Fallen Premier League heavyweights Manchester United are prepared to activate the €50 million release clause in defensive midfielder Thomas Partey’s Atletico Madrid contract, according to Footballghana.com.
Partey, 25, has grown into an impressive performer for Los Rojiblancos since the start of 2017/18. The Ghana international’s progress has not gone unnoticed elsewhere, with the Red Devils viewing him as an ideal replacement for Paris Saint-Germain- bound Ander Herrera.
Inter Milan and Arsenal are set to provide competition for the signature of a player who netted three times in 32 La Liga run-outs in 2018/19.
Any move has been eased by the existence of a termination fee that agent Jose Daniel Jimenez Pozanco confirmed earlier in the week.
“Inter is a top club, but I haven’t talked to anyone yet,” the Spaniard told passioneinter.com.
“The termination clause in Thomas’s contract is €50m, and that’s a cheap figure for a player like him.
“Let the season end and then we’ll see what happens “
Partey linked up with Atleti as a teenager in 2011. He played on loan at Mallorca and Almeria from 2013-15, before breaking into Diego Simeone’s first-team squad.
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 the most sought-after centre-back in Europe, a proven Premier League forward and a potential superstar in the making.
MATTHIJS DE LIGT
Ajax -> €70m -> Liverpool
Liverpool are definitely interested in Matthijs de Ligt and have “been talking to him”, football journalist Guillem Balague has been quoted saying on BBC Radio 5 Live’s podcast by Liverpool Echo.
WHY IT CAN HAPPEN: The Reds are one of the strongest forces in Europe at the moment and with a near-perfect squad already, certainly have the financial power to sign De Ligt. The Dutchman would be an asset to any side and is reportedly eager to develop alongside compatriot Virgil van Dijk.
WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: On the flip side, De Ligt may suffer from always being measured against the world’s best centre-back in Van Dijk. He may decide he’s better served to grow outside of the Liverpool defender’s shadow at a club where he would be the leader in defence.
With Joe Gomez returning to the fold next season, one of England’s brightest prospects, the Reds may decide spending €70m on another young, and potentially world class, centre-back wouldn’t be in their best interests.
Transfer predictor: 5/10
Crystal Palace -> €45m -> Arsenal
Arsenal are preparing a €45m bid for Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha, according to The Sun.
WHY IT CAN HAPPEN: Zaha has reportedly told the Eagles that he is determined to leave for a club competing in the Champions League. A move to the Emirates Stadium would see him remain in London while joining a pacey attack that includes Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could pay off for both club and player.
WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: Palace are reluctant to sell and have set Zaha’s asking price at €91m. They could leave the decision until late in the summer to hold out for a better deal and Arsenal might move on to someone else by then. The Gunners are unlikely to even come close to the asking fee.
Transfer predictor: 6/10
Benfica -> €120m -> Manchester United
Manchester United have begun negotiations with Benfica for Joao Felix and are prepared to trigger the youngster’s €120m release clause, Portuguese outlet Record report.
WHY IT CAN HAPPEN: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made it clear United will target young and hungry players this summer. In Felix, they could acquire a global superstar in the making, one that would also appeal to their marketing ambitions.
With the ability to play anywhere in the final third, the 19-year-old should be a superb option for United as they have struggled for creativity and goal threat this season.
WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: A major overhaul could be on Solskjaer’s hands this summer and spending €120m on a new talent is a big risk. From Felix’s point of view as well, Atletico Madrid – who are also in the race for his signature – would provide a more stable environment and he could take over from the departing Antoine Griezmann.
Transfer predictor: 7/10
Jadon Sancho has seemingly ruled out a move away from Borussia Dortmund this summer after saying he’s targeting winning the Bundesliga next season following the Black and Yellows’ final-day heartbreak on Saturday.
Dortmund needed a win and a Bayern Munich loss to win the league for the first time since 2012, and though they beat Borussia Monchengladbach 2-0 their rivals bettered the result with a 5-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt, meaning Sancho’s side missed out by two points despite having a nine-point lead over Bayern at one stage this season.
The young Englishman nevertheless was one of the stars of the season, scoring 12 league goals and adding 14 assists – topping the Bundesliga charts – to mark himself out as one of Europe’s rising stars.
There has been speculation that he could return to his home country this summer, with Manchester United heavily linked with a move, but for now the 19-year-old seems set to stay put in Germany for at least one more season.
“I’m really happy with how I played this season,” Sancho told reporters after Saturday’s win, as reported by Goal. “I never knew it was going to be like this.
“From the start I wasn’t really playing often, but then I started playing often later in the season.
“It was all about hard work.
“The team helped me and the coach has faith me in me and I’m thankful.
“Next season we’ll be targeting the win, not to come second.”