Transfer Predictor: Paulo Dybala to Tottenham is a 5, Junior Firpo to Barcelona a 8

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In Cristiano Ronaldo's shadow

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 potential signings for Tottenham, Barcelona and Vissel Kobe:

PAULO DYBALA

Paulo Dybala

Juventus -> £80m -> Tottenham

Spurs have made contact with Juve about an ambitious club-record move for the Argentina forward, according to the Evening Standard.

Why it will happen: Dybala was a victim of Cristiano Ronaldo’s introduction to Turin, notching just five Serie A goals – a fall from 2017/18’s haul of 22. The hiring of Maurizio Sarri as head coach may also further marginalise him. A strong offer from Spurs will test Juve’s resolve to keep Dybala. The north London-outfit boast countryman Mauricio Pochettino as boss and a seeming desire to build on last term’s run to the Champions League final.

Why it won’t happen: Spurs have already lavished £60m on Lyon’s France midfielder Tanguy Ndombele this summer and it would be out of character to go so big, again. Dybala is also reportedly coveted by Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain, sides capable of paying much-larger wages.

Transfer Predictor: 5/10

JUNIOR FIRPO

Junior Firpo

JUNIOR FIRPO

Real Betis -> €27m -> Barcelona

An improved offer from the La Liga champions has pushed them closer to landing the exciting Spain Under-21 left-back, according to Sport.

Why it will happen: Barca are eager to procure some cover for first-choice Jordi Alba and Firpo would be a logical pick. The Dominican Republic-born player recorded four assists and three goals in 24 La Liga matches in 2018/19, numbers that appeal to Barca. His age, at 22-years old, means he could serve an apprenticeship under Alba.

Why it won’t happen: Betis flatly rejected Barca’s initial bid of €20m and insisted only a €30m bid would do. This figure still hasn’t been reached, leaving the door open to potential rival bidders from the Premier League.

Transfer Predictor: 8/10

THOMAS VERMAELEN

Vermaelen Real

Barcelona -> Free agent -> Vissel Kobe

A new adventure in Japan could beckon for the ex-Barcelona and Arsenal defender, according to HLN.

Why it will happen: Vermaelen is open to a fresh start on another continent and the rising J1 League is of real appeal. Offers from his native Belgium and Qatar have already been rejected this summer by the 33-year-old, who is seeking a strong standard of football to ensure he’s selected for Euro 2020. Kobe have spent lavishly on veterans David Villa, Lukas Podolski and ex-Barca team-mate Andres Iniesta – Vermaelen may join this club.

Why it won’t happen: Greece giants Olympiakos have previously been linked to Vermaelen and such a move may still hold appeal. Kobe also have serious problems of their own. They sit 15th in the table – one spot outside the relegation play-off. Kobe signed ex-Al Nasr centre-back Joan Oumari this week and already boast a bloated foreign selection.

Transfer Predictor: 7/10

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