Transfer predictor: Alexandre Lacazette to Barcelona rumour gets a 5

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Struggling to figure out which transfers could happen and which seem like they’ve come straight out of Football Manager? The silly season is in full flow ahead of the summer transfer window. 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 Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain.

ALEXANDRE LACAZETTE

RUMOUR: Arsenal -> £70m -> Barcelona

Lacazette

Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette has responded to reports from Spanish and English media from a week ago by claiming he is flattered by interest from Barcelona, Marca claims.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN:

Barcelona need a striker and they’re casting their net far and wide. Luka Jovic was rumoured to be the top target as a replacement for Luis Suarez, but the Eintracht Frankfurt man seems destined for a move to Real Madrid, forcing Barca to look elsewhere.

Lacazette wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize. He’s content at Arsenal, but he doesn’t start every game and, more crucially, he continues to get looked over for national team selection. Performing at Barcelona would help his case. He’d be a good fit at the Catalan club, with his movement and vision making him an ideal foil for Lionel Messi.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN:

Lacazette is too important to Arsenal. His return of 13 league goals this season may have been his lowest return in a domestic campaign since 2012/13, but he is still a key part of Unai Emery’s team, as Lacazette’s partnership with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has led Arsenal’s attack. He was also just named the club’s player of the season, so he knows he’s appreciated. Arsenal wouldn’t want to let him leave.

TRANSFER PREDICTOR: 5/10

MATTHIJS DE LIGT

RUMOUR: Ajax -> £75m -> Liverpool

According to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona are worried that Liverpool could hijack their move for Matthijs de Ligt, after a switch from Ajax to Spain looked all but confirmed for most of this season.

Matthijs de Ligt

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN:

Barcelona may seem like a dream destination but the club is destined for a summer of upheaval – possibly not the best time to join. Liverpool, meanwhile, have reached the Champions League final two years in a row and have just completed a stellar Premier League campaign, even if they fell short of winning the title. Plus, the idea of playing alongside compatriot Virgil van Dijk should appeal to De Ligt, given the partnership the two have struck up for the Netherlands.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN:

Much of the talk around De Ligt’s potential destination seems to have sprung up purely because Barcelona haven’t sealed the deal yet like they did with the defender’s team-mate, Frenkie de Jong, who was announced in January. But while this particular transfer is taking more time, the La Liga champions have long been the front-runners, and there have been several hints from the player himself that his heart is set on a move to Barcelona. A late change seems unlikely.

TRANSFER PREDICTOR: 4/10

DAVID DE GEA

RUMOUR: Manchester United -> £60m -> PSG

Canal+ reporter Geoffroy Garetier says Paris Saint-Germain will be in for the Manchester United goalkeeper this summer, as he would be an upgrade on Gianluigi Buffon and Alphonse Areola.

de gea

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN:

A turbulent season for both club and player has come to an unsatisfying end, as United have missed out on Champions League football and De Gea has seen his stock fall. At 28 he probably has little appetite for being part of a rebuild, so a team that can compete for major honours would appeal to him.

Contract negotiations have remained stalled between the two sides and though the club would be loathe to see their standout player of the six seasons leave, with De Gea entering the final year of his current deal a substantial bid might be enough to see his eight-year stay at United come to an end.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN:

Even with only a year left on his contract, De Gea isn’t leaving for anything less than a world-record fee, despite the poor season he’s had by his standards. £60million probably wouldn’t be enough to even bring United to the table. And for the club, tying their star goalkeeper down to a long-term contract is priority no. 1 this summer.

TRANSFER PREDICTOR: 6/10

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Yaya Toure denies he has retired from playing football

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Yaya Toure has insisted he has not yet retired, days after his agent said the former Ivory Coast international was ready to move into coaching.

Agent Dimitry Seluk used Twitter on Friday to say the ex-Manchester City midfielder had “ended his playing career” but the 35-year-old refuted that on Sunday after commentating on City’s Premier League title triumph at Brighton.

