Bryan Cristante headlines our Rumour Mill as Arsenal track Benfica star

David Cooper 11/03/2018
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Bryan Cristante has impressed in Serie A this term.

Though the winter transfer window just passed and the summer window is still months down the road, that hasn’t stopped the chatter of players potentially being on the move.

Across the world of football, there remains plenty of activity and stories that have football fans talking.

Here, we look at potential transfer candidates that could be heading elsewhere when the market reopens in June.

Send us your thoughts, too – get in touch via Twitter and Facebook.

ARSENAL STEP UP CHASE FOR ATALANTA ACE BRYAN CRISTANTE

Cristante has starred in the Europa League this term.

The Gunners are ready to launch a summer move for the Italy international, who has also been heavily linked with Napoli, Juventus, Liverpool and Lazio.

The 23-year-old AC Milan academy product, who is on loan at Atalanta from Benfica, is enjoying a stellar Serie A campaign and has netted 10 goals this term.

Remarkably, Atalanta have an option in the loan agreement to buy the midfielder for just €4m (Dh18m) in the summer – though the Portuguese giants will try and wave that clause to spark a bidding war in the region of €30m (Dh135m).

According to Football Italia, Arsene Wenger’s men have scouted the talent and are favourites to sign him – though a deal isn’t likely to be made until after the World Cup in Russia.

CHELSEA KEEPER MATEJ DELAC TO MOVE ON

Delac has been a long servant without any game time.

The long-serving Blues goalkeeper is set to end his Stamford Bridge exile this summer.

Delac, who signed for the west London side in 2009 but has never played for the first-team, has been sent out on ten loan spells during that period.

The 25-year-old is currently plying his trade with Belgian outfit Mouscron but is out of contract at the end of the season and will leave the club on a free.

Remarkably, the Croatian is the Chelsea’s longest-serving player but has been surplus to requirements for most of his stay with the Premier League side.

GIANLUIGI DONNARUMMA

Highly-rated: Donnarumma.

Paris Saint-Germain are ready to launch a big-money summer bid for the AC Milan goalkeeper, according to the Corriere dello Sport.

The Italian international’s San Siro future is unclear, despite the fact he only penned a new deal with the Rossoneri last summer while Milan have been linked with the free transfer acquisition of Napoli’s Pepe Reina.

PSG are no strangers to splashing big cash and could afford Donnarumma’s £65m (Dh330m) release clause, with the 19-year-old making it clear he wants to play Champions League football.

Liverpool, Juventus and Real Madrid are all in the mix for the giant shot-stopper but Milan won’t be rushed into selling Donnarumma for anything but a huge fee.

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Griezmann headlines our Rumour Mill as Atletico star spotted house hunting in Barcelona

David Cooper 11/03/2018
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Linked again: Griezmann and Barcelona.

Though the winter transfer window just passed and the summer window is still months down the road, that hasn’t stopped the chatter of players potentially being on the move.

Across the world of football, there remains plenty of activity and stories that have football fans talking.

Here, we look at potential transfer candidates that could be heading elsewhere when the market reopens in June.

Send us your thoughts, too – get in touch via Twitter and Facebook.

GRIEZMANN ‘HOUSE HUNTING’ IN CATALONIA

Griezmann has been in a rich vein of form this year.

The Atletico Madrid forward is apparently looking for a new house in Barcelona, fuelling intense speculation he will sign for the Camp Nou club this summer.

According to Catalunya Radio, the Frenchman has set the wheels in motion to buying a property in Catalonia as Blaugrana weigh up a €100m (Dh452m) summer bid to trigger the 26-year-old’s release clause.

Back in January, Atleti lodged a complaint to FIFA against Barca – suggesting that they were tapping up the player – but, now, it seems as though Ernesto Valverde’s men are looking to bolster their attacking options again.

