the season.

On a sidenote, three other loanees will be facing similar decisions with their spells set to expire this month.  They are Sam Walker (22, first-choice keeper at League One mid-table Colchester United, due to return Jan 14), George Saville (20, part of the midfield rotation at League One top-of-the-table Brentford, due to return Jan 5), and Milan Lalkovic (21, part of the attacking rotation at League One contenders Walsall, due to return Jan 4).

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