Tottenham contact Real Madrid to push through Christian Eriksen deal for €70m

David Cooper 30/06/2019
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Christian Eriksen

Tottenham chief Daniel Levy has contacted Real Madrid in an attempt to facilitate Christian Eriksen’s move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

Marca report that Levy phoned Madrid’s director general Jose Angel Sanchez, offering the Dane midfielder for a fee of €70 million, less than half the asking price that was quoted last summer.

Eriksen has been a long-term target for Los Blancos who have pursued him for some time only to be rejected by Spurs. With the 27-year-old refusing to extend his contract with the Premier League club which expires next year, Madrid have the upper hand.

Levy is now desperate to sell the playmaker to the La Liga giants rather than lose him on a free transfer next summer.

Madrid however have had their heads turned this summer by the likes of Paul Pogba and Donny van de Beek.

That said, both players would likely command a much higher price and having already splashed around €300m in this window, Madrid may be tempted to sign Eriksen instead especially if they can negotiate an even better fee.

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Transfer predictor: Dani Ceballos moving from Real Madrid to Arsenal gets a 7, Rodri to Man City a 9

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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 ArsenalManchester City and Bayern Munich.

RODRI

Rodri

Atletico Madrid -> €70 million -> Manchester City

Manchester City will reportedly announce Rodri for a club-record fee on Monday, according to the Daily Mail.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN

Fernandinho needed a long-term replacement last summer but City missed out on signing Jorginho who joined Chelsea instead. They won’t want to go another window without strengthening in that role which is so crucial to their system under Pep Guardiola. Atletico’s signing of Marcos Llorente meanwhile appears to have paved the way for Rodri’s departure.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN

It would take something pretty dramatic for the wheels to come off the move at this point.

TRANSFER RATING: 9/10

DANI CEBALLOS

Real Madrid -> €50 million -> Arsenal

Arsenal are set to sign Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos, according to Calciomercato.com.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN

Arsenal are desperate for midfield reinforcements and while Ceballos has struggled to establish himself at the Bernabeu, he has shown that he is a top talent. The Spaniard will be keen to move out of the shadows of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos. Under Unai Emery, he should be afforded the central role he craves while operating in a system that suits him. The Gunners are keen to replace Aaron Ramsey who left for Juventus on a free transfer as well.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN

It’s no secret that Arsenal are operating with a limited budget this summer and Madrid’s asking price for a player who can’t sustain a starting berth in their first team is steep. Given their lavish spending in this window, Los Blancos may dig their heels in to try and get the best possible deal in order to recuperate some funds.

TRANSFER RATING: 7/10

JOAO CANCELO

Cancelo

Juventus -> €60m -> Bayern Munich

Manchester City have been dragging their feet in their pursuit of Joao Cancelo and Bayern Munich could be ready to swoop in for the right-back, Tuttosport claim.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN

After being run close by Borussia Dortmund last season, the German champions are keen to improve their squad. The 25-year-old is one of the best full-backs in the game and would significantly boost Bayern’s squad depth as they look to challenge in Europe as well.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN

In Joshua Kimmich Bayern have a right-back who looks to have secured his spot for the foreseeable future. While they’d like to have backup, the asking price doesn’t match their requirements. Juventus are under no pressure to sell and if Cancelo does move, it seems likely City would be the ones to offer the best price.

TRANSFER RATING: 3/10

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Transfer Window Hidden Gems: Jules Kounde is an elegant centre-back fit for Arsenal and Sevilla

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The rumour mill is filled with transfer speculation linking household names and high-profile young talents with big-money moves to some of Europe’s top sides.

With the inflated prices being bandied about, clubs would do well to look past the names and identify potential superstars based on encouraging performances that may have been overlooked.

Promising talents often don’t get the attention they deserve because they’re featuring in lesser clubs away from the limelight of a title challenge or the recognition that comes with topping the charts for goals or assists.

A more extensive search though could unearth some hidden gems scattered across the European circuit and in this series, we put some of those players in the spotlight.

Bordeaux’s young centre-back Jules Kounde makes our latest edition.

STYLE OF PLAY

Blessed with a natural ability to identify forward movements, spot the opportunity for a pass and execute it, Kounde has become something of a secret weapon for Paulo Sousa’s side in Ligue 1 with oppositions perhaps not fully appreciative of the threat he poses when afforded time and space.

From his body position on receiving possession to his first touch into space, the Parisian is emerging as one of the best ball-playing centre-backs in France. His passing range is particularly impressive.

Not only does he spray diagonal balls forward to put his team on the front foot but his long passes over the top of defence create goal-scoring opportunities as well.

Kounde is blessed with good pace, regularly shuttling out wide to cover for the full-back.

Having bulked up over the last year, he boasts the athleticism required of a modern day centre-back in all but one aspect. The youngster stands at just 1.75 metres tall, short enough to immediately put off potential suitors.

He still ranks third among centre-backs in Ligue 1 for aerial duels won (120) but his success rate of 56.8 per cent, while not bad, isn’t exactly impressive either. While competent defensively, Kounde’s tackling still needs work as he can stand off his man at times, failing to recognise the opportunity to win possession.

The Frenchman is far from the finished article but has the potential to excel. How he develops and who he’s partnered with will be key.

KEY STATS

Kounde registered 10 key passes in Ligue 1 last season, which was joint-third for centre-backs.

He may not be the most dominant in the air, but his mobility saw him cut out crosses at the source on occasion. His seven crosses blocked last season was the fifth highest in the league.

The Bordeaux defender also ranked sixth among centre-backs for most passes (1888).

SIMILAR TO – Thomas Vermaelen

Given his stature and specific attributes, there aren’t a lot of centre-backs Kounde shares similarities with.

However, he can be loosely compared to Thomas Vermaelen in his heyday. Like Kounde, the 33-year-old – during his Arsenal days – was excellent in possession, covered ground swiftly, distributed the ball well and was comfortable in wide areas.

Kounde shares the Belgian’s odd lapse in concentration and while he’s comfortable striding forward, he hasn’t yet developed into the driving force from deep Vermaelen used to be. He is also yet to show a keen eye for goal.

CURRENT STATUS

After fleeting appearances for Bordeaux’s first team at the start of 2018, Kounde went about establishing himself as a mainstay in the line-up last season.

In January this year he was rewarded with a new contract that runs until 2023 meaning the French outfit won’t let him go without a bit of a fight. His development is progressing nicely at Matmut Atlantique but the right club could lure him away.

WHERE HE COULD THRIVE

Arsenal: The Gunners are currently in a battle to secure the services of Saint-Etienne centre-back William Saliba, but reports of rejected bids may leave them looking elsewhere. Kounde would add some much needed pace and mobility to the backline. The youngster seems suited to the high-line Unai Emery wants to employ while his distribution from deep is a big bonus with the likes of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang constantly threatening in behind.

Sevilla: Under Julen Lopetegui, Sevilla will be expected to operate with a targeted press in the attacking half meaning the defence will have to step up as well. The Spaniard will also want his centre-backs to be integral to build-up play and Kounde fits the bill. Reports from France, most recently L’Equipe, suggests negotiations between the two clubs started last week and an agreement could be reached for a fee above €20 million.

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