With only a few weeks to go until the end of the season, transfer gossip is beginning to gather pace!
Here, we look at three key transfers that could happen this summer as clubs and players alike look for new moves and opportunities.
Will any of the following deals happen?
PSG AHEAD OF REAL MADRID IN RACE FOR AUBAMEYANG
Real Madrid will need to act fast if they are to land Borussia Dortmund star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
According to French football news GFFN, Paris Saint-Germain director of football Patrick Kluivert has already met with the Gabon international’s agent and father.
While the Ligue 1 giants seem to have seized the initiative over the transfer, the 25-year-old has made no secret of his desire to join Los Blancos in the past and Zinedine Zidane’s men are in the market for a striker this summer, with the futures of Karim Benzema and Alvaro Morata uncertain.
This bodes well for Madrid but they will need to come up with an offer to meet Dortmund’s £85million (AED400m) asking price soon.
In what will likely be one of the summer’s drawn out transfer sagas, Real fans can seek solace in the fact they usually get their man.
SPORT360 VERDICT: Dortmund will feel they can hang on to Aubameyang for at least one more season, and up until now, Real Madrid have been slow to act over their pursuit of the striker. The former Saint-Etienne player may be prepared to wait and stay in Germany until the wheels are in motion for a dream move to the Santiago Bernabeu.
LEADING MARKSMAN ⬇
IS FULL-BACK BELLERIN READY TO RETURN TO BARCELONA?
Despite signing a new contract at the Emirates until 2022 last November, it’s been a difficult season for the Spaniard.
The 22-year-old was jeered by Gunners fans during the recent defeat at Crystal Palace and has been heavily criticised for a number of below-par performances.
However, Barcelona-born Bellerin, who was part of the club’s famed La Masia academy as a youngster but failed to register a senior appearance, could now be set for a return.
According to Catalan daily Sport, Barca’s sporting director Robert Fernandez is chasing the defender’s signature and believes he can convince Bellerin to move back home to Catalonia.
The Spanish giants have tried many combinations but ultimately found it tricky to fill the right-back berth since Dani Alves’ departure – and as such – see home-grown Bellerin as the perfect answer to their problems.
Barcelona are likely to test Arsenal’s resolve with a summer bid.
SPORT360 VERDICT: Barcelona is home for Bellerin and the Spanish international has made it clear in the past he wants to play for his boyhood club at some stage. A move at the end of the season, on paper at least, seems to work out for all three parties so watch this space.
SPORTING BRAIDS ⬇
MERSEYSIDERS SET TO BATTLE IT OUT FOR VAN DIJK
Liverpool are ahead of city rivals Everton to land Southampton captain Virgil Van Dijk this summer.
Kop boss Jurgen Klopp has made the Dutch international his top target and is willing to pay a club record £50m (AED235m) to land the centre-back.
The Toffees also view Van Dijk as a future blue, with Ronald Koeman being a big fan of the 25-year-old having signed him from Celtic when he was Southampton manager.
But the potential of Champions League football is likely to convince the defender to choose Anfield instead and the Reds are set to ramp up their interest in the coming weeks, according to the Liverpool Echo.
SPORT360 VERDICT: It’s well documented that the Saints struggle to hold onto their best players and Liverpool have made it a habit of pinching the south coast club’s top talent. Few people would be surprised if that happens again.
VAN DIJK IS CURRENTLY ON HIS WAY BACK FROM INJURY ⬇
WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON…
– Liverpool eye a move for Bayern Munich forward Douglas Costa.
Coutinho posing with Lucas Moura and Douglas Costa, the latter of which has been linked in BILD.— Empire of the Kop (@empireofthekop) April 25, 2017
Get tapping, Phil 🚪 🇧🇷 pic.twitter.com/CmMKB2WRCd
– Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez has been handed a mega-money war chest for the club’s Premier League campaign next season and is set to tie up a permanent deal for Christian Atsu.
The Brazilian-born Spain international has been subject to controversy for club and country, hardly shying away from having moments under the spotlight on and off the pitch.
