There are bad rumours, and then there are historically bad rumours. The kind you don't know whether you should be angry at or impressed by how transparently, nonsensically stupid they. Ones you can only laugh at. There may never, though, have been a rumour as daft as this. At least not involving Liverpool.
That's because The Express dropped a bombshell as Monday evening rolled on into Tuesday morning in the United Kingdom. It has a named byline; a featured writer. It's claimed as an exclusive. And it sets a new standard in rumour mongering stupidity that will be difficult to top in this or any other transfer window.
In short, it claims that Liverpool and Jürgen Klopp now face a "major battle" to hold on to Sadio Mané because Inter Milan have come calling and will bid £35M for him. For those keeping score at home, that would be £1M, give or take a few add-ons here and there, more than what Liverpool paid for Mané last summer.
For those keeping score at home, further and so you don't have to look it up: Inter Milan finished seventh in Serie A last year and aren't even in the Europa League. But apparently they've been bothered by neighbours AC Milan splashing the cash this summer and want to do their bit to keep up. So they're going to buy Mané.
For £1M more than Liverpool paid for him last summer. In a market where Kyle Walker and Gylfi Sigurðsson are both worth £50M, give or take a few add-ons here and there. And where Liverpool have seen how hard it is to get the players they want in even when they're willing to pay market rate or higher in order to do so.
And with that as background, Liverpool are apparently going to face a tough fight keeping Mané from leaving for a team who aren't in Europe and who would struggle to match his current wages. Because apparently somebody at The Express decided to write up the dumbest think they could think of and slap an exclusive on it.
Well, here's another exclusive: The Express have just come up with the most reprehensibly stupid transfer rumour of the summer. Tuttomercatoweb, O Jogo, Daily Mail? Y'all can go home. I know you're a bloody awful lot, but nobody's going to come up with a more idiotic rumour than The Express just did.