Transfer Predictor: Wilfried Zaha to Arsenal gets a 5 while Dani Olmo to Barcelona is a 4

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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 potential signings for Arsenal, Barcelona and Leeds.

WILFRIED ZAHA

Wilfried Zaha

Crystal Palace -> £55 million -> Arsenal

Metro report that Unai Emery has asked the Arsenal board for extra funds to complete the signing of Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN

Playing Denis Suarez on the wing was an experiment that clearly didn’t work out last season. Some firepower in the form of Zaha can liberate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and give the Gabon goalscorer the chance to play exclusively up top.

Zaha’s experience in the Premier League would be handy and ensures he settles instantly. The player has told Palace he intends to move on, after deciding to stick around in light of interest from Chelsea a year ago, and with a good offer, it’s unlikely the club will provide any resistance.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN

Emery is believed to have a minuscule transfer budget of around £45 million which is a serious problem. Assuming Emery is successful in convincing the board to add additional funds, it still means that Arsenal will be unlikely to buy any other player unless they sell.

Also, Zaha has made it clear he wants to feature in the Champions League. He will have to wait for at least a year to have his wish granted in an Arsenal shirt.

TRANSFER RATING 5/10

DANI OLMO

Dinamo Zagreb -> €25 million -> Barcelona

After impressive showings for Dinamo Zagreb and a positive U21 Euros campaign so far, Spanish winger Dani Olmo has attracted interest from top European clubs. Bayer Leverkusen have launched a €25 million bid but Marca report that Barcelona have also entered the race.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN

Olmo is a La Masia graduate who was at the club until 2014 when he left for Croatia. The 21-year-old hence already has the built-in ‘Barca DNA’, having experienced his teenage years in the famed academy.

The winger has won four league titles and three cups at Zagreb, scoring 12 goals and providing nine assists in the 2018/19 season alone. These could be indicators that he is ready for a return to the Catalan club.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN

Malcom’s situation at Barca could serve as a warning to Olmo, as he looks to work on his development.

The Brazilian arrived at Camp Nou after a breakout season with Bordeaux but failed to earn the trust of coach Ernesto Valverde.

With Ousmane Dembele tipped for a big role in the future and the return of Neymar still on the cards, Olmo could find it hard to get the minutes he deserves. The Spaniard could hence opt for Leverkusen.

TRANSFER RATING: 4/10

GIANLUIGI BUFFON

Gianluigi Buffon

Paris-Saint Germain -> Free transfer -> Leeds

A host of clubs are after veteran Gianluigi Buffon who will be available on a free transfer after he refused to extend with PSG. Italian outlet Coirriere della Sera suggest that Championship side Leeds United are one of the clubs trying to persuade the Italian veteran to join them.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN

Due to his advanced age, a move to a top European club would not appear to be on the cards. The pull-factor provided by the genius of compatriot Marcelo Bielsa and the prospect of experiencing English football could tempt Buffon into a move to Yorkshire.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN

Portuguese club Porto are also in the tussle for the Italian’s signature, with doubts cast over the future of Iker Casillas owing to health concerns following a mild cardiac arrest.

Brazilian outfit Fluminense are also said to be interested and Leeds appear to be the club with the smallest profile among the suitors.

TRANSFER RATING: 2/10

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Vinicius dreams of playing alongside Neymar and Kylian Mbappe at Real Madrid

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Real Madrid youngster Vinicius Junior expressed his desire to play alongside Neymar and Kylian Mbappe while donning the Los Blancos.

The Paris Saint-Germain duo has been linked to a move to the Spanish capital and the Brazilian provided his thumbs up in an interview with Telefoot.

Vinicius claimed that Neymar and Mbappe arriving at the Santiago Bernabeu could fulfil the dreams of millions across the world.

The 19-year-old remained confident that the Frenchman will make a switch soon.

“Of course he [Neymar] could join Real Madrid but, at the moment, I do not know what he will do,” the Real Madrid youngster told Telefoot, according to Goal.

“Of course, he could be in Madrid or PSG I do not know, but it’d still better [if he were at] Madrid.

“I want to play with Neymar, for sure, and also with Kylian Mbappe, and all the Madrid fans dream of having him here, and I know it because I’m there.

It’s not only Madrid fans because the fans of all teams in the world would like to see Mbappe play under their colours.”

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Transfer predictor: Juventus pursuit of De Ligt gets 7, new destination for Eriksen

Matt Jones 23/06/2019
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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 recent times and give a balanced judgment on whether the move really will happen – and why.

Today’s edition features a tantalising offer from Turin for one of the game’s brightest stars, a new destination for a Real Madrid target and a young Scottish left-back heading for the Big Smoke.

MATTHIJS DE LIGT

Matthijs de Ligt

Ajax -> €70m -> Juventus

Juventus have reportedly moved ahead of Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona in negotiations for the 19-year-old, according to Sky in Italy.

WHY IT CAN HAPPEN: It’s been one of the most intriguing transfer stories of the summer so far. The hottest defensive property on the market appeared destined to follow compatriot Frenkie de Jong to Barcelona – but now Juve and PSG appear to have moved to the front of the queue.

The French giants offered the 19-year-old a five-year contract worth £340,000 a week earlier this month, and they are the preferred destination of his agent, Mino Raiola.

But the Bianconeri are also said to have tabled a lucrative deal, which is believed would make him the second-highest-paid player behind Cristiano Ronaldo.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: The world is De Ligt’s oyster and while any move is going to make him a very rich man, as well as open up more opportunity for success in bigger leagues and at bigger clubs, he is right to feel his options would be more limited in Turin.

PSG’s Champions League capabilities are probably on par with Juve’s, while Premier League champions Manchester City are an attractive proposition.

Transfer predictor: 7/10

CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN

eriksen

Tottenham -> £100m -> Man United

Real Madrid’s move for Eden Hazard has led the Denmark international to believe his dream move to the Bernabeu is over, and he is looking for other options, according to the Mirror.

WHY IT CAN HAPPEN: The player is destined for pastures new, having already spoken of seeking a new challenge, telling Spurs team-mates he is leaving and packing up his north London house before the Champions League final.

Eriksen had his heart set on Madrid, but Hazard’s arrival means Zinedine Zidane is likely to target other positions to strengthen. United or Juventus are the Dane’s most viable options, with his sale freeing up vital funds for Mauricio Pochettino, who is keen on Wilfried Zaha.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: Despite their willingness to sell, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is renowned as one of the toughest negotiators in football, and it is unlikely Eriksen leaves for anything less than the full £100m asking price.

Turin might appear a more palatable move for a player who might not fancy the volatile Old Trafford environment.

Transfer predictor: 5/10

KIERAN TIERNEY

Kieran Tierney

Celtic -> £25m -> Arsenal

The Gunners have already had a bid rejected, but the Glasgow Evening Times reports that manager Neil Lennon would be ‘surprised’ if the talented left-back doesn’t move away from Glasgow.

WHY IT CAN HAPPEN: Even at the tender age of 22, there is not much left for Tierney to achieve north of the border. He has won three trebles in his four seasons in the senior side as well as a slew of individual honours (he claimed the PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year award three successive years from 2016-18).

Arsenal’s £15m bid was rebuffed last week but they are expected to make an improved offer.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: Tierney is a Hoops fan at heart, so it might be too much of a wrench to leave the club he loves.

There is also the fact the Scotland international only played sporadically in 2019 because of a hernia problem, and he is still recuperating from surgery.

Transfer predictor: 8/10

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