Collymore’s column: Declan Rice’s next club, what Chelsea should do with Romelu Lukaku, Emi Martinez’s Aston Villa future and Jason Tindall’s viral moment

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In his exclusive column for CaughtOffside, former Liverpool attacker Stan Collymore discusses some of football’s biggest talking points, including where Declan Rice should play next season, what Chelsea should do with Romelu Lukaku, Jason Tindall’s viral moment and a look ahead to Manchester City vs Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final second-leg next week, plus much more.


Man United and Chelsea have players to include in Declan Rice offer…

He’s obviously in demand and is likely to be at the centre of a summer battle but I actually think going to Manchester United would be the best move for Declan Rice. I know that may annoy some Arsenal fans due to the Gunners being so heavily linked with him, but with West Ham wanting £120m, I’m not convinced they’re going to have the money to get a deal done. I’m not saying Arsenal can’t afford to spend £120m, but you would assume that would be the bulk of their budget, so should they put all their eggs in one basket? – I’m not so sure because in order for them to continue to improve, they’re going to need more than one big signing.

Chelsea probably will have more to spend so I can’t see finances being as much of a problem for them, and although there is no way Chelsea will continue to be a bottom-half side, there is still a lot of uncertainty over the next manager and who is staying and who is going.

But for Manchester United, Rice is the exact type of midfielder they’ve been crying out for, for years. He’s powerful, dynamic and can run box-to-box for days. Although the Red Devils probably wouldn’t want to splash £120m on one midfielder, especially when we all know how much Erik Ten Hag wants a new striker, I can definitely see a situation where they offer some money and a player. I think including Scott McTominay in an offer would be quite appealing to West Ham. Manchester United’s biggest obstacle will be convincing the player to relocate out of London but if Rice is up for moving further north, I think he could really thrive under Ten Hag.

When it comes to making a cash-plus player offer, Chelsea could do the same to be fair – we know how many players they’ve got to get rid of this summer. I wonder if Todd Boehly will think about including Conor Gallagher and Romelu Lukaku in exchange for Rice.

Chelsea need easy Romelu Lukaku sale…

I just cannot see how the Blues can reintegrate Lukaku back into their squad next season; they have to cut their losses and get rid this summer.

Although his reputation may have suffered following his public fallout with Chelsea, he will still have a lot of suitors. He’s only 29 years old, could be playing in a Champions League final next month and Chelsea will know they stand no chance of getting back the £98m they paid Inter Milan for him two years ago, so he’ll appeal to a lot of clubs.

If he fancies staying in the Premier League, apart from potentially being offered to West Ham in a part-ex deal for Rice, I wonder if Vincent Kompany may ask the Burnley board to have a go. Kompany knows Lukaku very well, not only from playing against him in the Premier League but also from their time representing Belgium together. I’m not saying it will happen, but I could definitely see the newly-promoted club trying something really ambitious. The same can be said for Aston Villa – would Unai Emery want two or three years working with Lukaku? – I think he probably would.

If Emi Martinez wants to leave Aston Villa, he can…

On the subject of Aston Villa, there have been reports recently that goalkeeper Emi Martinez could leave the club this summer, and if he wants to go, then he can. As a fan of Villa, I don’t want any player there who doesn’t want to be there.

Goalkeepers are generally easier to find nowadays so it isn’t like Villa stands no chance of replacing him. Most young and upcoming keepers are good in most areas; with their feet, shot-stopping and aerially. I think Martinez is a great one-on-one keeper, but don’t think his technical ability with his feet is anything special, so personally, I wouldn’t mind if he wanted to leave and go to a different club – I don’t think many Villa fans would lose sleep over it either.

He’s being linked with Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester United. While I am sure he’d provide the likes of Kepa, Edouard Mendy and David De Gea with competition, I’m not sure he’d be a major upgrade for either. However, with Hugo Lloris nowhere near the player he once was and looking likely to leave at the end of the season, a move to Tottenham for Martinez is one that could happen.

But my first point stands – if he doesn’t want to play for Villa anymore then he can go.

Jason Tindall’s viral moment won’t bother Eddie Howe…

There has been a lot of talk about Newcastle United’s assistant manager Jason Tindall recently. Some clips of him went viral on social media because of how often he is seen shaking opposition managers’ hands before Eddie Howe.

Firstly, Tindall and Howe come as a pairing, and this is how their dynamic was at Bournemouth, so Tindall’s behaviour isn’t anything new. Do I think Howe minds how much attention his assistant has and is getting? – No, I don’t think so. As long as Howe feels he is the man in charge, and he is the voice the players listen to, he won’t mind Tindall’s animated behaviour on the touchline.

Let’s not forget as well, Tindall is just as responsible for all the good things that are happening at St James’ Park as everyone else involved in the club is.

Whatever he and Howe are doing is working, so while his behaviour may annoy rival fans, I think the Newcastle-faithful should embrace it because I don’t think the set-up there will last forever. I can definitely see a situation where Tindall decides to go solo and have go at management again. His brief spell in charge of Bournemouth after Howe left in 2020 wasn’t great, but even more reason to want to prove his critics wrong.

Real Madrid to continue their European dominance…

I think the tie is really even. It’s so finely poised. Even if Manchester City came away from the Santiago Bernabeu leading one-nil, you still couldn’t discount Real Madrid in the return leg next week.

Karim Benzema had a quiet night on Tuesday, so you’d expect him to turn up at the Etihad. Vini Junior is on fire, and with all the experience they have, particularly in midfield with Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, Los Blancos are definitely still in this semi-final.

Manchester City will be clear favourites, especially as they’ll be playing at home, but with that comes a whole heap of pressure, and this situation in Europe isn’t something the club are overly familiar with, so it’s going to be interesting to see how it plays out.

It’s tough to call a winner, but given Madrid’s rich history in this competition and how they believe the Champions League is their trophy, I’m going to say the Spaniards will nick it 2-1 on the night (3-2 on aggregate).

More Stories Declan Rice Emi Martinez Jason Tindall Romelu Lukaku Stan Collymore