Transfer Predictor: Ruben Dias is Man United's Harry Maguire alternative, but move unlikely

Matt Jones - Editor 12:09 29/07/2019
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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, or why not.

Today’s edition features a Harry Maguire alternative for Man United, A Spaniard on the move to the Premier League and a promoted side looking for a safe pair of hands.

RUBEN DIAS

Ruben Dias

Benfica -> £59m -> Manchester United

Harry Maguire is the Red Devils’ number one target, but the Portugal youngster is their alternative, according to O Jogo, via Sport Witness.

WHY IT CAN HAPPEN: United want Maguire, who wants the move but is likely to cost £80m. They have been linked with a move for Benfica’s rising star Dias, who rose to prominence last season and looked excellent during their Nations League triumph.

The 22-year-old would be a cheaper – but excellent – alternative, and arguably has a higher ceiling than the Leicester defender.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: United apparently made a bid over the weekend but it was rejected by the Benfica hierarchy. The Old Trafford club’s bid wasn’t disclosed but it was believed to have been below the player’s €66m release clause.

Wolves reportedly also made bids for two Benfica players over the weekend so they could be in the running and already have several Portuguese stars in their ranks, while Benfica have already made €200m from sales this summer, so they don’t need to negotiate for any of their players.

Transfer predictor: 4/10

GIOVANI LO CELSO

Giovani Lo Celso

Real Betis -> £68m -> Tottenham

Tottenham are reportedly set to spend £68m this week, with the Daily Star reporting deals are close for Lo Celso and Fulham starlet Ryan Sessegnon.

WHY IT CAN HAPPEN: Tottenham have been chasing the 23-year-old all summer and a deal appears to be closer with Betis believed to have lowered their asking price.

The Argentina midfielder has a release clause of £88m and Betis had been holding out for at least £68m after rejecting Spurs’ opening bid. It is understood a compromise is close to being reached which will see Lo Celso join for a fee between £54m and £60m.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: It’s been rumbling on all summer so there’s every chance time runs out on this although it seems all parties want the move to go through.

Spurs have already splashed out around £65m on another midfielder in bringing in Tanguy Ndombele from Lyon, so perhaps this might be a factor, but this one should really come to fruition.

Transfer predictor: 8/10

TOM HEATON

Tom Heaton

Burnley -> £10m -> Aston Villa

The newly-promoted Premier League side could be set to add to their summer spending spree, but only if they up their bid for the England keeper, says the Sun.

WHY IT CAN HAPPEN: Heaton has been a stalwart for Burnley but he is believed to be unhappy about contract talks – and the England international’s signing would represent a coup for Dean Smith, whose side struggled in the goalkeeping department last term.

Turf Moor chief Sean Dyche has Nick Pope – who shone previously when stepping in for the Manchester United graduate – and Joe Hart and is willing to sell one for the right fee.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: Villa insist Burnley must drop the price for the 33-year-old stopper and have indicated they aren’t going to meet the Clarets’ valuation.

The club previously made a £7m bid for the wantaway star but with at least two other Premier League clubs said to be interested, the Lancashire club are in a strong position.

Transfer predictor: 5/10

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