Transfer Gossip: Donnarumma, Aubameyang, Griezmann, Walker

Alex Rea 17/05/2017
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With the season coming to a close, the transfer window is about to open.

Rumours are gathering apace and we take a look at the latest stories doing the rounds in the media.

GIANLUIGI DONNARUMMA

Manchester City are set to step up their interest in the AC Milan goalkeeper and according to the Daily Mail are the favourites to sign the teenager this summer.

The Premier League giants will apparently table a £30million (Dh142m) offer to prize the 18-year-old away from the San Siro.

The report says Donnarumma only has one year left on his current deal and has so far failed to agree new terms with the Serie A club.

RATING: 4/10

SPORT360 VERDICT: It’s no surprise to see Man City linked with signing a new goalkeeper considering the issues Pep Guardiola has had at No1 this season with Claudio Bravo and Willy Caballero both failing to impress.

But Italy international Donnarumma, widely seen as the heir to Gigi Buffon’s throne, is the brightest goalkeeping talent on the planet and it’s incredibly difficult to see why AC Milan would be willing to let him leave – at any price given world class stoppers are at a premium.

His agent is Mino Raiola so there is every chance this rumour is a negotiation tactic as they try to tie up a new deal with Milan.

PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG

The Borussia Dortmund forward could be ready cash in on a move to China having reportedly been offered an £800,000-per-week (Dh3.7m) deal, so say France Football.

Tianjin Quanjian’s proposal would make him the highest earner in world football, surpassing the eyewatering £798,000 (Dh3.6m)  Ezequiel Lavezzi makes at Hebei China Fortune.

The Chinese Super League club would apparently be prepared to pay Dortmund £68m (Dh322m) to prize him away from the Bundesliga.

RATING: 3/10

SPORT360 VERDICT: Another day, another rumour linking a big name player from Europe with a lucrative move to China.

While the figures talked about will no doubt turn his head, the 27-year-old is coming into the peak of his powers and a move to China is undoubtedly a step down.

He’s always talked up a move to Real Madrid so you can’t help but feel that would be the switch he’d make if he did leave Dortmund.

ANTOINE GRIEZMANN

Real Madrid are exploring the possibility of signing the Atletico Madrid frontman.

It would need Gareth Bale to depart to Manchester United this summer to finance the move according to Spanish outlet Don Balon.

Bale’s injury concerns means Real are apparently looking at targets elsewhere and they’re not looking too far away to find their man.

RATING: 6/10

SPORT360 VERDICT: One day it’s Manchester United, the next it’s Real Madrid.

It seems a lot of things need to fall into place for this deal to happen but Griezmann will be hot property on the market this year.

If Real are serious, they almost always get their man and there is a distinct possibility they’ll be looking to build on a squad which will could be defending the Champions League and La Liga trophies next season.

KYLE WALKER

The Daily Mirror is reporting that Chelsea are ready to hijack Manchester City’s attempts to sign the Tottenham full-back.

The England international could be set for a summer exit, with City the favourites to sign him, but the Premier League champions are preparing a £40million (Dh189m) move.

RATING: 7/10

SPORT360 VERDICT: There are strong rumours that Kyle Walker has fallen out with Mauricio Pochettino and the club are looking to offload the right-back.

The 26-year-old is one of the best full-backs around and Pep Guardiola is known to be in the market for that position.

However, the newly-crowned Premier League champions will be a tantalisingly prospect so we could have a real tug of war on our hands.

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Transfer Gossip: Lukaku, Rooney, Morata

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Every day we will be keeping you updated with the latest transfer rumours as the season draws to a close and the window opens up…

LUAN

The latest Brazilian to be compared to an old star is on Liverpool’s radar, according to the Daily Mirror.

Gremio striker Luan, who has been branded the “next Ronaldinho”, is all set to join Brazilian colleagues Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, and Lucas at the Merseyside club.

The Daily Mirror reports that the two clubs are close to agreeing a 26 million move

RATING: 8/10

SPORT360 VERDICT: The rumour has more or less come out of nowhere, but the first news on the move makes it sound almost like a done deal, with just the formalities left to complete.

Luan reportedly only committed to playing 11-a-side football at the age of 18, but six years later he’s set for a big-money move to the Premier League.

