Al Nasr’s quest for a new No9 has ended with the capture of Brazilian Iury de Castilho from Ukraine’s Zorya Luhansk.
The Blue Wave endured awful fortune with the previous doomed incumbent of the shirt, Wanderley. A combination of a passport-eligibility row and successive injuries saw the July 2016 capture from Sharjah feature in just seven Arabian Gulf League matches, scoring four times.
They will hope for better luck with Thursday’s 22-year-old addition, who struck on 11 occasions in 25 Ukrainian Premier League matches last term for his fourth-placed employers.
“Al Nasr officially hires Brazilian striker Iury de Castilho, who comes from Ukraine’s Zorya Luhansk,” Nasr tweeted.
De Castilho had previously struck just three times in 29 league appearances for boyhood club Avai.
Nasr will hope the promise displayed in Eastern Europe will be repeated in the UAE’s top flight.
He will find support from fellow Brazilian arrival, Samuel Rosa. The tall 27-year-old notched 21 times in 44 run-outs for Hatta, prior to their relegation in May’s promotion/relegation play-off against Fujairah.
Nasr could yet retain Lebanon centre-back Joan Oumari and they remain in the mix to extend Brazilian Marcelo Cirino’s successful loan from Atletico Paranaense – or make it permanent.
In the domestic market, they’ve already land UAE centre-back Mohammed Marzooq from Shabab Al Ahli Dubai Club and forward Mohamed Al Akbari from Al Wahda.
An improvement from 2017/18’s fourth place is expected after the positive impact of rehiring Serbia’s Ivan Jovanovic as coach in January.
Rodrygo, 17, reinforced his status as the hottest property in Brazilian football this week with a hat-trick against Vitoria. Such performances, allied with an enticing €50 million (Dh217.1m) release clause, have made him coveted across Europe.
La Liga winners Barca have long been considered his most-likely destination. But Globo Esporte now reports that the forward could be bound for Santiago Bernabeu after a €45m (Dh195.4m) offer was made by the Champions League holders – which is €15m (Dh65.1m) more than their great Clasico rivals.
Rodrygo has scored nine goals in 30 first-team matches for Santos.
The Premier League transfer window is now open and the market in the rest of Europe will spark into life soon (June 8).
With the transfer rumours growing in pace and volume during this ‘silly season’, it can be difficult and painstaking to separate the stories of some legitimacy from the rest of the noise.
Fortunately, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to do it for you.
Below, you’ll find some of the latest transfer news churned out of the rumour mill broken down and analysed for your benefit along with our calculated predictions.
THOMAS LEMAR – MONACO TO BARCELONA
Barcelona have joined the chase for the highly-rated Monaco star, according to Sport.
Why it will happen: The Frenchman has been heavily linked with a move to the Catalan side, and with Ernesto Valverde looking to bolster his midfield and attack next season, it could be the perfect move for one of football’s rising stars.
Why it won’t happen: His place in the starting XI at Barcelona would be uncertain, therefore a move to Chelsea or Atletico Madrid – both of whom are interested parties – may suit his development more with game-time guaranteed.
Prediction: With Barcelona front of the queue, it looks likely that the 22-year-old will be stepping out alongside compatriots Ousmane Dembele, Samuel Umtiti and Lucas Digne at the Camp Nou next season.
Rating – 7/10
MATTHIJS DE LIGT – AJAX TO MAN CITY
Manchester City have launched a bid of €60m (Dh260m) for Ajax centre-back, Tuttomercatoweb reports.
Why it will happen: Pep Guardiola is keen on the 18-year-old, whom he views as a long-term option to replace Vincent Kompany. And with the potential to win silverware at the Etihad Stadium, it looks like a difficult move to turn down for the young Dutchman.
Why it won’t happen: With Nicolas Otamendi, John Stones, Aymeric Laporte and Kompany as frontline centre-backs, the youngster may opt against a move due to a potential lack of minutes next season.
Prediction: Ajax will want to keep their star man for another season, but de Ligt may feel now is the right time to move on from the Johan Cruijff Arena in a bid to further his development.
Rating – 7/10
JEAN-MICHAEL SERI – NICE TO WEST HAM
West Ham are set to battle with Chelsea over the elusive Nice midfielder, reports The Sun.
Why it will happen: The 26-year-old’s release clause is considered to be around £33m (Dh173.2m), but the price could be well worth it for the Hammers to replenish their midfield, especially after only winning just 10 Premier League games this season.
Why it won’t happen: Seri may feel a move to West Ham would be a step down in his career, especially with other big clubs interested in securing his services.
Prediction: With Barcelona, Napoli, Arsenal and Chelsea also in the hunt for his signature, expect the Ivorian to sit tight until a bid is tabled from a bigger club who has the potential to win trophies.
Rating – 3/10