Italy striker Mario Balotelli linked with making move between Ligue 1 rivals Nice and Marseille

David Cooper 12/06/2018
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Mario Balotelli

Recalled Italy striker Mario Balotelli has been contacted by Marseille about making a summer switch once his productive spell at Ligue 1 neighbours Nice comes to an end, according to reports.

Balotelli, 27, experienced the most-prolific season of his headline-grabbing career in 2017/18 when he struck 26 times in 38 matches.

But his one-year contract at Les Aiglons expires on June 30 and there is no sign of a renewal.

L’Equipe has stated that l’OM’s desire to get a new centre forward has drawn them towards the ex-Internazionale, Manchester City and AC Milan attacker.

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Barcelona target Antoine Griezmann knows exactly where he will be playing next season

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Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann says he has decided on his future – but has refused to say whether he will leave the club this summer.

With ongoing speculation linking him with Spanish champions Barcelona, Griezmann had said he would confirm his position before France’s World Cup opener against Australia on Saturday.

However, at a national team press conference in Russia on Tuesday, the 27-year-old repeatedly laughed off questions regarding a potential move before claiming he has made up his mind where he will be playing next season.

“The decision has been taken but it is not the time or the place to talk about it,” he said.

“I am very sorry, I know you have all been waiting but I will not give my decision today.”

It is the second successive summer that Griezmann has been the subject of speculation over a big-money switch away from the Rojiblancos.

Last year it was Manchester United who looked to be leading the chase for his services only for Griezmann to end up signing a one-year contract extension with Atletico, tying him to the club until 2022.

His refusal to answer questions on Tuesday means links with Barcelona are sure to continue until any formal announcement is made by either club.

Since joining from Real Sociedad for a reported £24million in 2014, Griezmann has scored 112 goals in all competitions for Atletico and finished each season as the club’s top scorer.

He also helped Atletico reach the 2016 Champions League final and scored twice as they beat Marseille 3-0 in last month’s Europa League final.

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Transfer Predictor: Raphael Varane to Manchester United is a 5, Mousa Dembele to Juventus gets an 8

David Cooper 12/06/2018
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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 white 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.

RAPHAEL VARANE – REAL MADRID TO MANCHESTER UNITED

Manchester United have expressed an interest in the Real Madrid star, the Daily Mail reports.

Why it will happen: United do need a steady central defensive partner for Eric Bailly. Tody Alderweireld is falling too expensive and Clement Lenglet looks like he’s set for a move to Barcelona.

Why it won’t happen: The Frenchman has four years to run on his contract and is reportedly happy at the Bernabeu.

Prediction: After winning his third successive Champions League title, it looks unlikely Varane will leave the Spanish capital, especially when he is a central part of a winning team.

Rating – 5/10

RAFINHA – BARCELONA TO TOTTENHAM

Tottenham have emerged as key contenders to sign the Barcelona wantaway, according to Sport.

Why it will happen: The Brazilian looks primed for an exit at Camp Nou. And with Tottenham set to strengthen their midfield ahead of next season, a player of Rafinha’s calibre would be a serious addition to Mauricio Pochettino’s side.

Why it won’t happen: Only if something drastic happens. A late swoop from another team or if negotiations over personal terms collapse.

Prediction: The Sao Paulo man can reignite his club career with the North London side and start to get back on the right path.

Rating – 7/10

MOUSA DEMBELE – TOTTENHAM TO JUVENTUS

Juventus are interested in signing the Tottenham star, the Daily Mail reports.

Why it will happen: The Belgian international has shelved contract talks til after the World Cup and with Inter and Juventus closing in. It looks likely he will be playing his football in the Serie A next season.

Why it won’t happen: Tottenham. Daniel Levy may be reluctant to sell his star man who has proved a force over the recent seasons.

Prediction: It may rumble on for a bit, perhaps after the World Cup, but Juventus seem like a good fit for Dembele.

Rating – 8/10

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