Football/Soccer

35 million reasons to love deadline day

Everton midfielder Ross Barkley is staying at Goodison Park after turning down a move to Premier League champions Chelsea

TRANSFER deadline day. How mad was that? It was enough to have Jim White choking on his yellow tie curry.

Of course, Roy Keane was to blame.

At the start of the week, the Republic of Ireland assistant manager and the Premier League's greatest ever midfielder (are you going to tell him otherwise?) was asked about this summer's transfer fees, which had been escalating quicker than a fight in Anchorman.

“It's mind-boggling, the figures that are out there – especially for the average players,” said the Cork man.

“If ever there was a time to be a professional player it's now. Average players are going for £35million. My goodness.”

No sooner had the words been uttered than the benchmark was set.

Liverpool's number cruncher was straight on the phone to Jurgen Klopp.

“How much should we bid for Average Oxlade-Chamberlain?”

“Did you not hear what Roy Keane said?

£35million. Deal done.

Chelsea went in for Danny Drinkwater-Carrier. £35million. Deal done, two hours after the ‘deadline'.

One deal that didn't get done was the transfer of Ross Barkley to Antonio Conte's champions.

A fee was agreed with Everton, coincidentally “in the region of £35million”. Personal terms were sorted, and the bang average Toffees midfielder may or may not have been having his medical, depending on who you believe.

For the purposes of this column, Dodgy will take as gospel the stories that Barkley was indeed being put through his hamstrung paces on a treadmill when he stopped, got off and walked away without a word.

After all, treadmills, and gym equipment in general, are a scary business.

Just a couple of weeks ago, a friend of Dodgy's who has been out of action due to injury and addiction issues – takeaways – decided to return to the gym.

This ‘friend' sat down on the rowing machine, and it sank.

Anyway, Barkley may have been on the treadmill when a voice came into his head telling him to pull the plug (on the deal, not the treadmill) and sit his ground at Everton until he recovers from injury.

If other unconfirmed stories are to be taken at face value, the player would much prefer a switch to Spurs come the new year, clearly because the bench at Wembley looks so comfy, while the heated seats at the new White Hart Lane will work a treat on his pesky hamstrings.

Whatever the truth of the saga, the boul' Ross came away looking a bit like a Barkley's banker, while it was enough to have Conte pulling his second head of hair out.

Another man who is going nowhere is West Ham's Diafra Sakho, who decided he was joining Rennes (Stimpy didn't mind) without telling the Hammers.

The striker flew to France on Wednesday morning for a medical, then came back to London on Thursday and spent the afternoon at Chelmsford races.

While he was picking up £550 quid after putting a ton on his agent's horse, which won at 9/2, West Ham were putting the kibosh on the transfer, having only just found out about it.

The only people more disappointed than the player about the collapse of the move are the Hammers fans, given that he has been as much use as a Sakho s**t for the last two years.

With the Premier League going mad, League Two Luton Town were putting the finishing touches to a heart-warming deal for Basingstoke striker Aaron Jarvis.

The whole thing caught the hitherto part-time footballer on the hop, and he only heard about the transfer at 5pm on deadline day.

After horsing it up the road to sign his first professional contract, Jarvis revealed he'd had to pull a few strings to get to Kenilworth Road.

“I was meant to have my work shift at Tesco tonight – but it was worth the cancel,” he said.

“I've not handed my notice in yet, but I will do soon.”

No more stacking yellow tie curries for him. He'll probably be worth £35m this time next year.

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