Struggling to pick out the facts from the figures? Reality from the rubbish? Sense from the silly season?
We’ve got you sorted in our daily dose of the Transfer Predictor, where we round up the latest rumours with an analytical spin.
We sort through the most eye-catching transfer reports of the past 24 hours and give a balanced judgment on whether the move really will happen – and why, or why not.
Today’s edition features two Real Madrid outcasts and the potential move of one of the most promising German midfielders to a top European Club.
Real Madrid -> Swap plus cash deal -> Paris Saint-Germain
Two of the biggest transfer stories of the summer could face an unlikely cross-over as Gareth Bale and Neymar stare at a swap deal that could end their collective miseries at clubs they clearly don’t want to play for anymore. The Independent claims that PSG could offer Neymar and demand cash from Madrid in an attempt to sign Bale.
WHY IT WILL HAPPEN:
PSG could sign a world-class player in Bale without letting it affect their wage structure much as they look to offload the nuisance that is Neymar. The French club could also receive a good amount of cash which can be utilised in their pursuit of a permanent solution in the attacking department.
At the same time, Madrid president Florentino Perez will fulfill his dream of having Neymar at the Santiago Bernabeu after several failed attempts.
In theory, this deal could stand to benefit all parties.
WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN:
The Spanish giants could be forced to pay an unusually huge amount for Neymar despite involving the Welshman in the deal. This is evidenced by PSG’s reported refusal to sell the player to Barcelona in a deal involving Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele.
This points to the fact that the French club rate the Brazilian close to €300 million. This fee could come down to €180-200 million if Bale is involved, a price that is still too high for the overspending Madrid side.
Besides, it is believed that manager Zinedine Zidane is not in favour of having the PSG star at the club.
TRANSFER RATING: 2/10
Real Madrid -> Loan -> Arsenal
The Daily Mirror claims Arsenal are close to signing Dani Ceballos from Madrid on a loan deal. The former Real Betis man has not enjoyed the best of fortunes after his switch to Los Blancos and is desperate for a move that guarantees him more minutes.
WHY IT WILL HAPPEN:
Madrid need to discard as many as six players before the transfer window closes. Ceballos is likely to be one of the first names on the departure list and the formal announcement of his loan deal to Arsenal could happen anytime.
The London club are struggling in the transfer market, mainly due to their reported low budget. But a loan deal is very much on the cards as Unai Emery looks to add quality in the midfield.
WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN:
Arsenal’s rivals Tottenham are also keen to add the Spaniard to their ranks and could push hard for him if they fail to sign Giovani Lo Celso. However, it’s unlikely that they will act faster than Arsenal, who look set to complete the loan move soon.
TRANSFER RATING: 9/10
Bayer Leverkusen -> £90 million -> Liverpool
Although no formal bid has been placed yet, Liverpool are said to be frontrunners to land one of the best young midfielders in the world. Kai Havertz has been heavily linked to Bayern, but he admitted his interest to play abroad in an interview with Bild. Leverkusen value the player at £90 million.
WHY IT WILL HAPPEN:
The Champions League winners will soon find themselves needing a top midfielder, given the centre of their pitch is still the weakest link in their otherwise well-stacked team.
Havertz has the quality to play for a top European club and by ruling out Bayern Munich, the 20-year-old has invited a plethora of possibilities, most interestingly the prospect of lighting up Anfield with his magical feet.
The £90m tag is a fair price for the midfielder in the current transfer market and the Premier League club could hence advance talks without much hesitation.
WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN:
Liverpool are yet to place an official bid. Leverkusen could postpone the player’s sale to the next window or the one after that. While Liverpool are in pole position now, a lot can happen in one season and the Merseyside club could be forced to enter a tussle with other top clubs. They need to advance the purchase and finish the deal in this window if they’re interested.
Also, despite midfield being the weakest link of their squad, it’s still a pretty strong unit. Fabinho had a breakout 2018/19, Georginio Wijnaldum made further progression, while James Milner and Jordan Henderson can always be counted upon to perform.
Naby Keita had and continues to have his injury woes, while Adam Lallana’s future is up for debate, but the Reds are welcoming back the dynamic Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain this season.
TRANSFER RATING 5/10
More than a billion euros worth of transfer fees have exchanged hands across Europe this summer, but we haven’t even reached crunch time yet.
Many of the continent’s elite clubs are still entrenched in negotiations for their top transfer targets and, with the Premier League’s August 8 deadline looming ever larger, expect frantic movement soon.
