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Swaps of fancy: Willian + £40m for Martial?

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Mirror Mirror on the wall, what is this latest nonsense of them all?

Chelsea v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images

You can always rely on the Daily Mirror to come up with some semi-sensational rumors that straddle the line of believability just right, so that they actually give you a bit of a pause. This is unlike The Sun, the Star, or the Moon Express, which are a lot easier to dismiss out of hand. (The Mirror also generate more rumors than all those other sources, so they’re bound to hit on more semi-plausible things.)

In any case, the big splash today is a swap deal involving Willian and Anthony Martial, with a cool £40m also moving from Chelsea to Manchester United. This would apparently value Martial at £80m, which is slightly ridiculous, especially since rumors a few days ago put his value at just £45m. The 22-year-old has one year remaining on his current contract, with a club option for a second. Then again, with Juventus and Spurs also linked often, United will no doubt expect to generate a bidding war should Martial decide to leave. He has apparently been promised a bigger role, but was among the players absolutely lambasted by José after their lackluster 1-0 loss at Brighton on Friday.

“The players who replaced others did not perform at a good level and, when individuals do that, it is difficult for the team to play well.

“Maybe now you will not ask me why A, B and C do not play so much. People always ask: ‘Why always Lukaku?’ Well, now they know why always Lukaku, and why always this player and why always that player. We are probably not as good as people think we are individually.”

-José Mourinho; source: Guardian

On the other side of the equation, Willian’s reunion with Mourinho is a classic rumor these days, though Mourinho himself recently dismissed it as he doesn’t believe Chelsea will allow it. Or maybe he was doing a bit of reverse psychology on the Blues and/or Willian himself, who’s said many times before that he has no desire to leave the club.

There’s also the issue of a swap deal, which isn’t a very common arrangement in football. But with the Giroud-Batshuayi-Aubameyang shenanigans and the Alexis-Mkhitaryan swap all going down in January, who can ever be sure of anything these days?