Given Griezmann will have a key role to play in France’s World Cup campaign, it’s unlikely any movement will take place on this deal before this summer’s tournament in Russia but early indications are that Diego Simeone’s side will face a fight to keep hold of the striker, who has been in scintillating form in 2018, netting 10 La Liga goals.

MAN UNITED SET TO OFFER BAIT FOR ALEX SANDRO

Is Sandro heading to the Premier League?

The Red Devils are set to tempt Juventus to sell their key left-back this summer, by offering big-money and out-of-favour Matteo Darmian as part of the deal.

Jose Mourinho’s men have been searching for defensive reinforcements and could meet the Old Lady’s £70 million (Dh356m) asking price – and double the Brazilian’s wages.

The 27-year-old World Cup-bound star is said to be happy at the Turin giants but a deal could be brokered if the large sums of cash involved are true.

According to the Mirror, United will rev up their attempts to land the former Porto star in the close season.

It comes as Luke Shaw has emerged as a target for Tottenham following a difficult campaign for him at Old Trafford, in which he has largely featured on the bench.

LIVERPOOL READY TO SPLASH BIG ON KEEPER

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - MARCH 03: Jack Butland of Stoke City shows appreciation to the fans after the Premier League match between Southampton and Stoke City at St Mary's Stadium on March 3, 2018 in Southampton, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)

Highly-rated: England star Jack Butland.

Liverpool could make the Stoke City and England shot-stopper the world’s most expensive goalkeeper this summer in a groundbreaking deal.

The Merseysiders want reinforcements between the sticks despite Loris Karius’s improvement while Simon Mignolet is all but set to leave Anfield at the end of the season.

The Potters are fighting to stay in the Premier League, and regardless of whether they survive in the top-flight, the Reds are confident they can land the 24-year-old for a fee in the region of £40m (Dh203m).

If that figure materialised, Butland would become the priciest keeper of all time – eclipsing Ederson’s £34.7m price tag when the Brazilian joined the Etihad Stadium club at the beginning of last season.

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How Arthur would fit in at Barcelona as club launch €40m bid

David Cooper 10/03/2018
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Arthur could help Barcelona in a number of ways.

Barcelona are close to finalising a deal for highly-rated Gremio midfielder Arthur Melo.

The Brazilian midfielder has been linked with the Catalan giants since November having impressed in Gremio’s Copa Libertadores triumph.

If the move happens, Arthur will join a high-quality Barcelona midfield that already includes fellow Brazilians Philippe Coutinho and Paulinho.

Here, we take a look at three ways the 21-year-old could fit into the starting XI.

4-4-2

For large spells of the La Liga season, Ernesto Valverde opted for this formation following the injury of Ousmane Dembele.

With Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez spearheading the attack, the Catalan giants remain in safe hands – with the duo netting 44 league goals between them this season.

Behind the lethal attacking duo – Paulinho, Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta make up the midfield.

Arthur could come in on the left and replace Iniesta, or on the right and replace an in-form Paulinho.

In either position, the young Brazilian will have the flexibility to keep the ball rolling and always race into space to make himself available.

His composure on the ball from the left would be a significant boost to the Catalan giants’ attacking exploits.

4-3-3

If Dembele returns to the starting XI then Arthur – along with Coutinho – can play two possible positions.

The Gremio star could start on the left side of midfield – with Messi, Suarez and Dembele playing higher up the pitch.

This will allow Arthur to create chances from deep in a bid to unlock the elusive trio into attacking positions.

In addition, he could also start on the right wing and compete with the Frenchman for the position.

4-2-3-1

If Valverde was to opt for this new formation it would allow a devastating front four of Arthur on the left, Dembele on the right and Messi playing behind Suarez.

This would leave Busquets, Rakitic, Paulinho, Iniesta and Coutinho to fight for two central midfield roles in front of the defence.

An formation like this could terrorise any defence and give Arthur the freedom on the left to exploit space and provide open space for the likes of Messi and Dembele to run into and win possession.

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