“There has been a lot of confusion about my future recently,” Toure wrote on Twitter.

“I want to make it clear here that I love football and I’m still in contention to play for a few more years.

“Yes, I’m starting to prepare myself for coaching badges but full time coaching is not what I’m thinking right now.”

Toure left City after eight seasons in 2018 and later signed for former club Olympiakos.

But he left the Greek side three months later and has not played since December last year.

“I am now ready and focused to take new challenges in playing football,” Toure added.

“And don’t worry once the time has come, I will announce my retirement personally and officially by myself.”

Provided by Press Association Sport 

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Transfer predictor: Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan gets an 8, but Richarlison to Atletico only a 3

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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 a couple of potential Premier League departures, plus signings for Inter Milan and Paris Saint-Germain.

ROMELU LUKAKU

Romelu Lukaku 3

Manchester United -> £75m -> Inter Milan

A number of clubs are keen on the big Belgian striker, but Corriere dello Sport say expectant new Nerazzurri boss Antonio Conte has requested the club to sign Lukaku.

WHY IT CAN HAPPEN: If former Chelsea boss Conte does indeed come in and replace the under pressure Luciano Spalletti, he’ll want a marquee signing to accompany his arrival. And they don’t come much bigger than Lukaku, who would be an ideal replacement for the controversial Mauro Icardi.

He hasn’t had a great second season at Old Trafford and doesn’t really fit the free-flowing, fast style of play Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking to implement. He hasn’t exactly been coy on his desire to play in Serie A either, saying recently: “Playing in Serie A is a dream, it would be really a dream.” Don’t forget, Conte wanted Lukaku back at Chelsea before having to settle for Alvaro Morata.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: French giants PSG are also interested and would surely be able to offer the frontman a more lucrative package. Lukaku would also relish the idea of possibly replacing either Edinson Cavani or Neymar, with both of their futures unclear.

There’s also the possibility of him remaining a Red Devil – his record hasn’t been disastrous this season (15 goals in 45 games) – with United having more pressing needs other than a striker.

Transfer predictor: 8/10

RICHARLISON

Richarlison

Everton -> £70m -> Atletico Madrid

The Mirror claims the Brazilian has caught the eye of the Spanish giants, as well as PSG, who see him as a perfect replacement for departing stars.

WHY IT CAN HAPPEN: Atleti are likely going to be in the market for a striker, despite the success of on loan Chelsea forward Alvaro Morata, and both they and PSG can offer the pacy striker Champions League football next season, in addition to a serious improvement on his current wages of a reported £125,000-a-week. Antoine Griezmann could also be leaving for Barcelona (where have we heard that before?).

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: The 22-year-old is settled on Merseyside and content to stick with the Toffees, whom he only joined last summer for £40m, from Watford.

He’s popular in the dressing room and with the Goodison Park outfit finally finding their feet under Marco Silva towards the end of the season, they will feel they can push on and challenge for the Champions League next term.

Transfer predictor: 3/10

TIM WEAH

TimothyWeahPSG (2) (1)

PSG -> £10m -> Crystal Palace

The Eagles, Rennes and a third unnamed club are reportedly ready to swoop to sign the son of the President of Liberia and former Ballon D’Or winner George Weah, according to RMC (via Get French Football News).

WHY IT CAN HAPPEN: Despite carrying the name of greatness on his back, Weah has no future at PSG and is set to be sold this summer. There was a possibility of a second loan spell with Celtic, but on Friday the 19-year-old said goodbye to the Scottish club via Instagram as he gets set to link up with the United States’ U20 side to play in the World Cup in Poland starting at the end of the month.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: Despite a moderately successful loan spell with the Hoops – Weah scored four goals in 17 appearances overall and helped the Scottish giants claim yet another league title – Weah is still a very raw prospect.

Palace, and Rennes, may not want to risk a fee – however modest it’s likely to be – on a promising player who remains something of a gamble.

Transfer predictor: 5/10

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