Barcelona target Antoine Griezmann expects transfer decision 'this week'

David Cooper 10/06/2018
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Barcelona target Antoine Griezmann has teased that he expects to “find out this week” about his future.

Griezmann, 27, has seen the La Liga champions long been linked to paying the €100 million (Dh432.8m) release clause in his Atletico Madrid contract when it kicks in from July 1. The prolific forward’s current employers have also been keen to agree fresh terms.

France boss Didier Deschamps informed his squad that he wants decisions on their futures to be made before World Cup 2018 begins. Les Bleus start their Group C-campaign on June 16 against Australia at Kazan Arena.

“It’s good that you’re taking an interest,” said Griezmann, after the 1-1 friendly draw with United States on Saturday.

“There’s a week to go. I think we will find out this week.”

Griezmann has scored 112 times in 209 games for Atleti since joining from Real Sociedad during July 2014.

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Transfer Predictor: Nick Pope to Liverpool is a 7, Jack Grealish switch to Tottenham likely

David Cooper 10/06/2018
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In-demand: Burnley stopper Nick Pope.

The transfer window is well and truly open!

With the 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.

NICK POPE – BURNLEY TO LIVERPOOL

Liverpool are set to solve their goalkeeping woes by clinching a deal for the talented Burnley and England shot-stopper, according to The Sun.

Why it will happen: The Merseysiders are desperate for a new No.1 between the sticks following Loris Karius’ Champions League final horror show and Simon Mignolet’s imminent departure from Anfield, so Pope very much fits the bill.

Why it won’t happen: Although fellow Clarets goalkeeper Tom Heaton is set to return to action next season, Pope is still first choice and could remain loyal to Sean Dyche’s men. After all, Burnley took a chance on a man, who up until the summer of 2017, was a relative unknown.

Prediction: Selling their best players would significantly disrupt Burnley’s stronghold in the top 10 and Europa League prospects, however, Liverpool are set to offer Pope a lucrative proposition. Despite all this, it may not be a straightforward pursuit.

Rating – 7/10

Pope has enjoyed an incredible Premier League rise.

JACK GREALISH – ASTON VILLA TO TOTTENHAM

Tottenham are preparing to raid Aston Villa for the 22-year-old midfielder, Sky Sports are reporting.

Why it will happen: The Villains are in a desperate financial situation and need to raise cash. Selling the home-grown talent is a quick fix. A move to north London should help Grealish progress in his career under the watchful eye of Mauricio Pochettino.

Why it won’t happen: He would leave Villa with a heavy heart and may want to help the club try and get promoted to the Premier League again next season under Steve Bruce, who is likely to stay on.

Prediction: This is set to be the summer where the all-action midfielder leaves Villa Park.

Rating – 8/10

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - MAY 15: Jack Grealish of Aston Villa is tackled by Adam Clayton of Middlesbrough during the Sky Bet Championship Play Off Semi Final:Second Leg match between Aston Villa and Middlesbrough at Villa Park on May 15, 2018 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Midfield talent: Jack Grealish.

CAGLAR SOYUNCU  FREIBURG TO ARSENAL

Arsenal are reportedly in advanced talks to land the Freiburg and Turkey defender, the player’s agent has revealed.

Why it will happen: The Gunners have made strengthening a leaky defence a real priority and see the 22-year-old as a man who could fill Per Mertesacker’s boots long-term, aided by the experience of new recruit Stephan Lichtsteiner alongside him.

Why it won’t happen: Manchester City and Roma are also eyeing the young centre-back and could both offer Champions League football, which is of course something out of Arsenal’s reach during the upcoming 2018/19 campaign.

Prediction: Arsenal should make it a priority to land the defender and secure his services whilst the World Cup is ongoing. After all, Turkey are not in the tournament.

Rating – 8/10

Turkey's defender Caglar Soyuncu (R) celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the friendly football match between Tunisia and Turkey at the Stade de Geneve stadium in Geneva on June 1, 2018. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP) (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

Caglar Soyuncu (r) is a wanted man.

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Barcelona monitor Wolfsburg goalkeeper Koen Casteels as replacement for Jasper Cillessen

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Koen Casteels.

Barcelona have identified giant Belgium and Wolfsburg goalkeeper Koen Casteels as a leading replacement for Jasper Cillessen if the Netherlands international decides to depart this summer, according to reports.

Cillessen, 29, has played 21 times for Barcelona since his arrival for 2016/17 as back-up to dominant Germany shot stopper Marc-Andre ter Stegen. But his past exploits for Ajax and the Oranje has seen him linked to the likes of Liverpool.

Mundo Deportivo have stated that the La Liga champions have looked to the Bundesliga for a possible replacement.

Casteels – who has been selected for World Cup 2018 – has emerged as their first choice if an alternative to Cillessen is required. Cologne’s Timo Horn and Werder Bremen’s Jiri Pavlenka have also been discussed.

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