Toni Kroos headlines our rumour mill as Manchester United target Real Madrid star

David Cooper 20/02/2018
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The January transfer window may be shut but there’s still plenty of news from the rumour mill with several moves being put off until the summer.

Here, we round-up the transfer tales that have got everyone talking.

TONI KROOS

Real Madrid star Kroos is Jose Mourinho’s prime summer target as he seeks to bolster his midfield options for next season, according to the Independent. The 28-year-old was tipped for a move to the Red Devils prior to joining Los Blancos in 2013. The German international has the same game management skills that Mourinho wants to succeed the retiring Michael Carrick and sit in between Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba in the heart of the midfield to allow the trio to flourish.

Real Madrid v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League 

MALCOM

Arsenal and Tottenham have emerged as favourites to sign Bordeaux wonderkid Malcom, according to the Daily Mail. The Brazilian has been one of the mainstays in an improving Bordeaux side this season, scoring eight goals and providing six assists in 25 games. The 21-year-old has been taking the league by storm with his glittering footwork and passing ability. Although £55m is an expensive asking price, both clubs believe a fee of £33m could be enough to get the deal over the line.

ARTHUR

Barcelona are on the cusp of reaching a €30m agreement with Gremio star Arthur, according to Mundo Deportivo. It is believed Barcelona will pay €30m up front, plus another €10m in add-ons related to appearances and his first contract renewal. The Spanish giants’ hierarchy had watched the dynamic attacking midfielder in action in Gremio’s run to Copa Libertadores glory in November. The 21-year-old talent, who is comfortable in either the No.8 or No.10 midfield roles, is in high demand and is expected to star at this year’s World Cup in Russia.

Gremio v Fluminense - Brasileirao Series A 2017 

WILFRIED ZAHA

Tottenham are preparing to launch a fresh bid for Crystal Palace star Zaha, according to the Mirror. The North Londoners remain interest in the Ivory Coast forward and are confident of landing the 25-year-old at a third attempt. Despite the arrival of former PSG winger Lucas Moura to the Wembley Stadium last month, Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is lining up this latest push to strengthen his attacking options. Zaha will cost in excess of £50m and although his contract runs until 2022, Palace are determined to hold on to him.

STEFAN DE VRIJ 

Manchester United and Liverpool will battle it out to sign Lazio defender de Vrij next summer, according to Sky Sports. The Dutchman is set to leave the Stadio Olimpico at the end of the season with his contract renewal having been withdrawn. The 26-year-old is still very much on Jose Mourinho’s radar and a bid of around €15m should be accepted by the Roma club. The powerful centre-back would offer a solution to United’s inconsistencies in defence, with the futures of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones in doubt.

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Neymar to resist Real Madrid to stay at PSG, Juventus keen on Man United defender

David Cooper 19/02/2018
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Neymar.

There are a few months yet until the summer transfer window comes along but there’s still plenty to talk about as clubs lay the ground work for potential deals once the current campaign is concluded.

There are more than enough stories for football fans to sink their teeth into.

Here’s a look at some potential transfer deals that could go through when the market reopens for business in June.

MATTEO DARMIAN

Matteo Darmian may be struggling with life at Manchester United but that hasn’t deterred Juventus from targeting the full-back. The Italian could be set for a return to Serie A according to Calcio Mercato.

Juventus have contacted Matteo’s representatives ahead of a possible summer move to Italy.

The former Torino right-back is behind the likes of Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young for his spot at Old Trafford and must welcome interest from last year’s Champions League finalists.

NEYMAR

Neymar has decided to remain at Paris Saint-Germain next season even if they are eliminated from the Champions League, according to Telefoot.

Real Madrid have been heavily linked with a swoop for the Brazilian who is seen as Cristiano Ronaldo’s natural successor at the Bernabeu.

However, the former Barcelona star is determined to make it work at PSG and help the team achieve European success.

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Man City eye Eden Hazard with Sergio Aguero as makeweight, Arsenal consider Chris Smalling

David Cooper 19/02/2018
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Eden Hazard

There are a few months yet until the summer transfer window comes along but there’s still plenty to talk about as clubs lay the ground work for potential deals once the current campaign is concluded.

There are more than enough stories for football fans to sink their teeth into.

Here’s a look at some potential transfer deals that could go through when the market reopens for business in June.

EDEN HAZARD

Real Madrid are set to face stiff competition from Manchester City for Eden Hazard.

Pep Guardiola is keen to add the Belgian to the wealth of attacking talent at his disposal but the Citizens would have to pay a British record fee of £150 million (Dhs 772.39m), according to the Daily Star.

Hazard’s current deal at Chelsea runs for another two years but are yet to reach an agreement for an extension.

While the Blues would be reluctant to sell to a direct rival, the prospect of acquiring Sergio Aguero in exchange is appealing as Roman Abramovich is said to be an admirer of the Argentine.

RATING: 6/10

VERDICT

If Hazard were to leave Chelsea but decide to stay in England, City would be his most likely destination. The current league leaders should have no problem affording his transfer fee or wages.

Having been beaten to Alexis Sanchez by Manchester United, Hazard’s arrival would more than make up for it. It also offers Pep Guardiola a route to life without Aguero, which seems absurd but the Spaniard has never fully taken to the prolific striker, who doesn’t seamlessly fit into his philosophy.

Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard

CHRIS SMALLING

Arsenal are considering a £25 million (Dhs 128.82m) move for Manchester United defender Chris Smalling, the Daily Star report.

The English centre-back has struggled for form this season while Phil Jones and Eric Bailly are seen as Jose Mourinho’s first-choice partnership in central defence.

The Portuguese is also reportedly lining up a bid for Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld in the summer, a move that could see Smalling fall further down the pecking order.

RATING: 7/10

VERDICT

Chris Smalling is a competent centre-back, he’s just not top notch. In fairness, he has had spells of real quality but those have been few and far between.

At Arsenal though, there’s no question he’d be first-choice.

Chris Smalling

Chris Smalling

MICHY BATSHUAYI

Chelsea have ruled out the possibility of selling Michy Batshuayi to Borussia Dortmund, the Daily Mirror claims.

The striker has enjoyed a dream start to his loan spell at the Bundesliga club, prompting them to inquire about securing his services on a permanent basis.

However the Blues insist the Belgian has a future at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea though are still interested in bidding for Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic who is also a Manchester United target.

RATING: 5/10

VERDICT

It’s no surprise that Chelsea are reluctant to sell Batshuayi after his great start at Dortmund. They hold all the cards and don’t need to. However, the striker only needs to look at the clubs history of owning young talent, but never affording them a chance at the Bridge, choosing to send them out on loan every year instead.

Having tasted life in the thick of the action at Dortmund, there’s every chance he may attempt to force a move through if he isn’t given assurances of more playing time back in west London.

Michy Batshuayi

Michy Batshuayi

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