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 on Saturday.
Kane has a real chance
The Kane to Madrid link simply won’t die down and Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo have fanned the flames by suggesting Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has slapped a €200m price tag on the England striker.
Levy is a notoriously tough operator in the transfer market, having already forced Real to spend a then-record sum to bring Gareth Bale to the Bernabeu.
Yet there is arguably no better option to replace an inconsistent Karim Benzema as the spearhead of Real’s attack.
With money tight thanks to the cost of a new stadium – and the budgets of their nearest Premier League rivals – Kane, who could score his 100th Premier League goal in the trip to Liverpool on Sunday, should by no means be considered out of reach.
Kane, still only 24, is not the type of player to kick up a fuss but has recently said ‘trophies’ are what will keep him in north London for the long haul – he has yet to win one at Tottenham.
Spurs are also hindered by their rigid wage structure, though surely they will make an exception for their star man.
It seems hard to believe that Levy would be willing to part with the player no matter the offer, but as history suggests, Real usually get their way.
Vidal could add some bite to United
Arturo Vidal and Manchester United have been uttered in the same sentence many times before and Jose Mourinho harbours hope that he can make the transfer happen this summer, according to the Daily Star.
The Chile midfielder will have just one year left on his Bayern Munich contract in the summer and was apparently wanted by Chelsea in the January transfer window.
It was self-evident that Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic needed help in the middle after Tottenham blew them off the park on Wednesday. The only question is whether Vidal is truly Mourinho’s man.
He’s experienced, which is a strong indicator in a Mourinho target, and at his best is one of the most complete midfielders in the world.
On the downside, he is 31 years old and can sometimes go missing on the big occasion. He is however a realistic target for a Bayern Munich side likely to hit the refresh button after Jupp Heynckes (leaves) again.
He would be an intriguing addition to United – as long as he’s not their only signing in the centre of the park this summer.
With the January transfer window now over and the focus once again on action on the pitch, we look at four stars who could make their debuts this weekend after making moves last month.
NEW CLUB: RB LEIPZIG
TRANSFERRED FROM: EVERTON (LOAN)
The young Englishman apparently forced a loan move out of Goodison Park on transfer deadline day, despite Sam Allardyce’s willingness to keep the promising attacker. Lookman, who had featured just seven times (one start) in the Premier League for the Toffees since signing from Charlton last January for £11m, clearly wants more minutes and he should get his chance this weekend.
At just 20, he is likely to be thrown into RB Leipzig’s squad for the trip to Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday with the German side chasing Champions League qualification. A positive loan stint should help the youngster force his way back into Everton’s plans next term.
NEW CLUB: REAL BETIS
TRANSFERRED FROM: BORUSSIA DORTMUND (UNDISCLOSED FEE)
The 27-year-old got his wish – he was just desperate to return to La Liga after things went a bit stale at Dortmund (and the emotional upheaval of being a victim in last year’s bomb blast on the team bus).
Bartra, a former Barcelona prodigy turned star who never really fulfilled his full potential during a six-season stay at the Camp Nou, now has the chance to become a defensive mainstay in Spain again and guarantee his spot in La Roja’s squad for the World Cup in Russia.
He should well be in contention to play on Saturday as the Seville-based club host Villarreal.
NEW CLUB: NEWCASTLE
TRANSFERRED FROM: LEICESTER CITY (LOAN)
The muscular Algerian has joined Newcastle on loan after a disappointing 18 months at Leicester City. Slimani arrived at the King Power with a big reputation after shining for Sporting Lisbon, but has only performed in spurts for the Foxes, scoring 12 goals in 44 games. For Toon boss Rafa Benitez, the January window was a major disappointment, the former Liverpool manager not getting any of the playing resources he craved as the Newcastle takeover issue descended into a farce.
But if Benitez can work his magic and get Slimani back to something like his Sporting best, then the target man can give goal-starved Newcastle’s survival hopes a real shot in the arm.
NEW CLUB: INTER MILAN
TRANSFERRED FROM: BARCELONA
The Brazilian central midfielder was desperately in need of a fresh start after his career had stalled at Barca with his undoubted skills seen as surplus to requirements. But, given his youthful age, the dynamic playmaker – brother of Bayern Munich’s Thiago Alcantara – still has time on his side. Inter is a great move for him. He is used to being around a big club and at the Nerazzurri he’s really got a chance to show what he is made of as they battle for a much-needed Champions League spot.
If he impresses the loan deal can easily become permanent – with it being expected he will play some part in the clash with Crotone this weekend. The key for the La Masia youth graduate will be staying fit and ensuring he is available for selection – something that he has struggled with over his time at Camp Nou.
Arsenal’s mega money deal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang may have been out of character but you can expect them to keep breaking the bank in the summer, and Real Madrid are set to end their search for a keeper this summer.
Below we look at the latest news in the world of transfer talk, as though the January window is shut, the gossip never stops …
MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE
Malcolm was touted as a potential Alexis Sanchez replacement for Arsenal last month and according to the Evening Standard, the interest will continue into the summer.
The Bordeaux winger has hit seven goals in 22 games so far this campaign but, at 20 years of age, is still an unrefined prospect.
Arsene Wenger’s side were unwilling to pay the reported £45m it would cost to whisk him away mid-season, though that fee could even inflate with a strong second half to the campaign.
This link has been sustained for a while now and given that he’s young, raw, comes from a Ligue 1 side and is an exciting attacking talent – Malcolm is right up Wenger’s alley.
The biggest factor in this deal not going the Gunners’ way is interest from elsewhere. If a Champions League club comes knocking then it will be interesting to see where Malcolm’s priorities lie.
Still, knowing that the likes of Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang and Mesut Ozil are at the Emirates for the long haul will be strong lures for the Brazilian.
OBLAK IN, CECH OUT?
Remaining in north London – the Evening Standard also suggest that Arsenal are looking for a goalkeeper to replace Petr Cech, whose best days seem to be over.
Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak is a top quality option and as Wenger surely knows by now, there is no point stocking up on pretty attacking players if your defence is as effective as a chocolate fireguard.
Atletico, particularly if Diego Simeone remains, have lots of leverage over Arsenal. They’re a Champions League club for starters.
They will also be reluctant to sell any more of their big names once Antoine Griezmann leaves in the summer, and as Oblak’s release clause stands at an eye-watering €100m, Arsenal will have a lot of negotiating to do.
REAL MADRID PINING FOR ALISSON
Remaining in the realm of goalkeepers and Mundo Deportivo claim that Real Madrid are eyeing up a move for Brazil No1 Alisson.
Real did not go their own way when it came to signing Kepa Arrizabalaga, who signed a new deal tying him to Athletic Bilbao for the long-term.
With David De Gea and Thibaut Courtois likely to be far too expensive options from the Premier League, Alisson, of Roma, is a palatable option.
Roma have been inconsistent at best in the Serie A this season but the form of Alisson has played a huge part in keeping them in the race for the Champions League.
The interest emanating from the Spanish capital will be bad news for Liverpool, though, as they have also been heavily linked.
Madrid have been trying to replace Keylor Navas – rather harshly – for a while now and will surely pull the trigger in the summer this time around.
Roma are not afraid to let their star players go as sporting director Monchi is a big believer in being able to find unearthed gems elsewhere.
As long as the money is right, and if Real do indeed want him, there would be nothing stopping Alisson from heading to the Bernabeu. Sorry, Liverpool fans.