Football transfer rumors: Manchester United to beat Arsenal to Gabriel?

LONDON. KAZINFORM - Hello. How are you? Feeling good? Chipper? Full of beans? Jumping around the place like a giddy little puppy? Waving your hands in the air like you just don't care? Good - and rightly so, because 'tis the season for unbridled joy, the time when us football fans walk with a little skip in our step and a glint in our eye. It's the transfer window, and boy are we excited.

How could you not be thrilled each and every morning when the Rumour Mill plops on to your electronic doormat, bringing you news that David de Gea's agent, the venerable Jorge Mendes, has refused - point blank, straight up, no apologies refused - to rule out a move for his man to Real Madrid? What larks! And how about tell that Gabriel Paulista, who actually should probably just be referred to as Gabriel but you absolutely know that people are going to call him Paulista anyway, could be the subject of a tug o' war/mud-wrestle between Arsenal and Manchester United, the latter apparently impishly trying to gazumpthe former's move for the defender they so desperately needed. Scenes! Get this - QPR have been offered Alexandre Pato, who you'll remember as the lad once thought to be the saviour of our souls/be quite good at football. The world's first duck/boy hybrid has been kicking it in Brazil since leaving Milan a couple of years back, first at Corinthians and now with São Paulo, but is now being offered around town like a knock-off DVD in a pub, and if anyone is going to take up an offer like that, it's Harry. Gadzooks! Speaking of Brazilian flairsters of whom much was thought but hasn't quite turned into a world-beater, Chelsea are apparently sniffing around Douglas Costa, currently doing his thing for Shakhtar Donetsk but whose thing José Mourinho thinks would fit right in down Stamford Bridge. One man he won't be playing with is Mohamed Salah, whose move to Chelsea has been a roaring success in the same way that Roman Abramovich is a garrulous raconteur, joyously recounting tale after tale to anyone who'll listen and keeping everyone up way past their bedtimes with his stories. Anyway, Salah is off to Roma, who are trying to persuade Chelsea to basically give him away, Kazinform quotes the Guardian. Salah might be filed in the same "Yeah, that winger Chelsea bought and it didn't really work out for them" box as Kevin De Bruyne, but apparently the Dutchman, who now plays for Wolfsburg, misses life in England and wants to come back - Arsenal and Manchester United are keen, so the runes say. And on the winger tip, it says in these tip-top transfer tales that Aaron Lennon will be doing one from Spurs shortly, with Hull keener than most to take him off their hands, while Manchester City have signed up to Southampton's Jay Rodriguez newsletter, so that they can be kept abreast of all developments from the currently broken forward/winger. Presumably because they want to buy him, but maybe it's just that they're such nice guys they just want to make sure he's OK. Javier Hernández is on loan at Real Madrid but the word around the campfire is that he won't be making that a more permanent arrangement, deciding that life on the bench in Spain isn't significantly better than life on the bench in England. And finally, spoilsport Brendan Rodgers has clearly misunderstood the point of the transfer window, which is to get players moving, moving, moving, as he expects Raheem Sterling to sign a new contract at Liverpool shortly.

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