Struggling to pick out the facts from the figures? Reality from the rubbish? Sense from the silly season? We’ve got you sorted in our daily dose of the Transfer Predictor, where we round up the latest rumours with an analytical spin.
We sort through the most eye-catching transfer reports of the past 24 hours and give a balanced judgment on whether the move really will happen – and why.
RUMOUR: Lyon -> €50m -> Manchester United
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking to enhance his attacking options by making a move for Lyon’s Moussa Dembele, according to L’Equipe.
WHY IT WILL HAPPEN: Young? Tick. Scores goals? Tick. Proven in the UK? Well, kind of. Dembele has had a productive season since leaving perennial Scottish champions, Celtic, for Lyon last summer. The 22-year-old has provided 13 goals and four assists from just 19 starts while leading the line in Ligue 1, having filled the void that Real Madrid flop Mariano Diaz had left.
Solskjaer is on the lookout for young and hungry players, while the Old Trafford board does not want an Alexis Sanchez repeat. Romelu Lukaku may be on his way out and though Marcus Rashford is extremely promising, he is simply not a consistent goalscorer at this time.
WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: Firstly, United won’t be able to make a move if they don’t shift Lukaku and/or Sanchez from their books, and astronomical wages plus poor performances is not a good equation for a sale.
Even if that does happen, Solskjaer reportedly wants to prioritise investing in British produce, and particularly those who have their hearts in the right place. Rashford still must smooth his rough edges but he certainly qualifies, while 17-year-old Mason Greenwood is seen as a generational talent. Is Dembele really that good enough to be worth potentially hindering the progress of both?
TRANSFER PREDICTOR: 5/10
DONNY VAN DE BEEK
RUMOUR: Ajax -> €60m -> Real Madrid
Real Madrid will join Barcelona in raiding Ajax this summer and purchase Champions League darling Donny van de Beek, according to Marca.
WHY IT WILL HAPPEN: Initially it was all about De Jong and De Ligt, but finally the third Musketeer is getting some attention. Van De Beek has been sensational in the UCL knockout stages. The Netherlands starlet has been playing as No.10 – and often is the furthest forward – in Europe, but it’s easy to envisage him providing some thrust from midfield as relief for Luka Modric’s aging legs at Santiago Bernabeu.
His vision and penchant for finding pockets of space make him an alluring prospect for a team like Madrid, who are undergoing a major overhaul and may not have the patience nor wherewithal to deal with Man United and Tottenham for either Paul Pogba or Christian Eriksen.
Donny van de #Beek with brilliant movement:— Mindfootballness VIDEO (@mfbnproject1) April 30, 2019
- to push on the defensive line to create the space
- recognition of the space to get information about teammate's position
- change of the tempo and run on the free space#TOTAJApic.twitter.com/K7OguSs2Ya
Lemar and Bakayoko are not to be written off – but Madrid are, as always, in win-now mode and it’s fair for them to ponder whether Van De Beek is the beneficiary of a super-slick Ajax side. The 22-year-old can pick a pass, but he also likes to pick out the opposite team – see the second half versus Tottenham last week. A good player? Absolutely. However up against Eriksen, who has done in week-in, week-out for Spurs for years, he is no home run hitter.
TRANSFER PREDICTOR: 6/10
RUMOUR: Bayer Leverkusen -> €25m -> Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund plan to swoop for Julian Brandt when the Germany star’s €25m release clause comes into play in the summer, according to Bild.
WHY IT WILL HAPPEN: The situation is almost too good to be true for Dortmund. Having already lost Christian Pulisic and already sensing the vultures circle for Jadon Sancho, in Brandt they could buy a ready-made German talent who can play anywhere in attack or drop back to midfield.
Bayern Munich usually cherry pick the very best Germany has to offer, but the report also says that they are unlikely to pursue him – which seemingly gives Dortmund a clear run.
WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: If anything, Brandt has been too good in recent weeks. That €25m clause, if true, is outrageously cheap and the 23-year-old has set about racking up the assists from central midfield, a position many of Europe’s top clubs are targeting this summer. As Dortmund play a two-man midfield, he’d be assigned defensive duties if played there – definitely not his strongest suit.
There is also a possibility that Brandt will stay at Leverkusen if they qualify for the Champions League, though they need to make up a three-point gap with three games left to play.
TRANSFER PREDICTOR: 8/10
The Spanish publication are reporting that Los Blancos will pay €60 million to secure the 21-year-old’s services with €48m going to the Bundesliga club and €12m going to Benfica, who own a percentage of the Serbian’s rights.
Barcelona had also expressed an interest in Jovic, but pulled out of the race to sign him because of the hefty transfer fee.
Jovic has been in stunning form this term, netting 26 goals in 44 games and he scored in the Europa League semi-final first leg against Chelsea on Thursday.
Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain were also in the hunt to land the former Red Star Belgrade attacker, but Zinedine Zidane’s side have edged stiff competition to sign him ahead of next season.
Barcelona are looking to sign Manchester City’s Bernando Silva in the summer, but the 24-year-old says he is happy to stay at the Etihad, the Manchester Evening News says.
Manchester City have calmed their interest in Leicester and England defender Ben Chilwell, after the 22-year-old became subject of rumours he would leave the King Power in the summer.
The Manchester Evening News reports Pep Guardiola is happy with his current options in the position of Benjamin Mendy and Oleksandr Zinchenko.
Arsenal are looking to Paris Saint-Germain to boost their attack as they hope to land midfielder Christopher Nkunku from the Ligue 1 winners, the Evening Standard says.
The Gunners have been told they will have to fork out £17.2million for the 21-year-old who has scored four times this season.
Sticking with North London, and Tottenham have emerged as favourites to land Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon following the Cottagers’ relegation, the Evening Standard says.
Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Borrusia Dortmund are also keen, the paper adds.
Garry Monk may switch St Andrews for the Hawthorns, as the Birmingham manager has emerged as a leading contender to take the hot seat at West Brom, according to the Daily Mail.
Players to watch
Matthijs de Ligt: The teenager, currently on the books of Ajax, is keen on a move to Barcelona to link up with former team-mate Frenkie de Jong, Mundo Deportivo reports.
Matteo Darmian: Inter Milan are looking to bring the Manchester United defender back to Italy, with the Old Trafford club willing to accept a fee of around £9million, says Gazzetta dello Sport.
Andre Gray: Rangers are keen on landing the Watford striker and will aim for a loan deal, the Herald says.
Provided by Press Association Sport