If you’ve been following the Manchester United section of our website closely over the past week, you’ll have noticed that we haven’t partaken in any “Elseid Hysaj to Manchester United” hype, mostly because there is none.
Quite a few British newspapers jumped on a poorly relayed article from Il Mattino to create something out of nothing, and as is normally the case, it stuck and is now a full blown daily transfer story.
To clarify things once and for all, here is a timeline of what has happened so far.
18th of October 2016: Shoot.co.uk in England publish an article on their website called “3 Serie A players who could follow Paul Pogba to Manchester United in January”, and include Elseid Hysaj.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, and such a format for articles has proven very popular on the Internet in recent years.
It’s merely an article suggesting players Manchester United could end up looking at who play in Italy, yet there’s nothing in there that says they actually are.
In fact, the bottom line is: “He’d be a player who would certainly strengthen Mourinho’s defensive options at Old Trafford”, which is true.
Now, let’s fast forward to nearly a month later.
16th of November 2016: Il Mattino, a Naples based newspaper, report that Shoot.co.uk have claimed Manchester United are looking at Hysaj, and embellish it by chucking in a €30m price tag.
This, we can only assume, was put there just so they could write that Napoli, their local club, could “easily say no” to such a bid, thus demonstrating their ability to retain key players from those nasty rich Premier League clubs.
16th of November 2016: On the same day, this information was picked up by an English website who covers Italian newspapers in the morning.
For people who do this on a regular basis, you would expect them to at least mention that Il Mattino use the Shoot.co.uk source, but they don’t.
Why? We have no idea.
16th of November 2016: On the back of this, English newspapers see “Il Mattino” as the source, and type up an article for their own website, which would be fine had there been a story in the first place, but no one seemed to bother to check.
17th of November 2016: At this point, the story is everywhere, and has even been picked up by Italian websites, who, seeing links in the English newspapers, suspect the story stemmed from the United Kingdom.
With this in mind, TuttoMercatoWeb contact the player’s agent, and ask him about Manchester United’s apparent interest in Hysaj, which we covered here.
His quotes did anything but help quash the rumours.
18th of November 2016: Here we are, on the Friday, and Il Mattino have a follow up on their Wednesday story.
In it, the newspaper claim the interest in Hysaj from Manchester United has been confirmed by newspapers in England, with a €30m figure also reported.
They also mention TuttoMercatoWeb’s interview with the player’s agent, which, of course, adds more credibility to a story they created out of thin air.
To summarise, Il Mattino use a story relaying their own original ‘story’ to back up their original story.
‘Strangely’ enough, all reports from the English websites/newspapers, even if they don’t link back to Il Mattino, came after the 16th of November.
That isn’t a coincidence.
Are you still with us?
If so, hopefully this makes things a bit easier for everyone, and gives you an idea of how the world of transfer rumours works on a daily basis.
Don’t expect this one to die just yet, though.