Transfer Predictor: Nicolo Zaniolo a no go for Spurs? Toffees might come unstuck in Callum Wilson pursuit

Matt Jones 18/05/2019
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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 rising Italian stallion, a seasoned Premier League striker who no-one would begrudge a big move, as well as a possible Liverpool departure.

NICOLO ZANIOLO

Nicolo Zaniolo

Roma -> £40m -> Tottenham

Tottenham are reportedly lining up a bid for the Italian wonderkid amid growing interest in the teenager, according to the Mirror.

WHY IT CAN HAPPEN: Roma have certainly developed a reputation as a selling club over the past few years after off-loading Radja Nainggolan, Mohamed Salah and Allison for big fees.

An ingenious bit of business last summer saw Zaniolo pass Belgian misfit Nainggolan on his way out of the Eternal City. And even though the Giallorossi will want to keep hold of a player who’s scored six goals in 33 appearances in all competitions, they’d make a handsome profit on the paltry €4.5million they paid for him.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: The 19-year-old is happy in the Italian capital, telling Sky Sport Italia recently: “I still have four years left on my contract and I’m happy here. I see my future at Roma.”

Sure, he could still be lured. Who wouldn’t want to play for the Champions League winners? Having said that, Spurs still have to get past Liverpool and, even if the teenager is tempted, he may feel Real Madrid, Juventus or Bayern Munich are more attractive options.

Transfer predictor: 5/10

CALLUM WILSON

Callum Wilson

Bournemouth -> £35m -> Everton

Everton are planning to pick Wilson from the Cherries, as part of a potential overall £100m spending spree this summer, according to the Sun.

WHY IT CAN HAPPEN: It has to be a case of now or never for Wilson. He’s just fired his highest ever Premier League tally of 14 goals – the first time he’s broken double digits – and won his first England cap as a substitute against the United States in November.

At 27, he’s entering his prime and probably only has one shot at a final big-money, big club move. Eddie Howe and Bournemouth want to keep him, plus he has three years left on his contract, but Wilson would surely be sent fondly on his way, especially as they’d be set for a huge profit on a player who only cost them £3m five years ago.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: Everton have already spent more than £350m on new players since Farhad Moshiri became owner three years ago, and they’ll have to sell before they can acquire any more players. Plus, manager Marco Silva is desperate to sign Andre Gomes and Kurt Zouma on permanent deals after their successful seasons on loan.

Wilson could also be content on the south coast.

Transfer predictor: 6/10

ADAM LALLANA

Adam Lallana

Adam Lallana

Liverpool -> £13m -> Southampton

Lallana is planning a return to Southampton amid fears he has no place at Liverpool, according to the Express.

WHY IT CAN HAPPEN: The ex-Saint has hardly sinned at Anfield but a succession of injuries means he is not at the forefront of boss Jurgen Klopp’s plans, especially as the Reds have risen to become one of the fiercest forces in world football under the German.

They’ve done that with the England international largely in the treatment room and he is surplus to requirements this summer.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: On his day, and when fit, Lallana can be a vital pawn in a squad fighting on all fronts and Klopp might loathe to lose an experienced, talented player with 34 England caps to his name.

As much as it would be a homecoming for the 31-year-old, not all Saints fans would welcome him back with open arms – Lallana is one of a clutch of players to ditch St Mary’s for stardom in recent years. Plus, his injury record will also be of pressing concern.

Transfer predictor: 7/10

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Updates on David Neres, Alvaro Morata and Gonzalo Higuain as Chelsea assess striker situation

Nick Purewal 18/05/2019
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Ajax star David Neres

Chelsea could turn their search for a new striker towards Ajax’s David Neres with Luka Jovic poised to sign for Real Madrid.

The Blues had been closely tailing Eintracht Frankfurt hitman Jovic, but the 21-year-old Serbia striker should shortly finalise his Madrid move.

Chelsea remain hopeful of having their two-window FIFA transfer ban frozen while appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), so are pushing ahead with tentative recruitment plans.

And Stamford Bridge bosses are understood to favour a move for Brazil star Neres now that Jovic appears out of reach.

Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool and Arsenal are all also eyeing a move for £40million-rated Neres, who has impressed amid Ajax’s run to the Champions League semi-finals and the Eredivisie title.

Real Madrid bound Luka Jovic

Real Madrid bound Luka Jovic

The 22-year-old hit 10 goals in 42 matches in Ajax’s fine campaign, catching the attention of a clutch of top clubs when scoring in the 4-1 Champions League win at Real Madrid in March.

Chelsea enjoy a positive relationship with Neres’ agents Giuliano Bertolucci and Kia Joorabchian, with the pair representing Blues defender David Luiz.

Gonzalo Higuain would likely return to parent club Juventus should Chelsea recruit a new forward, with the Blues then not extending the ex-Argentina striker’s time at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea are still expected to trigger the one-year extension in Olivier Giroud’s contract to keep him in west London next season.

Winger Christian Pulisic will join the Blues this summer, with the USA star’s arrival to some extent offsetting Eden Hazard’s expected departure to Real Madrid.

Striker Tammy Abraham, midfielder Mason Mount and right-back Reece James head the queue of Chelsea stars returning from loans pushing for first-team chances next term.

One Blues forward not keen to return is Atletico Madrid loan man Alvaro Morata.

Alvaro Morata

Alvaro Morata

“What is clear is what I want, I want to be here,” Morata told Marca.

“I’m going to do all I can to keep playing here, I did all I could to come and I will do all I can to stay.

“I’m not thinking about going back anywhere, only being here.

“I’m happy here and I want to be here for the years I have left at the top level.”

Morata also backed Hazard to shine anywhere in the world, as the Belgium talisman closes in on a move to Real.

“He’s one of the best players in the world and could fit in well in any team,” said Morata.

“He’s a top player and top person, he’d fit in at any team.”

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Paulo Dybala's agent hints at Juventus exit but insists issues with Cristiano Ronaldo are not personal

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In Cristiano Ronaldo's shadow

Paulo Dybala’s brother and agent Gustavo Dybala cleared the air regarding the relationship between the Argentine and Cristiano Ronaldo.

The attacking midfielder has had to take a backseat to accommodate the Portuguese and has long been linked to a move away from Juventus.

Gustavo confirmed that his brother’s issues with Ronaldo are purely on the field and nothing personal.

“There’s no problems with [Ronaldo] off the field, the problems are on it,” Gustavo Dybala told Radio Impact Cordoba.

“You cannot beat [Ronaldo] and Paulo is young.

He also signalled that Dybala might not be the only player at Juventus who will be on his way out, with a few other players feeling unhappy at the club.

“There are many possibilities that Paulo leaves Juve, he needs a change. He’s not happy and he’s not the only one who’ll leave. Many players are unhappy at Juventus, not just Paulo.”

“He was very comfortable in Italy, but now he’s not,” he concluded.

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