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Gossip: Chelsea 'to make £30m Barkley move on Sunday', Liverpool 'want Benzema', and more

The Sun is a newspaper with several peculiar foibles. Page 3 girls, Brexiteering, Striker, war mongering, Garry Bushell, refugee-bashing, funny puns, Hillsborough lies. All sorts of stuff really – it’s a very inventive publication.

And now a new little quirk has emerged in the old ‘Currant Bun’. It’s incredibly specific, but they seem to like it. Namely, linking Chelsea with big-money transfer swoops for players they faced in a Premier League match earlier that day.

See, told you it was specific. A week after the tabloid tipped the Blues to lodge a £50m bid for Tottenham’s Danny Rose “in the hours after the clubs face each other at Wembley”, it has now predicted that Antonio Conte will move for Everton’s Ross Barkley “after the two teams clash on Sunday”.

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This is basically just the new thing that Chelsea do on Sundays.

It is claimed the Blues will “hold talks” with the Toffees about a £30m transfer for Barkley, whose Goodison Park prospects do not look promising since Ronald Koeman signed three new players that play in his position.

It’s worth pointing out that the alleged £50m offer for Danny Rose after last Sunday’s match never seemed to materialise, so it’s quite possible that the Barkley one won’t either. But that’s just another of the Sun’s funny quirks: saying stuff will happen and then it doesn’t.

Record-breaking Mbappe deal

There is also some hot transfer action taking place across Merseyside, with Liverpool reportedly planning a move for Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema.

The Mirror – via iffy Spanish website Diario Gol – says the Reds have “made a bid” for the Frenchman. Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal (obviously) are also said to be keen, but Real president Florentino Perez “is interested in selling Benzema to Liverpool”. As if he cares what Benzema does with his life next.

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The poor old Gunners are mainly selling players rather than buying them (despite needing some). The Mail says Arsene Wenger will flog Shkodran Mustafi to Inter Milan or Juventus if he receives “a fee close to the £35m they paid last summer”, while the Gunners are hoping to start a “bidding war” between Chelsea and Liverpool for unsettled midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Mirror).

Meanwhile, Barcelona apparently remain “optimistic” about luring Reds playmaker Philippe Coutinho to the Nou Camp after he had a “row” with manager Jurgen Klopp (Sport).

Elsewhere, Paris Saint-Germain have “concluded an agreement with Monaco” to seal a “record-breaking” deal for Kylian Mbappe and Fabinho (Record), West Brom are set to make a club record £30m bid to sign Mamadou Sakho from Liverpool (Telegraph) and Tottenham are set to sign Serge Aurier from PSG for £23m “if they can resolve red tape” (Guardian). It’s unclear if this red tape refers to Aurier being a convicted criminal or a violent homophobe, or both?