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.
Inter Milan -> €60m -> Napoli
Inter Milan pariah Mauro Icardi is now open to a move to Napoli after interest from elsewhere ebbed away, according to Corriere dello Sport.
Why it will happen: A tumultuous 2018/19 season featured a complete meltdown in relations between Inter and their one-time club captain. This antipathy has only increased upon the summer arrival of disciplinarian head coach Antonio Conte, who’s eagerly pursuing replacement Romelu Lukaku of Manchester United. To fund this, cashing in on Icardi is essential. Napoli’s interest has remained constant at a time when the likes of Juventus, Manchester United and Real Madrid have declined to bid. This is the only viable escape route, at present.
Why it won’t happen: Icardi is a polarising and combustible figure. It is difficult to anticipate what his decision making process with agent/wife Wanda Nara will entail. Question marks also exist about how Napoli will fund the deal. The Argentina striker’s value has, roughly, halved since a prolific 2017/18, but his wages and fee are still steep.
Transfer Predictor: 7/10
Hertha Berlin -> €35m -> Bayern Munich
Head coach Niko Kovac is an avowed fan of the Germany Under-21 midfielder and is trying to convince Bayern’s omnipotent bosses of his worth, according to tz.
Why it will happen: Bayern’s dominance of the Bundesliga is based upon their control of the domestic markets. Talents of promise are picked off with regularity, the latest being Stuttgart’s France defender Benjamin Pavard. A desire to refresh the middle of the team has seen Kovac prioritise Maier, over the likes of Borussia Monchengladbach’s Denis Zakaria. Maier would be an affordable option, too.
Why it won’t happen: Kovac now faces the steep task of convincing Bayern’s board to go for Maier ahead of other options, mainly emerging Espanyol and Spain U-21 starlet Marc Rosa. Premier League giants Manchester United and Arsenal have also been linked to the Hertha player in the past.
Transfer Predictor: 4/10
Lyon -> €45M -> AC Milan
AC Milan have continued to press for long-term target Depay and this week held meetings with his agent to discuss an expensive move to San Siro, according to Calciomercato.com.
Why it will happen: Milan are in need of further upgrades to their attack if they are to finally earn a hallowed return to the Champions League for 2020/21. They have been linked to the Netherlands forward for more than a year. The discussion between SEG representative Kees Vos and director Paolo Maldini points to a continued interest.
Why it won’t happen: This transfer, however, is fraught with difficulty. Financial Fair Play breaches mean Milan are banned from Europe for 2019/20, with future punishments not out of the question. Costs have to be watched. This saw Vos propose a cheaper alternative in Club Brugge and Netherlands winger Arnaut Groeneveld.
Transfer Predictor: 5/10
Juventus have announced the signing of highly-rated Dutch centre-back Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax.
The 19-year-old, who had previously been linked with Manchester United and Barcelona, has signed a five-year contract with the Serie A champions.
Juve have paid an initial fee of €75 million for a player who helped Ajax reach last season’s Champions League semi-finals and win the Eredivisie title, while reaching the Nations League final with the Netherlands.
At the weekend Leiderdorp-born De Ligt was left out of Ajax’s squad for their summer tour to Austria pending a transfer and he arrived in Turin on Wednesday to undergo a medical at Juve’s headquarters.
Earlier in the summer, he was expected to join Barcelona, who have signed his former Ajax team-mate Frenkie De Jong, while Premier League club United and Paris Saint-Germain had reportedly been interested in securing his services.
De Ligt joins Cristian Romero, Luca Pellegrini, Aaron Ramsey, Adrien Rabiot and Merih Demiral as a new signing at Juve, with recently-appointed head coach Maurizio Sarri also bringing veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon back to Turin ahead of a bid for a ninth-consecutive league title for the Bianconeri.
Copy provided by Press Association Sport
A data-driven profile of Joao Felix’s high profile move to Atletico Madrid.
Felix, 19, became the fifth-most-expensive player in history when his transfer from Benfica to Atletico Madrid was completed.
The attacker was signed for £113 million with just Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele moving for more cash.