Transfer predictor: Maxi Gomez to Barcelona is a 6, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to Juventus a 7

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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, Juventus and Manchester United.

MAXI GOMEZ

BeFunky-collage (1)

RUMOUR: Celta Vigo -> €40m -> Barcelona

The La Liga champions are considering their options after a €25m bid was rejected for Luis Suarez’s deputy at international level, according to Radio Galega.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN: The ageing Suarez’s continued travails in the Champions League make signing a like-for-like substitute vital. Gomez has been a steady scorer in two seasons – 30 in 69 La Liga matches – with Celta, while boasting the “garra charrua” (fighting spirit) expected of all Uruguayans.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: A pursuit of Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann could take up resources for the No9 pursuit. Tottenham have also reportedly registered their intent – and competition is likely to grow further. Barca are also exploring other options.

TRANSFER PREDICTOR: 6/10

SERGEJ MILINKOVIC-SAVIC

BeFunky-collage (3)

RUMOUR: Lazio -> €110m -> Juventus

Personal terms are agreed with the highly rated Serbia centre midfielder and now tough discussions await to secure a fee with Lazio, according to gianlucadimarzio.com.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN: Juve have tracked ‘SMS’ for several seasons – and now could be an apt moment to strike. The highs of 2017/18 were not replicated in 2018/19, though the Serie A champions believe the talent remains. With wages out of the way and Lazio again not qualified for the Champions League, a deal looks distinctly possible.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: Can a package that goes into nine figures be justified on a player who notched just five goals and three assists from 31 Serie A appearances last term? Lazio both know Juve’s pressing need for new midfield options, plus the value of creating an auction for Milinkovic-Savic’s services.

TRANSFER PREDICTOR: 7/10

AARON WAN-BISSAKA

BeFunky-collage (4)

RUMOUR: Crystal Palace -> £50m -> Manchester United

United have been told that a substantial £50m fee will be required to bring the England Under-21 right-back to Old Trafford, according to the Daily Mirror.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN: The steep decline in veteran Ashley Young’s performances for United was matched by the precipitous rise of Wan-Bissaka at Palace.

The 21-year-old is a performer of huge promise, notching three assists from 35 top-flight outings and being one of Europe’s most-prolific tacklers. The price tag is a large one, but, with the Red Devils’ 2018/19 rearguard in such disarray, they should be willing to pay it.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: Wan-Bissaka has already spoken of his contentment at Palace and is unlikely to desperately push for a move. Ominously, champions Manchester City are also reported to hold a firm interest.

Greater first-team opportunities are offered by becoming a red, but playing in the Champions League under Pep Guardiola is a seductive alternative.

TRANSFER PREDICTOR: 7/10

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Antoine Griezmann signing could be problematic for Barcelona, says Xavi

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Antoine Griezmann.

Barcelona legend Xavi believes the manner in which Antoine Griezmann turned down a move to the club last summer might make the players less welcoming towards the Frenchman if he joins from Atletico Madrid during this transfer window.

Griezmann flirted with a move last summer, leaving his intentions unclear until the end of an hour-long documentary in which he revealed he was staying at Atletico. However, last week he announced that he would be leaving the club, with Barcelona the likeliest destination.

But reports have suggested that his potential new team-mates are not all in favour of having the World Cup winner among their ranks, and Xavi understands why the players could be against Griezmann’s arrival.

“I understand it hurt what he did last summer,” the former captain told Sport.

“If the reason for the rejection [from Barca players] was only a footballing issue, I’d speak with the dressing room to make them see he’s a player who can bring something.

“We have to see, however, who is signing him? The sporting director? [Ernesto] Valverde? The president?

“If I came to Barca I would ask for the signings, and if the dressing room doesn’t agree with any of them, I’d speak with them, but in the end I decide. Be it Griezmann or whoever.

“Another thing would be if the coach doesn’t want him either. Then we have a problem.”

Valverde is reportedly in favour of signing the man who helped lead France to World Cup glory last summer, though he has been non-committal in public.

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Transfer predictor: Why Man United may still return with second Kalidou Koulibaly bid

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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 arguably the world’s best centre-back, a gem from a smaller Premier League club and a catastrophic flop.

KALIDOU KOULIBALY

0419 Koulibaly

Napoli -> €110m -> Man United

Manchester United have been rebuffed by Napoli in a €110m bid for Kalidou Koulibaly as they continue their search for a centre-back, claims Gazzetta dello Sport.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN: Pure desperation. United crave a world-class centre-back – and there’s no one on Koulibaly’s level right now apart from Virgil van Dijk. If Ed Woodward was reportedly willing to chuck €100m at Koulibaly and even Raphael Varane last season, given the club’s woeful state of affairs, he may try and tempt cantankerous Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis with an even bigger bid.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: There is a limit to United’s fortunes and while Koulibaly would be a near-certain success, he does turn 28 in July. And what of Joao Felix, the Portuguese wonderkid who may also set the club back by €120m? There is of course the fact that Napoli are in the Champions League, while United will be floundering in the Europa League. Would Koulibaly go that far to force a move to a fallen giant?

Transfer predictor: 5/10

RYAN FRASER

Ryan Fraser

Bournemouth -> £30m -> Liverpool

With Ryan Fraser’s contract at Bournemouth up in 12 months’ time, Liverpool have thrown their hat into the ring alongside and Arsenal and Manchester United for the Scotland winger’s services, say The Sun.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN: Young and established Premier League talent at a smaller club – Liverpool have been here before with Andy Robertson, Georginio Wijnaldum and what seems like the entire Southampton squad. The versatile 25-year-old would be a excellent rotational piece on the left for Sadio Mane, and could perhaps also play in the midfield three.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: The report suggests that Reds would be content to sit and wait for Fraser to run out his contract, which means the Cherries could be inclined to accept a bid this year rather than let him walk for free. United and Arsenal need to freshen up their squads while Fraser would likely be a supplementary piece at Anfield. Why wait if you can make a name for yourself – and a lot more money – elsewhere?

Transfer predictor: 4/10

ALEXIS SANCHEZ

0304 Sanchez

Man United -> free -> Inter Milan

The Sunday Times have reported that Inter Milan are exploring the possibility of rescuing Alexis Sanchez from his Old Trafford nightmare.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN: United are desperate to bring players in – and they’re also desperate to offload them. Despite his astronomical wages circa £500k per week, the Red Devils are ready to book his ticket to Italy if Inter will take him for free. What’s in it for Inter? Well, a potentially special player who was unbelievable with Udinese a decade ago when first bursting onto the scene. His wretched form is at least partially down to United’s dysfunction.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: Did you see those wages? Sanchez could quite possibly decide to ride out his ridiculous contract for another three years, and even taking a 50 per cent pay cut may not be enough for Inter. It will also depend on whether Antonio Conte views Sanchez as the right fit, or indeed the right priority, with the Italian expected to oust Luciano Spalletti and take over at the Nerazzurri.

Transfer predictor: 5/10

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