Which team is looking at which position? We’ve provided you with a handy breakdown of the key storylines ….
Most of Europe’s elite are set for options between the sticks, but PSG have been dithering over a long-term option for a number of seasons.
With Gianluigi Buffon back in Turin, and Alphonse Areola seemingly unloved at Parc des Princes, a deal for Gianluigi Donnarumma – Buffon’s Italian heir – remains a distinct possibility.
The 20-year-old’s relationship with the AC Milan tifosi has been fractured ever since the infamous contract wrangle two years ago, and his performances last season did little to erase those bitter memories.
The blink-and-you’ll-miss-it sale of Kieran Trippier to Atletico Madrid has left Tottenham in urgent need of a right-back. Kyle Walker-Peters has played just 19 times for the club and if Serge Aurier is the answer, what exactly is the question? Apart from Dani Alves speculation, there have been no concrete links yet.
From Walker-Peters to Walker, there are susurrations that Pep Guardiola would not have extended his Kyle’s contract if he had had his way. A Manchester City move for Juventus right-back Joao Cancelo is still very much on the cards, though it is understood they need to shift Danilo out of the door first.
Sure, Alberto Moreno made just five appearances all season for the Reds in 2018/19, but Andy Robertson is probably not indestructible. Adam Lewis, a 19-year-old out of the academy, can put his name in the hat but for a team who are so desperate to end their Premier League duck this year, why leave the position to chance?
Ditto Barcelona. Jordi Alba has been remarkably robust of late as well, but he currently has no understudy after Barca sold Marc Cucurella almost as quickly as they (re-)bought him. The excellent Junior Firpo of Real Betis is in the Blaugrana’s sights and they hope he proves the 30-year-old Alba’s long-term successor.
Arsenal, despite possessing Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac, feel they need to dedicate a portion of their meagre funds to pursuing Celtic’s Kieran Tierney, who has certainly got the potential to flourish at a higher level. The Gunners have bid £25m, Celtic want £40m. Meet in the middle?
Manchester United are the headline – some would say circus – act in this department, given they have force-fed their support a combination of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones for the best part of a decade. With Leicester taking stubborn to a whole new level over Harry Maguire, United may have to move on and quickly before the August 8 transfer deadline.
Harry Maguire was the only player in the 2018-19 Premier League season to maintain a 70% success rate for aerial duels and take-ons:— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 14, 2019
• 118/151 aerial duels won (78%)
• 16/21 take-ons completed (76%)
Minimum of 20 attempted in each. pic.twitter.com/v8P24GNfta
Manchester City‘s stocks, all of a sudden, lack quality and quantity. Vincent Kompany is cutting his managerial teeth in Belgium and John Stones’ form has been a real kick in the teeth for quite some time now. With Nicolas Otamendi’s future also uncertain, just who will partner Aymeric Laporte?
Arsenal are also in desperate need of someone who isn’t Shkodran Mustafi and who wants to play for them (unlike Laurent Koscielny). They are reportedly close to signing St Etienne’s William Saliba, but the 18-year-old is hardly going to solve their problems right now with plans to loan him straight back.
Line up, then wait your turn. Man United have been linked with 37,061 midfielders this summer alone but so far don’t appear to have lodged a bid for a single one. Sporting have been told to brace themselves for a bid for Bruno Fernandes by his agent – finally – while United are genuinely interested in Newcastle’s Sean Longstaff. But not £50m interested.
Arsenal and Tottenham are also jostling for position here. Spurs, who reportedly tried to pinch Saliba from under Arsenal’s noses, wanted Real Madrid man Dani Ceballos on a permanent transfer – but Los Blancos have refused to let him go for anything but a loan, which the cash-strapped Gunners are far more willing to compromise on.
Spurs don’t have such money problems, however, and having already broken their 18-month transfer exile with the record signing of Tanguy Ndombele, are poised to swoop for Betis midfielder Giovani Lo Celso if Christian Eriksen does indeed get snapped up by Real Madrid.
Zinedine Zidane, of course, is red-hot on Paul Pogba and rather lukewarm on Eriksen. Should Ceballos and the unwanted James Rodriguez join Marcos Llorente and leave the Bernabeu, Real Madrid would need, rather than just desire, another body.
