Transfer Gossip: Costa, Mahrez, Rafinha and Mascherano

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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…

DIEGO COSTA

A number of newspapers are reporting that the Chelsea striker’s potential move to China is now imminent.

Tianjin Quanjian is his apparent destination, with the Daily Express reporting a £76million (Dh361m) fee has been agreed, the Daily Record saying a £650,000-per-week deal (Dh3.8m) has been sorted and the Independent claiming the club have secured a pre-contract agreement.

Rating: 8/10

Sport360 Verdict: The Chinese club have since denied they have had any communication with Costa about the money-spinning move but this is a rumour which just does not want to go away.

Given the downturn in form he suffered after the stories regarding a switch in January, Chelsea may well feel the persistent media attention is not worth the hassle.

We’ll see how this develops but at this point it does seem likely the 28-year-old will be making the move away from Stamford Bridge.

RIYAD MAHREZ

Leicester are bracing themselves to lose the Algeria international in the summer, according to the Guardian.

Mahrez, a key player in the Foxes’ Premier League title win last season, will search for Champions League football and now sees his future away from the King Power Stadium.

Highly-rated winger Demarai Gray is also considering his future at the club after a season of limited first-team football.

Rating: 7/10

Sport360 Verdict: Leicester will be desperate to cling onto one of their key players but with Mahrez having had a taste of dining at Europe’s top table this season, a transfer elsewhere is his only option to satisfy his appetite for Champions League football.

Mahrez was of course previously linked with a switch to Arsenal but with their hopes of clinching a top-four spot dwindling, a move to the Emirates Stadium may not prove as straightforward.

It remains to be seen which clubs would be willing to take the 26-year-old and perhaps a move away from the Premier League might be on the cards.

RAFINHA

The Bayern Munich full-back is angling for a move to the Premier League after voicing his frustrations at only starting nine Bundesliga games this season.

The 31-year-old gave an exclusive interview to Four Four Two and the 31-year-old says he has had offers from the Premier League with Serie A giants Juventus also linked with a move.

“I don’t like to talk about offers – I have managers for that. But it’s true, those offers are real,” he told Four Four Two in an exclusive interview. “I have a few offers from Premier League clubs.”

Rating: 7/10

Sport360 Verdict: Reading between the lines it seems like more of a nudge for Bayern Munich rather than prospective suitors with his contract coming to an end.

But Liverpool and Arsenal are said to be circling and the former in particular will be in the market for a full-back in the summer.

Keep an eye on this one but so often players have stated they have offers elsewhere and end up putting pen to paper on a new deal.

JAVIER MASCHERANO

The Barcelona midfielder is apparently planning on making a move to China before returning home to Argentina to end his career at River Plate, according to Don Balon.

With Mascherano nearing in on his 33rd birthday, the Argentine is considering leaving Camp Nou in the summer with his representatives receiving offers from the Chinese Super League.

However, the 32-year-old only renewed his current deal last October and it will run until 2019.

Rating: 4/10

Sport360 Verdict: It’s difficult to see Barcelona being willing to let him leave as Mascherano is still a crucial member of the side.

Whoever the new manager is, his versatility will be of significant worth and ultimately, why would he want to leave one of the biggest clubs in world football when he still has so much to offer?

Still, stranger things have happened.

What else is going on…

Everton defender Seamus Coleman has signed a new five-year deal…

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Transfer Gossip: Dolberg, Lacazette, Eriksen

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Future world star: Dolberg.

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?

Share your thoughts with us, get in touch on Twitter and via Facebook.

KASPER DOLBERG

The Ajax prodigy is one of the up-and-coming stars in European football.

Aged just 19, the Dane has been in red-hot form this season and fired in his 20th goal of the campaign against Lyon in the Europa League last night.

His exploits have well and truly put his name in lights, and as a result, speculation is rich as to where his future might lie come 2017-2018.

Indeed, according to Madrid-based daily newspaper AS, Barcelona – the club the forward supported as a boy – have joined Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal in the race to sign him at the end of the season.

Dolberg recently revealed his love for Barcelona growing up but his idol as a youngster was Thierry Henry – maybe he will want to follow in his footsteps and play for both the Catalan side and the Gunners?

That very much remains to be seen but what is for sure is that the talented striker could well be on the move – although Ajax boss Peter Bosz has stated the club have no ambition to cash in on him just yet.

Rating: 7/10

Sport360 Verdict: Along with Kylian Mbappe, speculation surrounding Dolberg will likely dominate the transfer agenda throughout Europe this summer. The feeling among the Dutch press is the teen will stay in Holland for at least one more season but a big-money offer would really test Ajax’s resolve.

ALEXANDRE LACAZETTE

The Lyon forward could be on his way to Spain next season, according to L’Equipe.

Lacazette, who has hit 31 goals in all competitions this term, is being lined up by Atletico Madrid as a replacement for Antoine Griezmann – if the French striker seals a mega switch to the Premier League.

Atleti have identified the forward as the perfect man to fill Griezmann’s boots but are said to want the 25-year-old even if the latter ends up staying in Madrid.

