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Rumour Mongering: Manchester United Target Joe Allen Wait What?

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There's a rumour floating around that says Manchester United are planning a £20M bid for Joe Allen. Let's point at it and laugh.

Clive Mason

As if Manchester United losing 4-0 to MK Dons wasn't funny enough, rumours in tabloid land today have Liverpool's desperately flailing rivals desperately flailing around in search of midfield reinforcement and landing on Joe Allen. As in the 24-year-old Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen. Who plays for Liverpool. Who, you know, are United's rivals.

On the one hand, it's been blindingly obvious to everyone for some time— bar United chairman Ed Woodward at least—they need a midfielder. And whatever other things Joe Allen may or may not be, he's certainly a midfielder. On the other hand, since Phil Chisnall transferred from United to Liverpool back in 1964, no player has moved directly between clubs.

In the history of the two sides, nine players have been transferred directly from one to the other. Seven of those transfers came before World War Two. That even the lest reputable tabloid would decide to float a shock exclusive suggesting Allen could be the one to buck that trend seems worthy of eye rolling at absolute best. But at least it's amusing.

Allen had been said to have been a United fan growing up, which may be at the root of this fever-dream rumour of a £20M offer for the diminutive Welshman, but one doesn't imagine Liverpool selling him or any other player to United for any fee. Even if Louis Van Gaal and Woodward are daft enough to try for him, it's not a deal that would happen.

Still, best of luck to United sorting out that dumpster fire of a defence and midfield. The one they haven't been able to fix despite having the second highest net spend in Europe over the past five seasons and a net outlay of over £120M already this summer.