Then there is Liverpool, who have been flirting with the idea of buying a genuine playmaker for their midfield for some time now. Unless you subscribe to the idea that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is ‘like a new signing’ – which he may well prove to be – the Reds clearly have a room for a different type of player in the engine room. Who that’ll be, having cooled their interest in Lyon’s Nabil Fekir to sub-zero, remains to be seen.
Arsenal would love to fill a number of holes – it’s just a shame about the holes in their pockets. Wilfried Zaha has clearly been target No1 this summer but a quite frankly derisory £40m bid was rightfully swatted away by Crystal Palace.
A Neymar merry-go-round has been threatening to jump-start all summer. PSG want cash, but Barca want to make up the bulk of the €200m through offering players. The Parisians will have little problem flatly rejecting any bids of a similar ilk, given how they were comfortable letting Adrien Rabiot’s contract run out.
Should there be a breakthrough in negotiations, PSG will likely want Ousmane Dembele as a replacement or even Philippe Coutinho. They’ll have enough capital to play with, despite their FFP frustrations.
A saga that has been simmering all summer is that of Leroy Sane’s purported move to Bayern Munich. It’s believed that Man City want £100m and, despite parting with £68m for France defender Lucas Hernandez, that price is giving the powers-that-be in Bavaria a nosebleed. With both Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery gone, though, they need to work out a plan of action soon.
Manchester United have rejected a €60M bid from Inter Milan for Romelu Lukaku, according to multiple reports pic.twitter.com/FwpkKdZlUU— B/R Football (@brfootball) July 20, 2019
Very few elite clubs are currently in the market for a striker. In fact, the obvious one is trying to shift theirs.
Mauro Icardi’s transfer value has plunged after a year of dissension and the interference of his wife/agent Wanda Nara. What’s the likelihood of them seeing eye-to-eye with Antonio Conte? For his part, the new Inter Milan boss is desperate for Romelu Lukaku, but his club’s recently rejected £54m bid for the Belgian – when United want at least £80m – shows the relatively little cash they have to play with.
Here, we take a look at the transfer gossip dominating the headlines on Friday.
Jose Mourinho appears to be on the lookout for a left-back with Luke Shaw still recovering from injury – and DANNY ROSE could be the player to fill that spot, The Sun reports.
Manchester United are said to poised to make a £50million offer to bring the Spurs player to Old Trafford in January.
But with a possible Champions League triumph on the horizon for Tottenham, it could be hard to complete the deal in the new year.
A number of clubs seem to be interested in signing Arsenal’s ALEXIS SANCHEZ, and none more so than Manchester City.
But it looks like a January deal will not reach the heights of the club’s previous summer offer of £60million, The Daily Mirror reports.
With six months left on the 29-year-old’s Emirates contract, new year offers are more likely to be in the region of £20million, the paper says.
Following reports of interest from Real Madrid, Manchester United now appear ready to battle the Spanish giants for the signature of HARRY KANE, according to The Sun.
Jose Mourinho has long been impressed by the England striker and is willing to offer a record £170million for the Spurs player, the paper reports.
But Tottenham seem reluctant to lose their star man and are likely to offer him a new contract of their own come the summer.
Free agent BACARY SAGNA is on the radar of Leicester City, the Leicester Mercury reports.
The Foxes have been linked with the 34-year-old before but no discussions have taken place recently.
However, Craig Shakespeare has told the paper he may be ready to review the situation with the player remaining unsigned since the summer.
STEVEN BERGWIJN could well be targeted by three Premier League clubs in the near future, the Daily Mirror reports.
Tottenham, West Ham and Bournemouth have all shown an interest in the 19-year-old PSV Eindhoven player, who has shown impressive form since joining the club’s first team, the paper says.
@MailSport – David Moyes leads running for Scotland job after Gordon Strachan axing with Sam Allardyce also a contender
@talkSPORT – ‘Man City would have no money problems in regards to signing Lionel Messi’, says Sergio Aguero
Red Star Belgrade striker RICHMOND BOAKYE, 24, will have Chelsea scouts watching his performance against Arsenal next week, according to The Daily Mail. The Europa League tie looks likely to be the 24-year-old’s chance to impress Antonio Conte, who briefly managed the star while at Juventus.
THOMAS LEMAR, 21, is is high demand by the Premier League with both Liverpool and Arsenal are looking to bring the Monaco midfielder to England next summer, The Daily Mirror reports. The Gunners just lost out on securing a deal for the 21-year-old during last summer’s transfer window and the Reds were also said to be interested. But a January transfer would possibly not be the right time for the French star to move with the World Cup approaching, the paper suggests.