TUESDAY’S BIG STORIES

Watch out for Chelsea

If you're anything like us, then you won't be able to get excited about the transfer window until an airport tweets about an incoming transfer. So thanks to the good people at Stansted Airport, it's time to get hyped about the next three weeks after the thrill-a-minute ride of Tokyo 2020.
Transfers
City, Spurs, Chelsea and PSG to battle for Skriniar - Paper Round
18/09/2022 AT 05:58
Romelu Lukaku is almost back at Stamford Bridge after touching down in London on Monday evening ahead of his bumper £97.5m move from Inter Milan. Since playing his last game for Chelsea in 2013, he's smashed it for West Brom, Everton and Inter – and, in the Warm-Up's eyes, been unfairly slammed at Manchester United. Now he returns to strengthen an already formidable team and it got us thinking... are Chelsea now favourites for the Premier League?
The difference between Chelsea signing Lukaku and not signing Lukaku could be, by our admittedly non-scientifically-credible calculations, between 8-12 points - partly because Lukaku is a fantastic striker, partly because Timo Werner is always out to ruin the party. But the difference between Man City signing Jack Grealish and not signing Grealish could well be just 0-3 points. They already had an abundance of attacking midfield talent, so perhaps they should have used that cash to prise Harry Kane away from Tottenham, rather than hope Spurs drop their demands?
If, as expected, Chelsea also land Jules Kounde then their starting XI is seriously tasty: Mendy; Azpilicueta, Silva, Kounde; James, Jorginho, Kante, Chilwell; Mount, Lukaku, Havertz (sorry, Timo). Add in that they have won all three matches against City since Thomas Tuchel took over, and were only four points behind City in the post-Tuchel Premier League table, and this could be a very tight battle next season.
Our advice to Pep? Find a way to sign Harry Kane asap.

Breaking: Messi has a swim

We’re still not convinced on the merits of social media, but when half of Paris jumps on a rumour and rushes to the airport to catch a glimpse of Lionel Messi, who's actually in his speedos back in Barcelona… well, perhaps we should give it a chance.
In a new high for sports journalism, reporters stationed outside Messi’s Barcelona residence confirmed that he was having a dip in his pool and was definitely not on his way to Paris.
Messi is still expected to complete his move to PSG later this week, unless Barcelona can have a whip-round to re-recruit him.

Erm...

Forget what we wrote about Chelsea and Manchester City, Brentford are apparently the ones to watch this season. We won’t be too sassy given what happened in 2016*, but we will file these comments from their striker Ivan Toney under ‘farfetched’.
When asked about the club's ambitions for the season, Toney told talkSPORT: “For the club, to win the league.
“We’re not going into the league to try and finish just above the relegation zone, we want to finish as high as possible which is obviously first place.
“But we know it’s going to be a massive ask, it’s going to be a tough one. We’re going to come up against the best players in the world but we’ve just got to focus on what we do best and that’s aggressive football. We have a strong squad so who knows what we can achieve?”
*Leicester happened, if your memory needs a jolt

IN THE CHANNELS

We're not sure if this is dead-pan delivery at its finest, or just an amusing mix-up. Either way, worth five seconds of your time:

HAT TIP

Our good friends at The Beautiful Game podcast caught up with Southampton’s Nathan Tella to chat bouncing back from Arsenal rejection, breaking through at the Saints and much more…

COMING UP

THREE more sleeps until the Premier League begins. And we don’t want to sound spoilt, but that’s a little too soon for our liking.
Football
‘Doesn’t let you breathe’ - Alves describes Ronaldo as his toughest opponent
15/09/2022 AT 20:19
Ballon d'Or
Musiala can win Ballon d'Or - Bayern legend Matthaus
27/08/2022 AT 11:29