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The Chippy: Mourinho stays on brand

Plus: Barcelona and Juventus help each cook their accounting books

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Glyn Kirk/ Pool via Getty Images

Money Laundering

Presumably the surprise announcement of the agreement between Barcelona and Juventus for midfielder Arthur will be shortly followed by a similar announcement for the transfer of Miralem Pjanić in the other direction. As a swap with minimal transfer money involved, the move makes a kind of sense — for Juventus at least. But for Barcelona, they’re getting back a player who already may be in decline on what will likely be similar wages to the promising young midfielder that they’re sending the other way. Are we missing something here? Is this anything else other than accounting shenanigans?

If that description above sounds like a flipped/mirror version of the strengths and weaknesses of Manchester United’s own 23-year-old midfielder, it should follow that Scott McTominay is also worth £72m in today’s market.

Carrick and United support local kids

Manchester United continue their good work in the community during the time of the covid-19 pandemic, this time by partnering with the Michael Carrick Foundation to supply back-to-school packs for local school children in the Stretford area. The packs contained essential stationery supplies, food vouchers, and other items, and Carrick himself spent the day yesterday packing boxes, loading a van, and personally making deliveries.

Death, Taxes, Mourinho

Plus ça change. José Mourinho — when he’s not destroying the club you support from the inside and making every matchday experience a living hell — is outstanding entertainment value. And one of the most entertaining things about him is how utterly devoted he is to his own brand. On each of Mourinho’s last few stops — when he returned to Chelsea, when came to United, when he took over at Spurs — we read about how much he had been changed (chastened even) by his most recent managerial experience. We read about how much he had learned about the modern player, about how his hyper-confrontational style of man-management doesn’t always work, etc., etc.

But Mourinho is Mourinho. The only thing he loves more than going away to a strong rival team and sitting deep and playing for 1-0 win is going into a new club and finding a talented player to antagonize and alienate.