Transfer predictor: Christian Eriksen to Real Madrid rumour gets a 6

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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.

Today’s edition features potential signings for Real Madrid, Manchester United and Barcelona.

CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN

Christian Eriksen

RUMOUR: Tottenham ->  €150m -> Real Madrid

Tottenham midfielder Eriksen could join Real Madrid this summer, according to AS.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN

With the expected decline of Luka Modric leaving a gaping hole in Madrid’s midfield, there is an immediate need for the European champions to sign a creative midfielder.

The recent poor form of Modric has forced forward Karim Benzema to drop deep, involve himself in build-up play and create chances. The Frenchman has stepped up this season but it would be unwise for him to take on some of Modric’s duties for next season too.

With just one year left on his contract, it shouldn’t be hard for Madrid to convince Spurs to sell the Dane for a more affordable price.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN

With rumours linking Ajax rising star Donny van de Beek with a switch to the Bernabeu, Madrid could decide to opt for the Dutchman instead, with age and potential on his side.

This would be the better option if Los Blancos are looking at the bigger picture. But, as it stands, they are in need of a short term fix and Eriksen, in his prime, could provide just that.

Also, it’s worth noting that if Spurs manage to win the Champions League, the 27-year-old could be coerced into staying in North London.

TRANSFER PREDICTOR: 6/10

WILLIAN 

Willian-Chelsea (1)

RUMOUR: Chelsea ->  €35m -> Barcelona

Barcelona are interested in securing the signature of Brazilian winger Willian from Chelsea, claims The Sun.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN

It’s clear that Malcom – despite his talent – has failed to win Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde over. And with Ousmane Dembele picking up injuries on a regular basis, the La Liga champions could find themselves in need of wing reinforcements.

The Spanish giants have spent lots of money on wingers over the past two seasons and it’s likely they could opt for a cheap, short-term option like Willian.

Although the odds of this happening are impossible, we are talking about a team that signed Kevin-Prince Boateng when he was way past his prime, so don’t rule any move out.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN

Willian has been dismal for Chelsea this term, a team who are not having the best of seasons in the league themselves.

The winger has declined and clearly lacks the quality to play for a top club, let alone Barcelona.

Although Dembele has shown vulnerability to injuries, he has also displayed great potential and moments of individual brilliance.

Willian’s arrival will only hinder Dembele’s development and Valverde will know better than to make a panic signing.

TRANSFER PREDICTOR: 2/10

NICOLAS PEPE

Nicolas Pepe

Nicolas Pepe

RUMOUR: Lille ->  €70m -> Manchester United

Manchester United are among the many clubs fighting for the signature of Lille sensation Nicolas Pepe, according to Daily Express.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN

United are in need of drastic change this summer, especially with the poor form of Anthony Martial, Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs a player with grit, determination and renewed optimism, something that Pepe offers in droves.

If the English side play their cards right, they could convince the Lille star to join them in the summer.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN

United are just not what they used to be. A decade ago, some of the best players in the world flocked to the Theatre of Dreams to have their skills honed by one of the best managers of all time.

Since Sir Alex Ferguson left the club, United have been just another team. There is no reason why Pepe should be choosing United over the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea, given how the Red Devils lack a structured sporting plan and are slowly losing their identity.

If United fail to achieve Champions League football for next season, it’s unlikely that the winger would decide to ply his trade with the Manchester side.

TRANSFER PREDICTOR: 5/10

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Video: Zinedine Zidane reacts to rumours linking Real Madrid with Paul Pogba move

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Zinedine Zidane attempted to pour cold water on rumours linking Real Madrid with a summer move for Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, although the Los Blancos head coach also seemed to suggest a pursuit is possible.

The club are expected to be busy in the transfer window, but Zidane refused to comment on a possible move for his compatriot.

“All I am saying is that, if you ask me about Pogba now, I will tell you that Pogba is a Manchester United player,” said the French coach. “That is all. He is very good, he plays for Manchester United.”

Real, who have endured a difficult season, host Villarreal at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.


Zidane will continue to experiment with his side having little to play for – Real are third, nine points behind second-placed Atletico Madrid and 10 clear of Getafe in fourth with three games of the season remaining.








Real have struggled for consistency under the Frenchman with four wins, two draws and two defeats since he returned in the wake of their Champions League exit at the hands of Ajax.



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Transfer predictor: Donny van de Beek to Real Madrid rumour gets a 6

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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 happenand why.

Today’s edition features potential signings for Real Madrid, Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund.

MOUSSA DEMBELE

MoussaDembeleLyon (1)

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.



WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: We’ve been here before. As the break-up of Monaco showed following their storming run to the UCL semis two seasons ago, for every Kylian Mbappe there is a Thomas Lemar, and likewise Bernardo Silva compared to Tiemoue Bakayoko.

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

JULIAN BRANDT

JulianBrandtLeverkusen (1)

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

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