WHAT THE PAPERS SAY
Danny Rose is not heading to Singapore for Tottenham’s pre-season tour, the Daily Telegraph reports, in a sign that the 29-year-old is on the verge of being sold. The England left-back has made it clear he is unhappy with Spurs’ pay structure.
The Evening Standard says Rose’s Tottenham team-mate Christian Eriksen, 27, has been identified by Atletico Madrid as the Spanish giants look to add creativity to their midfield. The Denmark international said last month he was interested in a new challenge after six years with Spurs.
St Etienne are hoping to transfer teenage defender William Saliba to Tottenham, but the 18-year-old would prefer to go to Arsenal, according to The Sun. The Gunners have reportedly agreed to terms with Saliba, though the Ligue 1 club have been offered more money by Spurs. That has led Arsenal to match Tottenham’s £30million offer, with the French club now considering whether they can push the price for the defender higher again.
Manchester United are pursuing Sporting Lisbon’s Bruno Fernandes and have reportedly made him a large offer to switch to the Red Devils. The Portugal international could offer new options in United’s midfield, where uncertainty reigns due to Ander Herrera’s departure and Paul Pogba’s desire to leave Old Trafford. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has expressed interest in Fernandes, 24, and the Daily Mirror says United has offered him £50million – or £5.5million a year – to shift north.
Veteran goalkeeper Andy Lonergan has been added as cover to Liverpool’s pre-season tour of North America, the Daily Mail says. The 35-year-old has not yet been signed by the Reds, who are missing first-choice custodian Allison – on holiday following Brazil’s Copa America win – while youth goalkeepers Caoimhin Kelleher and Vitezslav Jaros are both out injured. Lonergan, currently a free agent following recent stints with Middlesbrough and Leeds United, will serve as back-up to Belgian international Simon Mignolet.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Ademola Lookman: The Everton winger, 21, has followed a productive loan to RB Leipzig by being signed by the Bundesliga side, Sky Sports News reports.
Everton Soares: Arsenal have sent a club doctor to Brazil to check on the Copa America-winning striker, with the Gunners close to signing the 23-year-old from Gremio, according to Metro and Fox Sports.
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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.
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 we’ve compiled a series to put some of those players in the spotlight.
Here, you can find all five editions neatly packaged for your convenience. Enjoy!
FLORIAN GRILLITSCH – Hoffenheim
Position: Centre Midfield
Strengths: Passing, tackling, interceptions
Similar to: Michael Carrick
Where he could thrive: Manchester United, Ajax
A deep-lying playmaker more by nature than trade, Grillitsch is tailor-made for the role.
MILOT RASHICA – Werder Bremen
Strengths: Dribbling, work-rate, X-factor
Similar to: Luis Suarez
Where he could thrive: Barcelona, Bayern Munich
He is never stationary. Always running, always thinking and always creating chances.
JULES KOUNDE – Bordeaux
Position: Centre Back
Strengths: Passing, pace, composure
Similar to: Thomas Vermaelen
Where he could thrive: Arsenal, Sevilla
From how he receives possession to his first touch, Kounde is one of the best ball-playing centre-backs in France.
JONATHAN IKONE – Lille
Position: Attacking Midfield/Winger
Strengths: Creativity, dribbling, versatility
Similar to: Nabil Fekir
Where he could thrive: Arsenal, Everton
His quick turns and his direct running helps transition play from midfield to attack almost instantly.
BARTLOMIEJ DRAGOWSKI – Fiorentina
Strengths: Shot-stopping, punching, rushing out
Similar to: Wojciech Szczesny
Where he could thrive: PSG, Roma
Apart from his exceptional reflexes, Dragowski is proactive and commands the penalty area.
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.
Real Madrid -> Unknown -> AC Milan
AC Milan are set to pounce if Real Madrid decide to sell Luka Modric, according to Gianluca Di Marzio.
WHY IT WILL HAPPEN
If Zinedine Zidane is keen on extracting the full potential from the immense attacking talent at his disposal, he may need to tinker with his system. That’s always been easier said than done when trying to include both Toni Kroos and Modric. The Croat is four years older and after winning the Ballon d’Or last year, has been on the wane.
Madrid may be keen to cash in on the star midfielder while he’s still boasts a high value. Recuperating some of the money they’ve splurged this summer must be tempting while in Dani Ceballos they have a ready-made replacement should they decide to keep the sought-after Spaniard long-term.
WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN
While reports have so far failed to included a speculated transfer fee, one would assume Modric will command a fee at least double that of his current valuation of €20 million according to transfermarkt.co.uk. Milan have already spent €48 million this summer and will be reluctant to sink too much on a 33-year-old whose wages – even reduced – would put a dent in their budget as well.
TRANSFER PREDICTOR: 6/10
Manchester United -> £75m -> Inter Milan
Inter Milan will meet Manchester United’s £75 million valuation of Romelu Lukaku upon certain conditions including a £40 million down payment, The Sun says.
WHY IT WILL HAPPEN
It’s become evident that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will not fight to keep Lukaku at Old Trafford as he’s given his full backing to Marcus Rashford, who appears more suited to the style of play being implemented. The Norwegian seems determined to afford Mason Greenwood more game time as well.
Lukaku has been harping on about moving to Serie A for months so all parties clearly want this move to be completed. United are holding out for the best deal and Inter are slowly edging towards that with Antonio Conte desperate to land the Belgian.
WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN
Inter simply don’t have the funds to make a straightforward deal. Beyond the £40 million down payment, they are reportedly also requesting £15 million to be paid as performance-based add-ons and that can’t be satisfactory for United.
TRANSFER PREDICTOR: 8/10
PSG-> €40m + players -> Barcelona
Barcelona have offered a package centred around Ivan Rakitic and Philippe Coutinho as they look to sign Neymar, according to L’Equipe.
WHY IT WILL HAPPEN
At the moment, there’s really no other destination for Neymar. He’s burnt bridges with Paris Saint-Germain and will be desperate to return to Barcelona. The club will be keen to part ways with the Brazilian as well, especially with Kylian Mbappe clearly replacing him as their poster boy.
WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN
PSG refuse to accept anything less than what they believe they’re entitled to. Allowing Adrien Rabiot’s contract to run down while he warmed the bench last season rather than let Barcelona have him was a prime example. Unless Ousmane Dembele becomes part of a player-plus-cash deal, the Catalans will need to raise their bid substantially.
TRANSFER PREDICTOR: 5/10