The occasional rumour of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Manchester United can be put to bed for the foreseeable future. Chelsea have agreed a fee with Arsenal for the potentially excellent midfielder. Chelsea needed players ahead of a Champions League campaign and title defence, and Antonio Conte can at least make use of him at wing-back on both wings, if nothing else.
Manchester United believe that Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be back in time for the Christmas period. The boon of having back the Swede over the festive fixtures would take the edge off the fatigue of that part of the season, and it gives a new player to the squad potentially before the second transfer window even opens.
Gareth Bale wants to give life at Real Madrid one more season. It’s not clear where he fits in with some of their new, younger players, but they haven’t signed a superstar forward this year, so he probably thinks he can force himself back into the first team if he maintains his fitness. It looks as if he’ll probably pick up a league medal for his trouble, too.
Jose Mourinho wants the prawn sandwich brigade to cheer up a bit and cheer a bit more at Old Trafford. The crowd has sounded a little off so far this season (only on telly, so I could be enormously and totally wrong), but after a few seasons of extreme disappointment, perhaps they are going into games a little more concerned than in the past.
And to underline that point, Andy Mitten writes in ESPNFC that the fans are wary of a false dawn. Three standard, United wins over mid-table opposition is remarkable because it has become so unusual, but nevertheless there is no point getting carried away yet. Another signing in the next few days might settle things a tad.