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.
Swansea City -> £15m -> Manchester United
The Red Devils are among a number of clubs in a fight to sign the Wales winger, according to ESPN.
WHY IT CAN HAPPEN: Lightning quick, youthful and British – James fits the purported profile of signing manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to make this summer. With just one year left on his deal, Swansea will have to sell this summer and United are likely to be the highest bidders.
WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: Everton, Newcastle and promotion-hopefuls Leeds – who almost landed the 21-year-old in January – are all in the chase. James might feel he’ll get more chances there. Will a return of four goals and seven assists from 33 Championship matches be enough to entice United?
Transfer predictor: 8/10
Roma -> €20m -> PSG
The Ligue 1 giants are interested in landing the veteran Bosnia centre forward if Edinson Cavani leaves, according to France Football.
WHY IT CAN HAPPEN: Dzeko only has a year left on his contract at Roma, leaving them in a vulnerable position. His cheap price is attractive to Financial Fair Play-conscious PSG, plus established record of goal scoring throughout several European competitions.
WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: The striker’s form has dropped off a cliff this term, netting just eight times in Serie A. At 33-years old, his best days should be behind him. Dzeko also rejected a January 2018 switch to Chelsea because he is so content in the Eternal City. And don’t forget, Cavani isn’t yet out of the door.
Transfer predictor: 5/10
DONNY VAN DE BEEK
Ajax -> €60m -> Barcelona
Barca are now interested in making Van de Beek their third signing from Ajax this summer, according to Mundo Deportivo.
WHY IT CAN HAPPEN: After the horrors of a second-successive Champions League capitulation, Barca desire a revamp this summer. Frenkie de Jong is secured and Matthijs de Ligt seems inevitable, so why not Van de Beek? His 15 goals from 47 matches this term appeals.
WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: Even if the likes of Ivan Rakitic and Philippe Coutinho are moved on this summer, competition for places will be intense. Suitors such as Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Tottenham Hotspur can offer a clearly route to their XIs. Barca, also, haven’t signed three players from one club in one summer since 1988 with Real Sociedad – and surely Ajax wouldn’t allow it.
Transfer predictor: 2/10
Various reports have emerged suggesting that Swansea winger Daniel James is on the verge of signing for Manchester United.
With Liverpool and Tottenham making it to the Champions League finals, Chelsea and Arsenal setting up a derby clash in Europa League and Manchester City in control of the title race, the pressure on the Red Devils is truly immense.
United are concluding a poor season and are expected to be very active in the summer transfer window. They could complete their first deal as they look to acquire the signature of 21-year-old James.
The winger who has scored four goals and provided seven assists in the Championship could join United for a sum of £15 million, according to Sky Sports News.
Earlier this year, the 21-year-old scored his first international goal for Wales with United legend Ryan Giggs as manager. He was named Man of the Match in the same game as his solitary goal helped Wales edge Slovakia 1-0.
The two teams are close to agreeing a deal and James could be United’s first signing of the summer.
Ajax‘s fairytale run to the Champions League semi-finals ended in heartbreak on Wednesday as the Dutch giants were stunned by a Tottenham comeback, but plenty of players caught the eye during their European adventure.
The Eredivisie side’s model means that several players could now be sold on the back of this campaign, as some of Europe’s biggest clubs could look to raid Ajax for their biggest stars.
A deal has already been agreed for Frenkie de Jong to join Barcelona and captain Matthijs de Ligt is likely headed to the same destination, but who else could be on the move?
Here, we take a look at three Ajax players the rest of Europe should be targeting.
A player with pace, vision and energy, who can play anywhere across a front three and has a penchant for producing brilliant finishes. Hakim Ziyech has been in the shop window for quite a while but this Champions League campaign has surely raised his stock.
Any team looking for a winger or No10 – Manchester United come to mind – should have the 26-year-old on their radar. At his age he’s a ready-made player who can slot straight into a good side, while also potentially developing into an even better player over the next two to three years.
But here’s the clincher: Ziyech’s contract reportedly contains a £25million release clause. At that price, signing the Moroccan is a no-brainer.
Donny van de Beek
De Jong has been stealing all the headlines in Ajax’s midfield, but over the last three rounds of Champions League action his colleague and compatriot Donny van de Beek also began catching the eye. That will happen when you score in both the quarter-final and the semi-final of the Champions League, and both away goals to boot.
And just as important as his goalscoring is his work rate. Ajax’s European run has been filled with instances of Van de Beek diligently joining in the team’s press, at times even ferociously leading it, as the Dutch side made it a point to cause discomfort for opposition defences on the ball.
It’s the sort of trait that Unai Emery would definitely value at Arsenal, for example. And they’re not the only club who could use a player like the 22-year-old.
Tackles in the first 25 minutes in Amsterdam:— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 8, 2019
• Frenkie de Jong: 4
• Donny van de Beek: 4
• All Spurs players combined: 3
Ajax bossing the central midfield. 💪 pic.twitter.com/7C99Qb3d8z
A 23-year-old goalkeeper whose star is rising is a prized prospect. On Wednesday, Onana pulled off a couple of excellent saves, including one outstanding one to deny Fernando Llorente from point-blank range – though Spurs still scored on the rebound. He’s also every bit the modern keeper, passing well under pressure as well as functioning as a sweeper-keeper when his side are defending.
Barcelona have the inside track to re-sign him but the Cameroon international may not prefer a return to the club where he began his career. Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s stellar form over the last two seasons means the route to the first team will be blocked for the foreseeable future – the German is only 27. Clubs looking for a long-term goalkeeper should be lining up outside Ajax’s door.