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, or why not.
Today’s edition features one of Europe’s brightest young goalscorers, the see-saw battle for an electric French forward and a midfielder possibly on the move to Paris Saint-Germain.
Lille -> £70m -> Manchester United
According to a source close to the player, United last week advanced a long-standing interest in the Ivorian forward, report the Sunday Times.
WHY IT CAN HAPPEN: Pepe is one of the hottest properties in the European market, and his speed and dynamism are traits coveted in attack by United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The club want to get rid of bulky Belgian Romelu Lukaku, who also wants out, which would leave room (a lot of it) and some cash to tempt Lille.
WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: Not that it should be used as a stick with which to beat him, but Pepe endured a nightmarish Africa Cup of Nations, failing to register a goal as the Elephants got marched out in the quarter-finals by eventual champions Algeria.
Across the forward line Marcus Rashford is United’s undisputed No1 striker next season, while Solskjaer is expecting a big season from Anthony Martial and also has the promising Mason Greenwood waiting in the wings, and impressing in pre-season.
Transfer predictor: 3/10
Barcelona -> player swap plus cash -> Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich could be set to offer defender David Alaba to Manchester City and Barcelona as a makeweight in their attempts to sign Leroy Sane and/or Ousmane Dembele, report Mundo Deportivo.
WHY IT CAN HAPPEN: Both Sane and Dembele are being linked with returns to Germany and while City and Pep Guardiola are so far refusing to budge on Sane, Dembele would easily become available if Barcelona’s attempts to bring Neymar back to Camp Nou come to fruition.
As a carrot to tempt Barca, Bayern are reportedly willing to offer versatile defender Alaba as a makeweight in a deal for either player. Not that they’re particularly keen to get rid of the 27-year-old Austria international, but he has been unwilling to sign an extension to his contract expiring in 2021, so the Bundesliga side could cash in.
WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: Sane is seen as Bayern boss Niko Kovac, as well as the club hierarchy’s, first choice, plus their relationship with Pep Guardiola comes into consideration. The Spaniard is a big fan of Alaba so if he is tempted to allow Sane to leave, Dembele remains in Catalonia.
Transfer predictor: 5/10
Everton -> £40m -> PSG
They’ve been burned before but Paris Saint-Germain are not prepared to give up their pursuit of Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye, say The Express.
WHY IT CAN HAPPEN: Well, they’re PSG so, inevitably, if they want a player, they’re more than likely going to get him. The French giants have been chasing the Senegal international since the January transfer window and are increasingly confident they will get their man.
The Toffees have recently snapped up Fabian Delph from Manchester City, which could be seen as paving the way for Gueye’s exit.
WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: Despite his attributes – Gueye was the joint top tackler in Europe’s top five leagues last season alongside Leicester’s Wilfred Ndidi – PSG are unlikely to offer much more for a 30-year-old. And Everton aren’t going to let him go on the cheap.
Transfer predictor: 7/10
Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane commented on Gareth Bale’s future with the club, saying ‘we’ll see what happens’ before giving a vague response to speculation surrounding Paul Pogba signing from Manchester United.
Zidane was speaking after his team arrived in Houston for their pre-season tour of America.
When asked about his team’s interest in Pogba Zidane kept his calm, saying: “I have been asked this same question and I am going to answer the same.
“The most important thing is that we know as a club what we need to do and that we are here.”
English Premier League clubs can only buy and sell players up to August 8.
Manchester United have rejected Inter Milan’s €60 million euros offer for Romelu Lukaku, PA understands.
Just two years after joining the Old Trafford giants, the 26-year-old is keen to move onto pastures new and Antonio Conte is keen to bring the striker to Serie A.
United received the bid from Inter two days ago, which was rejected out of hand as it falls well short of their valuation.
The two clubs meet for an International Champions Cup clash in Singapore on Saturday, but Lukaku will watch from the sidelines due to his latest knock.
On the eve of the match, Inter head coach Conte confirmed his desire to sign a player he missed out on when Chelsea boss in 2017.
“I think frustrated is a big word,” he said in English when asked about the inability to complete a deal.
“Lukaku is a United player and this is the reality. You know very well that I like this player, but also in the past when I was Chelsea’s coach and I tried to bring him to Chelsea.
“But I repeat, today Lukaku is a player of United and this is the reality and this is the truth.”
Pushed on Inter’s interest in him, Conte said: “I think that at this moment, I repeat, we’re talking about a player of another club.
“For this reason, I think that it’s right (we) don’t talk about Lukaku because I have great respect for United.
“As I said before, for sure, I like this player and I consider him an important player for us to have a good improvement. But, at the same time, there is a market, a transfer market.
“We know very well which is our situation at this moment. We’ll see, we’ll see what happens but now, for sure, Lukaku is a United player.”