Everton are set to sign midfielder Fabian Delph from Manchester City for a fee of £8.5 million which could rise to £10m with add-ons, PA understands.
The 29-year-old England international, who had 12 months remaining on his contract, will end a four-year spell at Etihad Stadium.
Delph was restricted to just 11 Premier League appearances last season for City, who paid a club-record £62.8m fee for Atletico Madrid and Spain midfielder Rodri earlier this month.
Former Leeds and Aston Villa player Delph started for England in their Nations League Finals games against the Netherlands and Switzerland in June.
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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.
Benfica -> €66m -> Arsenal
AWOL Laurent Koscielny’s fervent desire to quit Emirates Stadium has seen the Gunners plan an add-on laden deal to Benfica for their promising Portugal centre-back, according to the Daily Mail.
Why it will happen: Skipper Koscielny’s intransigence about a move back to France has put Arsenal in a tough position. Action is required and Dias is a target of rare talent. He, surprisingly, has not been picked off yet by a Champions League. This provides opportunity for the Gunners to get the job done.
Why it won’t happen: Dias’ €66m release clause would wipe out Arsenal’s meagre summer budget – and then some. A proposal to pay a small up-front fee and stick in future add-ons has been proposed. But will Benfica accept such an arrangement again after they agreed an instalment plan with Atletico Madrid for €126m talent Joao Felix? Dias’ name also continues to be linked to richer clubs, such as Manchester United.
Fiorentina -> €25m -> AC Milan
Discussions on a straight transfer fee have intensified between the clubs and an agreement for the French midfielder is close, according to gianlucadimarzio.com.
Why it will happen: Milan and Roma are competing hard to land the cultured ex-France Under-21 international, whose keen for European football next term. The Rossoneri appear to have made a breakthrough after they put forward an increased cash amount and ditched including Argentina battler Lucas Biglia in their offer. La Viola also need to make a substantial sale soon so they can initiate their own summer market plans.
Why it won’t happen: A €5m gap remains between the two sides. Fiorentina are also imminently set to meet with Roma and they could counter any Milan bid.
Transfer predictor: 8/10
Eintracht Frankfurt -> £40m -> West Ham United
The Hammers are in talks to make the ex-France Under-21 striker their replacement for Marko Arnautovic, according to Sky Sports.
Why it will happen: Manuel Pellegrini’s men are in desperate need for a new centre forward after the summer exits of Arnautovic, Lucas Perez and Andy Carroll. They have also been beaten by Valencia to the signature of Uruguay and Celta Vigo star Maxi Gomez. The Hammers are able to offer Haller and his representatives a substantial wage increase, plus meet Eintracht’s demands that would beat the club-record £35m paid to Lazio for Brazil winger Felipe Anderson last summer.
Why it won’t happen: Haller is a man in demand after he netted 19 times in 39 run-outs in 2018/19. Manchester United are reported to have identified him as a replacement for Romelu Lukaku if the Belgium target man is sold to Inter Milan. Eintracht are also flush with cash after the sale of Luka Jovic to Real Madrid and are not required to sell Haler. Waiting to see if a bidding war begins would suit them perfectly.
Transfer predictor: 7/10
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.
Fiorentina’s goalkeeper Bartlomiej Dragowski makes our latest edition.
STYLE OF PLAY
Exceptionally quick reflexes are a prerequisite for top goalkeepers and Dragowski has them in abundance. The Pole is in his element when the goal is peppered with shots and that’s precisely what put him on the map.
On loan at Empoli last season, he received plenty of plaudits for keeping a clean sheet against Atalanta who attempted a total of 47 shots. Of the 18 efforts that were on target, he saved 17 – setting a new Serie A record for the most saves in a single match.
Dragowski possesses a large frame and looks to attack shots, closing down the striker’s angle quickly before making the save. He also has great reach and is difficult to beat from range.
The 21-year-old is a proactive keeper who commands the penalty area. He’s quick off his line and confident when collecting crosses or emphatically punching them away from danger.
However, while his eagerness to rush out helps in cutting off balls over the top of the defence, he is no sweeper-keeper – not yet anyway. His short passing is fairly average but he’s struggled with his long balls.
At Empoli last season, he ranked fourth for most inaccurate long passes per game among Serie A goalkeepers (11).
While his shot-stopping is his most eye-catching trait, Dragowski needs some fine tuning in that regard as well. He is often guilty of pushing straight back in front of him rather than parrying away to the sides safely or turning shots behind for a corner.
Edwin van der Saar used to excel at holding onto shots or cushioning them with soft hands before collecting on the second attempt. That’s an area in which Dragowski should look to improve.
During his time at Empoli, Dragowski registered 5.1 saves per game which was the highest in Serie A last season among keepers who made more than 10 appearances.
SIMILAR TO – Wojciech Szczesny
After flattering to deceive at Arsenal, Wojciech Szczesny has turned into a solid goalkeeper at Juventus, benefitting no doubt from spending time as Gianluigi Buffon’s understudy before taking over the No1 shirt.
The Pole has always had great ability, excelling with his shot-stopping and reach just like his compatriot Dragowski. Szczesny now also has a much cooler head on his shoulders and that’s something the Fiorentina custodian can already boast. Both keepers are good in the air and in one-on-one scenarios.
Dragowski’s future is up in the air at the moment. He joined Fiorentina in the summer of 2016 and had barely had an opportunity with La Viola before his impressive six-month loan spell with Empoli last season.
Such was his form he’s gone ahead of promising keeper Alban Lafont in the pecking order at Fiorentina, prompting the Frenchman to join Nantes on loan this summer.
However, with two years left on his contract, renewal talks have been slow and tedious. Dragowski’s since had his head turned by interest from the Premier League with reports linking him to Southampton and Bournemouth.
WHERE HE COULD THRIVE
Paris Saint-Germain: With Gianluigi Buffon returning to Juve, Alphonse Areola is the undisputed No1 at PSG. However, while more than competent, the Frenchman isn’t held among the elite or even among those who are expected to eventually be in that category. Dragowski has immense potential and while he’d have to play second fiddle to Areola initially in Paris, there’s every chance of toppling him.