Transfer predictor: Frenkie De Jong to Barcelona gets a 7, Christian Eriksen to Real Madrid is a 2

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Frenkie De Jong

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.

CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN

Christian Eriksen

Christian Eriksen is reportedly top of the transfer list at Real Madrid, according to Daily Mail.

Why it will happen: The Dane’s profile is exactly what Los Blancos need, with Luka Modric losing his touch and set for a move to Inter at the end of the season.

Why it won’t happen: Eriksen stated earlier this season that he is closer to signing an extension with Spurs than switching to Madrid.

Verdict: The 26-year-old could do well at the Bernabeu but you can’t blame him for staying at a club where he has settled in extremely well rather than joining what looks like a sinking ship.

Rating 2/10

FRENKIE DE JONG

Frenkie De Jong

Frenkie de Jong’s move to Barcelona could be completed in the next 48 hours, according to Daily Mail and SPORT.

Why it will happen: The Ajax star would be a perfect fit at Barcelona and is viewed as a long-term replacement for Sergio Busquets.

Why it won’t happen: Unfortunately, for now, Barcelona can’t promise the one thing that Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain can – a regular starting role.

Verdict: De Jong must choose whether he wants a starting role at a big club immediately or a bright future at his dream side – Barcelona. Reports suggest the latter is more likely.

Rating 7/10

JAMES RODRIGUEZ

James Rodriguez

Juventus and Arsenal could make a swoop for Bayern Munich midfielder James Rodriguez, according to Marca.

Why it will happen: With Mesut Ozil reportedly set to leave the club, the 27-year-old could be a perfect replacement for Unai Emery’s side.

Why it won’t happen: The Colombian will carry a hefty price-tag and Arsenal are not known for shelling out big money.

Verdict: If it comes down to finances, Juventus might hold the edge over the Gunners. But the former Monaco man could be tempted by a bigger role in the Premier League, where he could be the focal point in attack.

Rating: 4/10

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Chelsea's past Serie A striker recruits as Gonzalo Higuain nears move from Milan

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Gonzalo Higuain

Chelsea appear to be close to sealing a transfer for AC Milan striker Gonzalo Higuain.

According to Gazzetta Dello Sport, the Blues have “agreed terms” with the player.

Higuain joined Milan on a season-long loan from Juventus in July with an option to make the deal permanent, but he has struggled to settle at San Siro, scoring eight goals in all competitions.

Here, we look the other strikers Chelsea have recruited from Serie A in the past.

Adrian Mutu

His is a story of what might’ve been. Following an excellent season with Parma during which he scored 20 times in 36 appearances, Adrian Mutu signed for Chelsea in August 2003 for £15.8 million. After scoring four times in his first three games, his performances took a nosedive.

He endured a difficult relationship with new manager Jose Mourinho the following season and in September 2004 was banned from football for seven months after testing positive for drugs. Mutu subsequently joined Juventus in January 2005.

Adrian Mutu.

Adrian Mutu.

Andriy Shevchenko

Having arrived at Chelsea as one of the most celebrated goalscorers in Europe, Andriy Shevchenko left four years later a washed up mega-money flop. After the relentless pursuit of Roman Abramovich, the Ukranian was finally signed form AC Milan in May 2006 for £30.8 million, an English record then.

He scored on debut in the Community Shield defeat to Liverpool but struggled thereafter, bagging just four in 30 Premier League appearances that season, quickly becoming a target for opposing fans. Shevchenko was a shadow of his former self and is remembered as one of English football’s most high-profile flops.

Andriy Shevchenko.

Andriy Shevchenko.

Hernan Crespo

He only briefly graced the English game but Hernan Crespo nevertheless left his mark on Chelsea, scoring 25 goals in 73 appearances. The Argentine signed from Inter Milan in the summer of 2003 and scored 10 league goals in 19 games but was loaned to AC Milan in the following season after Jose Mourinho and Didier Drogba’s arrivals.

He returned to England and played a supporting role in Chelsea’s 2004/05 Premier League triumph, highlighting their immense strength in depth before leaving to rejoin Inter.

Hernan Crespo.

Hernan Crespo.

Gianfranco Zola

Panache, belief and pure magic. That’s what Gianfranco Zola brought to Chelsea when he was signed from Parma in 1996. Under Glenn Hoddle and then Ruud Gullit, Chelsea were transformed into a competitive force in the mid 90s, particularly in cup competitions but Zola took them to another level.

He led the Blues to six trophies in his time at Stamford Bridge, scoring some sensational goals along the way.

Gianfranco Zola.

Gianfranco Zola.

