Questions marks about Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer’s long-term fitness have seen Bayern Munich plan to keep scouting Everton and England No1 Jordan Pickford at World Cup 2018, according to reports.
Pickford, 24, has emerged as Gareth Southgate’s first-choice between the posts after an outstanding debut campaign on Merseyside following last June’s £25 million (Dh122.6m) switch from relegated Sunderland.
The Sun state that such form has not gone unnoticed by the perennial Bundesliga champions. Neuer, 32, has only just recovered from a serious foot injury that caused him to miss eight months of 2017/18’s march to the title.
Pickford’s similar ability on the ball and shot-stopping prowess has convinced them to watch him in action in Russia this summer.
The Premier League transfer window is now open and the market in the rest of Europe will spark into life soon.
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.
Why it will happen: The Red Devils are desperate to sign a new midfield enforcer and the 25-year-old certainly fits the bill, given there have been widespread rumours over the Italian’s Parc des Princes future. United have more clout than most sides and could afford his £75 million (Dh 367m) valuation.
Why it won’t happen: Real Madrid have also long been linked with the combative defensive midfielder and a switch to the Spanish capital may prove too irresistible for Verratti. Jose Mourinho needs quality, but is he tall enough and big enough for his ideal United midfield?
Prediction: He is set to end his six-season stay in Paris and is likely to be the centre of a bidding war this summer.
Rating – 8/10
Why it will happen: Unai Emery is an admirer of the Moroccan and is desperate to strengthen the heart of the Gunners’ defence. Benatia’s experience and pedigree would be just perfect.
Why it won’t happen: The defender does not want to discuss his future until after the World Cup which could potentially mean the north London club face competition for his signature.
Prediction: Juventus are pursuing Atletico Madrid stalwart Diego Godin and rising Ajax star Matthijs de Ligt, so if either of those deals comes to fruition, Benatia will be all but surplus to requirements and free to move to Arsenal.
Rating – 7/10
Why it will happen: The 32-year-old is somewhat of a veteran now in the sphere of European football and could view this as possibly the last move of his career. He has previously stated how he would not pass-up the opportunity to play for the Rossoneri club.
Why it won’t happen: Monaco have not exactly gone on the record to state that they would be happy to sell their star striker so expect the Ligue 1 club to hold out for big cash from Milan, should they come calling.
Prediction: The Colombian forward may see this as the final challenge of a largely illustrious career and is set for talks after the World Cup.
Rating – 7/10
That has started a frenzy of speculation as players and coaches look for their next moves.
Across the world of football, there is plenty of activity and stories that have football fans talking.
Here, we look at the latest transfer deals that could happen very soon.
Wolves are still hopeful they will land the AC Milan hitman despite the fact the 22-year-old is in talks with Monaco.
According to Corriere della Sera, the Ligue 1-outfit are close to a deal for the former Porto man who endured an indifferent maiden campaign at the San Siro.
Wanderers boss Nuno Espirito Santo has been handed a sizeable summer warchest in a bid to keep the Midlanders in the Premier League – and is well aware goals will be a huge priority.
Sources apparently close to Silva, who is part of Portugal’s World Cup squad, have revealed that the attacker would prefer a move to England but will not make a call on his future until the conclusion of the tournament.
Red Devils boss Jose Mourinho ran the rule over the 22-year-old midfielder during their pre-World Cup friendly clash with Australia last week, while both Newcastle and Southampton have shown interest in his signature.
Golovin, who has grown to become one of the the stars of Russian football, is thought to be happy in his homeland though the lure of United and their financial clout could prove too much when the international window opens.
United want to find a consistent midfield partner for Paul Pogba, given there are apparently concerns over the long-term futures of Ander Herrera and Juan Mata.