Liverpool and Gremio have history in completing transfers, with midfielder Lucas having moved to the Premier League from the Brazilian club back in 2007.

This will likely be wrapped up pretty quickly, given that it seems Liverpool have stolen a march on any other interested clubs, with rumours suggesting that the deal was more or less wrapped up when the player’s representatives met the club in April.

ROMELU LUKAKU AND WAYNE ROONEY

The Lukaku to United rumours have been growing stronger in recent days, but the Daily Mail have introduced a new wrinkle.

With Everton reportedly demanding 100 million for their striker, the Mail suggests Manchester United will offer club captain Wayne Rooney as a way of driving the fee down.

United value Rooney at 17 million, but player and club are likely to agree some sort of pay-off that will cover Rooney’s 250,000-a-week contract, with Everton unlikely to be able to match the striker’s wage demands otherwise.

Given that Rooney-to-Everton rumours have been rumbling since January, and Lukaku-to-United has been gathering steam ever since the Everton striker refused to sign a new contract, it’s not surprising to see the two transfers combined into one rumour.

RATING: 4/10

SPORT360 VERDICT: It’s quite likely that both Rooney and Lukaku will be central figures in transfer sagas that could last the entire summer.

Lukaku will be in demand, so United will have plenty of competition for his signature. Chelsea have also been rumoured to be a likely destination, with Antonio Conte a keen admirer of the Belgian, so a move to United will be far from straight-forward.

Similarly, Rooney’s future is uncertain, with there being mixed signals on whether or not the striker is even interested in a move away from Old Trafford. Given that he has been little more than a squad player for Manchester United this season, the club may take that particular decision out of his hands, but Rooney has also been linked with moves to the MLS and China, so while a return to his boyhood club is not out of the question the striker will have plenty of options to weigh.

This story seems to one of convenience – United want Lukaku, Everton have expressed interest in Rooney, so it’s not altogether surprising that the two have been combined into one rumoured deal.

Rooney’s wages will be a stumbling block for a move to most Premier League clubs, given that United likely wouldn’t sell him to the few that could afford his salary, so that is one big hurdle to cross in a return to Everton.

And United will also have to decide if Lukaku is worth a world-record fee. The striker is the front-runner for this year’s Golden Boot and this season has by far his best in the Premier League, but is that enough to justify a 100 million outlay?

These are both transfers that could go down to the end of the window before being resolved.

ALVARO MORATA

Spanish publication Diario Gol claim that Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata has reached an agreement with Premier League champions Chelsea.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is a known admirer of the Spaniard, and Morata revealed recently that he spoke to Conte a few years ago when he was going through a rough patch in his career.

Morata has delivered whenever he’s been called upon at Madrid, but has been unable to force his way into Zinedine Zidane’s first-choice XI, and rumours of a move away have been doing the rounds throughout this season.

However, there are also suggestions that Conte is having to fight the Chelsea hierarchy to get this move done.

RATING: 7/10

SPORT360 VERDICT: Yep, we can believe this rumour. Morata and Conte have established a good relationship despite having never worked together.

In the same interview where Morata revealed that Conte helped him through a low phase of his career, the Spaniard also said he expects to work under Conte sooner or later.

Morata also has a good relationship with Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino, but Chelsea have long seemed the frontrunners for the 24-year-old.

Arsenal and Manchester United have also been linked with Morata, but with Conte seemingly making the striker one of his top targets this summer, expect the Spaniard to be wearing Chelsea blue next season.

RYAN BERTRAND

Liverpool are rumoured to be sniffing around Southampton yet again – although this time, they’re not alone.

Both the Reds and Manchester City are in the market for a left-back, and Saints man Ryan Bertrand has developed into one of the Premier League’s best at that position.

ESPN sources say Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp are both admirers of the 27-year-old, who would slot right in at either club.

Southampton will be loathe to let the Englishman go, but with the money both clubs can offer, it’s difficult to see how the Saints will be able to hold onto Bertrand.

RATING: 6/10

SPORT360 VERDICT: Left-back has been a troublesome position for Liverpool for quite a while, with Spaniard Alberto Moreno never quite looking up to scratch. James Milner has done an excellent job, but he moved to Liverpool to play in midfield, not remain a utility man.

