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

Matt Jones 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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Bayern Munich confident of sealing Leroy Sane transfer from Man City

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Bayern Munich are eagerly pursuing Manchester City winger Leroy Sane and hope to complete a deal before the transfer window closes, according to the Daily Mirror.

Sane, believed to be valued at around £90million, has been told he does not feature in Pep Guardiola’s starting XI, the paper adds.

Newcastle are closing in on long-term target Stanley Nsoki from Paris St Germain, according to the Newcastle Chronicle, but the Magpies will have to match the Ligue 1 side’s £13.5million valuation of the left-back.

Everton are still keen on signing Wilfried Zaha despite Crystal Palace turning down a proposed £50million offer at the weekend, the Daily Mirror says.

The Toffees may have to get closer to £60million to prise the forward away from the Eagles.

Neil Etheridge could be making a return to the Premier League this season, with Aston Villa looking to bring in the Cardiff goalkeeper, according to Wales Online.

Harry Arter may be swapping the south coast for south west London with Fulham looking to bring in the Bournemouth midfielder, reports the Daily Mirror.

The Cherries may be willing to sell Arter as they make space for Phillip Billing from Huddersfield.

Players to watch

Blaise Matuidi: The Juventus midfielder is keen on joining up with fellow France international Paul Pogba at Manchester United, the Corriere di Torino reports.

Tom Heaton: Aston Villa are interested in signing the Burnley goalkeeper but the £10million price tag is a stumbling block, according to the Birmingham Mail.

Ryan Kent: The Liverpool winger will not be allowed out on loan, with Aston Villa, Rangers and Leeds previously interested in a move reports the Daily Record.

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Gareth Bale's China move from Real Madrid collapses at last minute

David Cooper 28/07/2019
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Gareth Bale’s proposed move to China appeared imminent but latest reports claim that the Welshman’s lucrative deal has been called off.

Bale’s transfer from Real Madrid to Jiangsu Suning which was reportedly going to fetch him a staggering £1 million-per-week salary seemed inevitable.

However, according to BBC Sport’s David Ornstein, the latest development is that the move has collapsed at the last minute.

Despite Los Blancos’ desire to get the 30-year-old off their payroll, it seems he will now stay at Madrid.

The latest reports have caused confusion with footage on social media of Bale arriving in China doing the rounds.

According to the Telegraph, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has blocked the move as he believes the player to be too valuable to leave on the cheap.

The Wales international has won four Champions League titles in his six years with the La Liga giants but has struggled to gain the approval of the Santiago Bernabeu faithful.

Since Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure, he’s failed to fill the void and that shortcoming coupled with numerous injury setbacks has seen the fans and management in Madrid grow frustrated with him.

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