Forced onto the bench during the recent FA Cup tie, this isn’t the first time Antonio Conte has sidelined the striker in an important game. Costa has made it clear life in London isn’t one he wishes to pursue amid reports in January about a possible move to China.
SPORT360 VERDICT: Despite a reduced lead to four points, Chelsea are still favourites to lift the Premier League trophy. Complaining about life in the English capital since Mourinho’s second spell at Chelsea, the 28-year-old is unlikely to feature next campaign, particularly with Chelsea heavily linked to secure the services of Romelu Lukaku. If the Belgian doesn’t return to Stamford Bridge then Conte will attempt to break the bank for Inter’s Mauro Icardi.
The Argentine has flourished in the Serie A this campaign, taking his career to new heights following an awe-inspiring performance against Barcelona in the Champions League.
Paulo Dybala is destined for great feats and Real Madrid president Florentine Perez wants to ensure the former Palermo forward will unlock his full potential for Los Blancos next season.
According to Spanish outlet Don Balon, Perez wishes to reunite Morata with Juventus and add James Rodriguez into the mix in exchange for the highly talented 23-year-old.
SPORT360 VERDICT: It will be difficult for Juventus to keep Dybala considering his surge in popularity. Although he recently signed a new long term deal at the club, there remains a possibility that he could leave this summer.
The Italian has been at the heartbeat of PSG’s exploits this season, and despite enjoying life in the French capital, he could be headed for an exit this summer.
According to Bild, Bayern Munich have set their sights on Verratti as Ancelotti believes he is the primary candidate to fill their midfield vacancy next season.
SPORT360 VERDICT: With Xabi Alonso retiring at the end of the season, Carlo Ancelotti has been given the difficult task of replacing the midfield maestro. The former AC Milan tactician has complimented Verratti, name-checking the playmaker as “the best of all” in an interview with Radio Anch’io Sport. The former Pescara man has a wealth of experience in elite competition and could be a perfect fit for the Bavarians to help them in their pursuit for Champions League glory.
Manchester City have the upper hand in the race to sign Monaco left-back BENJAMIN MENDY, according to Daily Star.
The highly-rated defender, who has been a star player in the Ligue 1 side’s run to the Champions League semi-final, is also attracting interest from the red side of Manchester.
Mendy, who could cost £30million, is expected to desire more top European football next season, which strengthens City’s immediate case.
SPORT360 VERDICT: Mendy is contracted at Monaco until 2021, and despite an impressive Ligue 1 season which has attracted serious interest, expect the young Frenchman to stay at Stade Louis II.
Meanwhile, another Frenchman who has been linked with a move to Manchester United is Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann.
Griezmann is expected to attract some big-money bids in the summer, but his agent has told French news outlet TF1 that United have shown the most interest so far.
SPORT360 VERDICT: Griezmann has regularly been linked with a move to Old Trafford, and with Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s future at the club in doubt, it now looks possible that the Frenchman could move to the Premier League this summer.
Chelsea have put Virgil Van Dijk and Romelu Lukaku at the top of their shopping list this summer.
The Premier League champions in wait are prepared to spend over £120million for Southampton defender Van Dijk and Everton striker Lukaku.
SPORT360 VERDICT: It’s unlikely that Chelsea will sign both players, but should any of the two make a move to Stamford Bridge, Lukaku remains top of the list after a stunning campaign which has seen him net 24 goals.
Alexis Sanchez will be at Arsenal next season, reports the Sun.
The Chile playmaker has stalled on signing a new deal and is expected to be the subject of fierce interest in the summer. But, according to reports, he is set to stay with the Gunners and could even pen a new deal.
SPORT360 VERDICT: Arsenal are expected to offer a new contract in excess of £300,000 per week. Couple that with an FA Cup win and there’s every chance the Chilean could stay at the Emirates Stadium. However, Chelsea have lodged an interest and should they win the Premier League, the lure of playing for the champions may prove to be too much.