It’s quite easy to see Bertrand becoming the latest player to make the switch from Southampton to Liverpool.

However, if Manchester City are interested, and it becomes a question of money, they will win any bidding war. And City are just as much in need of a left-back as Liverpool are.

WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON…

Who called Michy Batshuayi scoring the title-sealing goal? 

The Chelsea players weren’t holding back in their celebrations – and see if you can spot what the team have done with their Twitter name…

Turf war at Arsenal? 

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Transfer Gossip: Bale, Vardy, Sanchez, Zabaleta and Barkley

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Every day we will be keeping you updated with the latest transfer rumours as the season draws to a close and the window opens up…

GARETH BALE

Here we go, a transfer story which normally rears its head around this time but according to The Independent a move to Old Trafford for the Wales international is “much likelier” than it ever has been before.

The Real Madrid winger has once again his season punctuated by injuries and Isco has starred in his latest absence from the first team.

It’s led to speculation that the 27-year-old could be heading for the Bernabeu exit with Manchester United his preferred destination should Real decide to sell him.

RATING: 6/10

SPORT360 VERDICT: The rumour does appear to be gathering some momentum and considering the strength in depth of Real it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that they could decide to cash in on Bale – especially given his injury record.

However, the stumbling block may actually be Jose Mourinho with The Independent also saying he is unsure on the Welshman with Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann his top target this summer.

Expect this one to rumble on if Madrid are to sell, now would be as good a time as any.

JAMIE VARDY AND ALEXIS SANCHEZ

The Griezmann to United tidbit leads us nicely onto this next rumour as Atletico Madrid are being linked with moves for Leicester City frontman Jamie Vardy and Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez.

Funny how Vardy is being linked with a move to Atleti after impressing against them in the Champions League but anyway it’s The Independent who are again behind this one.

They do point out, however, that any move to bolster their attack is dependent on two factors: Diego Simeone remaining at the club and having a FIFA transfer ban overturned in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

RATING: 5/10

SPORT360 VERDICT: The thing with this rumour is that Atletico could very well be interested in signing the duo but it seems like a lot of things have to fall into place for either to happen.

First, there’s Griezmann’s situation and if he does decide to stay then you would imagine any move for Sanchez or even Vardy is a little unlikelier.

Then there is the targets themselves. Arsenal will be desperate to keep a hold of the Chilean while at 30 years of age, is Vardy really the man to revitalise Simeone’s attack? Not quite sure on that but we’ll keep an eye out nonetheless.

Leicester City v Arsenal - Premier League

PABLO ZABALETA

West Ham are reportedly interested in signing Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta.

The London Evening Standard says the Hammers face competition for his signature but with the 32-year-old out of contract in the summer it looks certain he will leave the Etihad Stadium.

The Argentine spoke of his love for the club in an interview with us as signs suggest he will indeed end his nine-year association with the club.

RATING: 8/10

SPORT360 VERDICT: Yep, we can believe this rumour. In his interview with us, Zabaleta spoke like a man who knows his career at City is coming to an end.

But while he doesn’t quite have the same spring in his step since arriving from Espanyol in 2008, his vast experience will be a big asset for the Hammers.

He’ll be a wanted man, no doubt, but the appeal of staying in the Premier League should see him make the move to London.

ROSS BARKLEY

Everton boss Ronald Koeman is not messing around. The Dutchman has given Ross Barkley until next weekend to sign a new contract or he will be sold.

This comes on the back of last month’s warning to the 23-year-old, who has a year on his deal, that he could sold but Koeman has gone a step further saying: “We don’t wait till August – next weekend we need an answer.”

The desire to play Champions League football appears to behind Barkley’s stalling so Tottenham would appear the most likely candidates to sign him on that basis.

RATING: 4/10

SPORT360 VERDICT: It’s a bold tactic by Koeman but we believe it will pay off and Barkley will put pen to paper on a new deal.

He’s getting regular first-team football at Goodison Park and the club is heading in the right direction with Europa League football on the cards for next season.

It’s difficult to see him getting the same at Spurs given their plethora of midfield talents.

WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON…

Pochettino looks delighted doesn’t he?

Son, meanwhile, looks like a ray of Son shine

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