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.
MATTHIJS DE LIGT
RUMOUR: Ajax -> €70m -> Manchester United
Barcelona are set to lose out to Manchester United in the race to sign Ajax starlet Matthijs de Ligt, according to Marca.
WHY IT WILL HAPPEN: Mino Raiola has a reputation for steering his clients towards the more financially appealing move and De Ligt is no different. RAC1 have reported that United are preparing to to offer a €14m-a-year deal for the young centre-back. With Clement Lenglet impressing at Camp Nou, Barcelona may be unwilling to meet the wages on offer at Old Trafford. United poses a unique challenge at the moment which may appeal to someone of De Ligt’s character while, at 19, there’s plenty of time for the Dutchman to eventually make his mark in La Liga.
WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: There’s no Champions League football available at United in the coming season for starters. De Ligt will hope he’ll only have to return to Europa League action for one season though. While leading the club into a new era is appealing, making a big move like this in uncertain times is a huge risk.
TRANSFER PREDICTOR: 7/10
RUMOUR: Napoli -> €90m -> Real Madrid
Real Madrid have had their offer of €90m for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly rejected, Corriere dello Sport.
WHY IT WILL HAPPEN: A bid in the region of €90m for an accomplished player, who challenges Virgil van Dijk for the title of world’s best defender, was always going to be a starting point. After a disastrous season though, Madrid could decide to go hard in the transfer market and make Napoli an offer they’ll struggle to turn down. Their defence is certainly crying out for an imposing figure like Koulibaly.
WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: The Serie A club are under no pressure to sell as they have the Senegalese international under contract until 2023 while his release clause of €150m kicks in next year. Aurelio De Laurentiis is reportedly formulating his own plans to launch a serious title challenge next season and Koulibaly is unsurprisingly a big part of that.
TRANSFER PREDICTOR: 5/10
GIOVANI LO CELSO
RUMOUR: Real Betis -> €60m -> Tottenham
Tottenham are in talks with Argentina midfielder Giovani Lo Celso over a summer switch to the Premier League, AS report.
WHY IT WILL HAPPEN: Christian Eriksen has emerged as a chief target for Madrid and Spurs could be looking at Lo Celso as a viable replacement. The Argentina international has shown great form in the past season, scoring 16 goals and assisting six others in all competitions. It’s that kind of contribution to the goals column along with his work-rate and ability to carry the ball forward that should appeal to Spurs and their style of play.
WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: The fee could prove to be a stumbling block as Tottenham would have to smash their club transfer record – €48m for Davinson Sanchez – to acquire Lo Celso’s services. Meanwhile, Betis will be reluctant to lower their asking price as they will owe 20 per cent of the fee to Paris Saint-Germain from whom they signed him in April after initially picking him up on loan. Also, much will depend on Eriksen’s decision.
TRANSFER PREDICTOR: 6/10
Eintracht Frankfurt striker and Real Madrid transfer target Luka Jovic has said that he would like to play in a different league, fuelling speculation that he may leave the Bundesliga club at the end of the season.
In an interview with Die Welt newspaper to be published on Sunday, Jovic said that he was close to making a decision about his future, and that he did not think the Bundesliga suited his style of play.
“Teams press high and run a lot in the Bundesliga,” said the 21-year-old Serbian international.
“After my experiences in the Europa League this season, I would say that other leagues in Europe suit me better.”
“I have the feeling that I would be more comfortable in the Premier League or Serie A.”
Jovic scored 27 goals in all competitions this season, helping Frankfurt to the Europa League semi-finals and seventh place in the Bundesliga.
His dazzling form has put him on the radar of Europe’s top clubs, and Spanish media have linked him with a €60 million move to Real Madrid.
The Serbian did not confirm or deny the rumour, saying he did not want to appear distracted.
“I haven’t bothered with the speculation. Believe me, it was important for me to be there for Eintracht. I didn’t want people to say that my head was somewhere else,” he told Welt.
Jovic suggested that he would make a decision about his future in the near future.
“My future is open. I will sit down and discuss it with my agent in the coming days,” he said.
“I want to take further steps in my career.”
“I am looking forward to testing my level against the best players in the world.”
Manchester City want to hang on to Leroy Sane and are preparing to hold talks with the German’s representatives over a new deal, Press Association Sport understands.
Sane is contracted to the domestic treble winners for the next two seasons but there has been speculation that Bayern Munich are intent on trying to lure the 23-year-old back to Germany.
The Bundesliga champions will attempt to plug the sizeable gaps that will be created when wide men Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery depart the club over the summer, and it has been reported that Sane fits the bill.
Sane scored 16 goals in 47 appearances in all competitions this season but has struggled to command a regular starting spot in the last few months.
He was reduced to late cameos in both the finals of the Carabao Cup and FA Cup, while he started only three of City’s final 11 fixtures.
Yet Sane, who joined from Schalke three years ago for £37million, is clearly still part of Pep Guardiola’s plans going forward and City hope to be able to convince the player to commit his long-term future to the club.
Provided by Press Association Sport