The Premier League thankfully returned at the weekend as transfer talk and, specifically, Gareth Bale took a back seat, but Real Madrid's determination to sign the forward has prompted reports of a Luka Modrić return to Tottenham.
A Modrić return to White Hart Lane would represent the only benefit from this sketchy Madrid-Spurs partnership struck when the Croat joined the Spanish giants for £33 million last year, but it is as likely as an Arsenal title win.
Tellingly, Modrić started in Carlo Ancelotti's first Primera Liga match in charge against Real Betis on Sunday night. The Italian was a Modrić admirer at Chelsea, even though it was only after he was sacked that the Blues bid for the midfielder.
It is also unlikely Modrić would entertain the prospect of a return to White Hart Lane. Spurs have at least shown their determination to return to the top four again, but after a year of Champions League football it is unlikely Modrić, 28, will be willing to downgrade immediately.
Madrid came from behind to win 2-1 courtesy of a late Isco header in what was an unconvincing display. Real resembled a team lacking steel rather than silk, and Ancelotti said at the weekend he didn't want any more players, which should leave Bale even more "unhappy and disappointed".
Willian's advisors have two more weeks to play off Liverpool and Tottenham, but the latter have emerged as favourites to sign the Brazilian this morning.
The Mail say Spurs are prepared to pay more than the Reds' £26m valuation for the Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder, which would break their transfer record for a third time this summer alone.
AC Milan have joined Liverpool in the race to sign defender Mamadou Sakho from French champions Paris St-Germain, write the Star.
Brendan Rodgers has prioritised the Liverpool defence in recent weeks, with Aly Cissokho arriving on a season-long loan from Valencia and another centre-back targeted to fill the void left by Jamie Carragher. Kolo Touré has done his best. Ahem.
Chelsea will make a third offer for Wayne Rooney, as José Mourinho indicated after the Blues' 2-0 triumph over Hull on Sunday.
Rooney's body language at Swansea on Saturday was reminiscent of a wantaway Cristiano Ronaldo five years ago but United insist he will not be sold to their rivals.
United's derisory £28m joint bid for Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines will probably be upped between now and 2 September, which could compel Roberto Martínez to return to Wigan for a fourth summer signing, say the Star.
It is a surprise James McCarthy is still with the Latics, and irrespective of whether Fellaini stays or goes, he would be an excellent addition to Martínez's squad.
And Norwich, not content with spending £25.1m this summer, are planning a double signing of Galatasaray's 32-year-old striker Johan Elmander and forward Andrea Caracciolo, of Brescia, report the Mail.
Elmander spent three impotent years at Bolton but did at least score an exquisite solo goal against Wolves three seasons ago.Suggest a correction