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.
DONNY VAN DE BEEK
Ajax -> €60m -> Real Madrid
The Netherlands centre midfielder has emerged as ‘Plan B’ if a complex – and expensive – deal for Manchester United’s Paul Pogba cannot be arranged, according to Marca.
WHY IT WILL HAPPEN: Van de Beek impressed during Ajax’s sensational 2018/19 campaign, with his energy and direct approach appealing to Los Blancos head coach Zinedine Zidane. He will also cost, approximately, €100m less to procure from Ajax and his wages will be substantially lower. A deal can also be done immediately, while United are determined to hold onto their star man.
WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: The allure of Pogba may mean Los Blancos are prepared to be patient. He is also the player that Zidane reportedly desires above all others for his new-look team. All avenues are likely to be exhausted before they admit defeat and push for a secondary target, such as Van de Beek.
Transfer predictor: 5/10
Lyon -> €40m -> AC Milan
The France playmaker is ready for a new challenge and AC Milan are hot on his trail, according to France Football.
WHY IT WILL HAPPEN: With only one year left on his contract at boyhood club Lyon and interest from previous suitors Liverpool, reportedly, now extinguished, the Rossoneri have emerged as an attractive proposition. His fee has almost halved in a year since the Reds pulled out because of doubts about a serious knee injury. This problem has also shrunk the pool of admirers. Milan’s history ensures they still hold some attraction to leading names in search of a change of scenery.
WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: Milan cannot offer Champions League football to Fekir. Plus, lingering issues with Financial Fair Play regulations may ensure that a deal to acquire him is complex. Lyon are also desperate to see their long-term servant ink fresh terms to extend his stay. Milan may also find that richer sides make plays for Fekir once Lyon show they are prepared to sell, at the right price.
Transfer predictor: 6/10
STEPHAN EL SHAARAWY
Roma -> €18m -> Shanghai Shenhua
A lucrative offer to player and club has moved the Italy attacker close to Chinese Super League strugglers Shenhua, according to Il Tempo.
WHY IT WILL HAPPEN: A contract worth almost €40m, net, across three years is tough to reject. For Roma, the €18m fee for a player with only one year left on his deal is an attractive proposition. Shenhua have reportedly made several attempts in recent weeks to land an elite winger from Serie A and have now settled on El Shaarawy. Shenhua are only one point outside the CSL’s relegation zone, but head coach Quique Sanchez Flores has apparently been able to convince El Shaarawy about the project. A transaction is close, it now needs to be pushed over the line.
WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: El Shaarawy has fought hard to work his way back into the Italy set-up and would, surely, drop out of the reckoning ahead of Euro 2020 if he made this switch. There is also the lingering issue of the CSL’s ‘transfer tax’, which would mean the operation could cost Shenhua approximately €30m. Owners, the Greenland Group, have been circumspect since Argentina forward Carlos Tevez’s exorbitant failure. No matter the riches available, does El Shaarawy truly have the stomach for a relegation dogfight in the Far East?
Transfer predictor: 7/10
Arsenal are set to make an improved £19million offer for Celtic’s Kieran Tierney after having an initial bid rejected, the Daily Mail reports.
The Gunners were knocked back with their opening £15million offer but are hopeful of reaching a compromise after Unai Emery identified the 22-year-old as his number-one left-back target, the paper says.
Crystal Palace are considering a bid for Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, the Daily Mirror says.
The 31-year-old is on course to leave Anfield this summer and is available for around £8million, the paper claims.
Brighton are also said to be interested in the Belgium international.
Laurent Koscielny is reportedly in talks with Arsenal over an early departure from the Emirates.
The 33-year-old captain’s contract expires at the end of next season but he may decide that this summer is his last chance to move to another European club, the Daily Telegraph says.
Reports in France suggest Lyon and Rennes are among the clubs interested.
The departure of Rafael Benitez as Newcastle manager has led to speculation over who could replace him at St James’ Park.
According to the Daily Mirror, four-time Ligue 1 winner Laurent Blanc, former Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri and ex-Feyenoord boss Giovanni Van Bronckhorst have already expressed interest in the position.
And the Daily Mail names Manchester City assistant coach Mikel Arteta and Burnley’s Sean Dyche as potential candidates.
Meanwhile, the Magpies could see the departure of several of their top stars following Benitez’s exit, according to The Sun.
Ayoze Perez is considering a move back to Spain, while centre-half Fabian Schar and keeper Martin Dubravka could also be open to any approaches, the paper says.
Provided by Press Association Sport
Two years on from his big-money switch from Everton to Old Trafford, the 26-year-old’s future is the subject of widespread speculation.
Lukaku is understood to be keen on a move to Antonio Conte’s Inter and Belgium manager Roberto Martinez said it is “quite open that a move would be beneficial for both parties”.
The striker’s agent was spotted at the Serie A side’s offices on Tuesday for a meeting that Press Association understands was mainly about the future of another of his clients, Edoardo Vergani.
However, Pastorello was asked about Lukaku potentially leaving United for Inter as he left the offices.
“Lukaku is a dream (for Inter) and is not an easy deal to realise,” he told reporters. “For me nothing is impossible. Romelu has expressed his plans and wishes. Let’s see”.
Press Association Sport understands that Inter have yet to make a serious offer for Lukaku, with chief executive Beppe Marotta saying that “it’s early”.
The striker began his career at Anderlecht before joining Chelsea, who he rejected a return to after spells at West Brom and Everton in order to join Jose Mourinho’s United in 2017.
Provided by Press Association Sport