For Lacazette, a move away from his boyhood club will prove to be a difficult decision, but he may feel that it is the right time to prove himself elsewhere.

Rating: 8/10

Sport360 Verdict: At the end of every season, the France international always seems to be linked with a move away from the Parc Olympique Lyonnais – but this time, the transfer rumours seem to carry more weight. If Griezmann leaves Atletico, expect the Spanish giants to go after Lacazette with a hefty warchest.

CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN

Barcelona are plotting a summer raid for the Tottenham playmaker, according to reports in Denmark.

Newspaper BT have reported that the Catalan giants want to sign the 25-year-old midfielder and are ready to launch a big bid to land their man.

Eriksen has been a key man in Spurs’ incredible season, scoring 12 goals and providing 20 assists from the heart of Mauricio Pochettino’s midfield.

The Dane is contracted to the White Hart Lane club until 2020 and has not yet commented on his future.

Midfielder Christian Eriksen is one of the players Barcelona are keen to try and sign this summer. The Dane has become an important part of Mauricio Pochettino’s side and is, for now, focused on helping the London side.

Rating: 6/10

Sport360 Verdict: Tottenham are still building and will be very reluctant to sell one of their star assets. Even if Barcelona do come calling this summer, expect the North London club to fight hard to keep him.

What else is going on?

Yet again, Manchester United are linked with Torino ace Andrea Belotti.

Will they get their man this summer?

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Transfer Gossip: Morata, Mertens, Bakayoko

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On the move? Real forward Morata.

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?

Share with us your thoughts by commenting below, using #360fans on Twitter or getting in touch via Facebook.

ALVARO MORATA

The Real Madrid forward is expected to leave the Santiago Bernabeu at the end of the season and has indicated Chelsea is his preferred destination.

According to Madrid-based newspaper AS, the 24-year-old is set to snub Manchester United and join the Premier League leaders this summer.

Since returning to his boyhood club at the start of last season after Los Blancos exercised a buy-back clause they had with Juventus, Morata has been frustrated by irregular first-team start time under Zinedine Zidane.

However, when called upon, the Spaniard has shown his class – scoring 18 goals in 38 appearances across all competitions. As the tweet below shows, his record this term is better than Karim Benzema and he’s not too far behind Cristiano Ronaldo (20) in the La Liga goalscoring stakes either.

But, after Morata revealed he wishes to play in England, Chelsea are set to rev up their interest in the close season especially given the uncertainty surrounding Diego Costa’s long-term future.

Morata’s Bernabeu deal runs until 2021 and Madrid are expected to command at least €30m (AED120m) – the sum they paid for him last year – from Antonio Conte’s charges.

Rating: 8/10

Sport360 Verdict: Whatever trophies Real Madrid end up with at the end of the season, the Whites are set for a shake-up in the transfer window and a number of changes will be made. Morata’s future will certainly be under the spotlight and it’s likely he could move on, especially if Real secure their No.1 striking target Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Dries Mertens

Napoli are braced for a long summer struggle to keep hold of top talent Dries Mertens, according to Italian station TMW Radio.

The Belgian, who has once again shone for the Naples club this term – scoring 22 Serie A goals to all but secure Champions League qualification, has been touted as a future Juventus star.

Mertens’ name has also been linked with Manchester United but Napoli chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis insisted during an on-air interview that he will do all he can to keep the tricky winger and head coach Maurizio Sarri at the Partenopei.

Napoli are hoping to scupper rivals’ hopes of signing Mertens by offering him a new deal, but no contract proposal has yet to be made.

Rating: 7/10

Sport360 Verdict: Mertens is a fans’ favourite at the Stadio San Paolo and Napoli will want to do all they can to keep this season’s dream team together. However, the Belgium international is 29 and may not get another chance for a big move.

TIEMOUE BAKAYOKO

Chelsea won’t waste any opportunities to strengthen their squad this summer and have already moved to sign Monaco ace Tiemoue Bakayoko, according to L’Equipe.

The promising French defensive midfielder, who has been compared to N’Golo Kante, is firmly on the Blues’ radar and the English giants believe they can land the 22-year-old.

Although Bakayoko is reportedly settled in France and enjoying life under Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim, a big-money bid should test the resolve of the would-be Ligue 1 champions.

Just where the midfield star fits into Chelsea’s team is a question for Antonio Conte, but the Italian believes he needs extra strength and depth in all departments as he targets success in Europe too.

Monaco have been linked with Anderlecht midfielder Youri Tielemans as a replacement for Bakayoko.

Rating: 7/10

Sport360 Verdict: Bakayoko is one of the hottest properties in European football and world-class defensive midfielders are typically hard to come by so expect Chelsea to lead the race for his signature once the season comes to a conclusion.

What else is going on?

Ajax defender Davinson Sanchez is yet another name linked with Real Madrid.

With Pepe’s advancing years and regular injuries to key men in defence this term, Zidane could turn to the 20-year-old Colombian to strengthen his defensive ranks.

However, Real face competition from eternal rivals Barcelona.

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