Gianluca Vialli

After his deal with Juventus expired in the summer of 1996, Gianluca Vialli moved to Chelsea on a free transfer in what would be an eventful spell. The Italian was quickly involved in a feud with managed Gullit, resulting in his regular omission but he remained a consistent performer whenever he was called upon.

Despite some sensational performances during the 1997/98 season, Vialli was still unable to nail down a regular starting berth but Gullit’s sacking that term saw him appointed as player-manager. He went on to win the Cup Winners’ Cup and the League Cup that year.

Gianluca Vialli.

Gianluca Vialli.

George Weah

In his prime, George Weah was one of the best strikers in the world and while he was certainly past it when he arrived at Chelsea on loan from AC Milan in January 2000, he immediately became a cult hero at the Bridge.

He scored the winner against rivals Tottenham on debut and bagged crucial goals in Chelsea’s run to the FA Cup success. Weah ended his stint in west London with five goals in 15 appearances.

George Weah.

George Weah.

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Transfer predictor: Perisic to Man United unlikely but Higuain's Chelsea link gets 7

Matt Jones 9/01/2019
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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.

CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN

Eriksen (1)

Real Madrid want the Spurs schemer but they will likely have to stump up a world record fee, says Spanish outlet AS.

Why it will happen: Quite simply, Real are a mess. Shorn of superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Perez thought the Spanish giants could get by. They are floundering and need at least one stellar name to revive their fortunes, and Eriksen fits the bill.

Why it won’t happen: The fee. Real will have to meet Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy’s valuation of the 26-year-old, which is a tidy €250 million (£224.8m). Also, Madrid’s main target is Eden Hazard, so any pursuit rests on that saga concluding.

Prediction: Los Blancos are desperate and it’s not like they’ve been afraid to break the bank before. Eriksen would be a stellar addition, but Hazard is their main target so the Spurs man will likely only arrive if they fail to bring in the Belgian.

Rating 5/10

 

GONZALO HIGUAIN

Gonzalo Higuain

Chelsea are reportedly close to a deal to bring the Argentine striker to the club for the rest of the season, say a number of outlets, including the Daily Mail.

Why it will happen: It hasn’t happened for the 31-year-old at the San Siro this season (on loan from Juventus), but a second loan move to England might just provide the tonic both he and Chelsea need. Maurizio Sarri needs a striker and doesn’t trust the two that he has.

Why it won’t happen: Equally, failing to get the best out of either Alvaro Morata and not playing Olivier Giroud – the latter has hardly had a sniff under Sarri – is puzzling. Higuain is unlikely to arrive if one of them doesn’t leave.

Prediction: Higuain has stagnated in Serie A this season, scoring just eight goals in 20 games. He hasn’t failed to break the 20 barrier since 2012/13, but with Hazard the supplier, he would surely start firing at Stamford Bridge.

Rating 7/10

IVAN PERISIC

perisic

United could finally land the Croatian as Inter Milan look to raise money to fund a move for compatriot Luka Modric, according to Tuttosport via Calciomercato.

Why it will happen: A long-standing target of United’s under former boss Jose Mourinho, but Ed Woodward was always reluctant to fork out what would have been a premium price for a player approaching 30. With Inter chasing Modric and willing to drop their price, that could tempt United.

Why it won’t happen: Despite Inter more keen to sell now, they are still in the driving seat with the 29-year-old having only signed a new deal at the San Siro last summer. Perisic, who is 30 next month, is also in poor form this season, with just three goals in 22 games for the Nerazzurri.

Prediction: It seems if a deal is ever going to happen, it will be this summer. But Perisic was coveted by Mourinho. Whoever is put in permanent charge of United in the summer might want to go in a different direction.

Rating 5/10

YANNICK CARRASCO

FBL-EUR-C1-REALMADRID-ATLETICO

The Gunners have reportedly moved above Inter in the race to sign the Belgian wideman, according to the Daily Mail.

Why it will happen: Emery is keen to bolster his side this month and will likely need to do so in order to push for a top-four finish. He has exhausted a lot of wide options, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan injured, Mesut Ozil out of form and Alex Iwobi inconsistent.

Why it won’t happen: With a limited transfer budget this month, it is believed Carrasco (on £170,000-a-week wages in China) would have to take a pay cut. Arsenal have an eye on Barcelona misfit Denis Suarez also, so their interest could be fleeting.

Prediction: His shock move from Atletico Madrid to the backwaters of China caused shockwaves a year ago, and he has struggled to adapt. Yet his European pedigree is not in doubt, evidenced by 23 goals in 124 matches for Los Rojiblancos between 2015 and 2018.

Rating 7/10

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