Dani Alves, Mario Balotelli and Franck Ribery among quality free agents still available

David Cooper 31/07/2019
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With the summer transfer season approaching its conclusion, there’s a fair bit of scampering around to complete deals before the window shuts.

Some clubs have done their business nice and early while others are still frantically trying to address areas of weakness.

With selling clubs attempting to capitalise on the growing desperation of those in the market for new players, deals are bound to collapse.

However, the absence of a transfer fee often makes things a whole lot easier and fortunately for buyers, there’s more than enough quality still available unattached.

Franck Ribery for one is a stellar name still on the free market since his departure from Bayern Munich. At 36, he’s no spring chicken but if his final appearance for the Bavarians proved anything, it’s that he’s still got it.

The same can be said of Dani Alves to the point that Manchester City have expressed an interest in the right-back.

Meanwhile, Mario Balotelli is a potentially elite striker who should be in his prime. Get him focused and the Italian could be a real bargain.

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Arsenal plotting £25m bid for Kieran Tierney as Barcelona's Malcom targeted by Everton

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What the papers say

Arsenal are looking to bolster their defence with the signing of Celtic’s left-back Kieran Tierney, reports the Daily Mail. The paper says the Gunners are looking at an offer worth around £25million, with the Hoops happy to see the 22-year-old leave if a large portion of the fee is paid up front.

Moise Kean could be swapping Turin for the Toffees with Everton close to agreeing a deal, according to the Daily Mail. The Juventus attacker is estimated to be worth £36million and could be one of four new arrivals at Goodison Park between now and the end of the transfer window.

Malcom is another name being linked with Everton, with the Toffees reportedly looking to halt the Barcelona man’s proposed move to Zenit St Petersburg.

Newcastle have suffered a setback in their bid to sign Amiens right-back Emil Krafth, the Sun says. The Magpies were looking to land the 24-year-old for around £4.5million.

Roma are still keen on signing Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld but will have to meet his £3.2million a year wage demands.

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Players to watch

Samuel Umtiti: Manchester United are looking to bring in the Barcelona and World Cup winning centre-back, according to Le10 Sport.

Mauro Icardi: The Inter Milan striker could be heading to Serie A rivals Napoli in a deal worth £73million, Corriere dello Sport says.

Leroy Sane: The Manchester City winger may be staying at the Etihad as Bayern Munich’s interest has cooled, reports Bild.

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Transfer Predictor: Paulo Dybala and Romelu Lukaku swap deal gets an 8, Edinson Cavani to Inter is a 4

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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 transfers involving Manchester UnitedInter Milan and Everton.

PAULO DYBALA

Paulo Dybala

Paulo Dybala

Juventus -> Romelu Lukaku + €20m -> Manchester United

Manchester United’s and Juventus have agreed a deal in principle to swap Paulo Dybala and Romelu Lukaku, with only personal terms needing to be agreed according to Sky Italia.

WHY IT CAN HAPPEN: Lukaku is desperate to move to Serie A and he fits into Maurizio Sarri’s plans far better than Dybala who in turn is more equipped to operate within Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s style of play and will get a lot more playing time. The deal suits both clubs who will be pushing for it to go through.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: Dybala has always been clear he remains happy in Italy. Despite a lack of minutes on the pitch, the Argentine is not keen to leave Juventus. Also, the deal would see him move from a team challenging to win the Champions League to one that isn’t even in it. He’ll need convincing.

Transfer predictor: 8/10

EDINSON CAVANI

Edinson Cavani

Edinson Cavani

Paris Saint-Germain ->  €50m -> Inter Milan

Inter have identified Edinson Cavani as an alternative to Lukaku after failing to reach a deal with United, claim La Repubblica.

WHY IT CAN HAPPEN: PSG will know that Cavani is approaching his sell-by date and with Kylian Mbappe establishing himself as their spearhead in attack, they may be happy to move him on. Inter need to sign a seasoned striker they can rely on and the 32-year-old is an elite player available within their budget.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: While Cavani is €30m cheaper than Lukaku, his valuation is less than €10m short of what Inter were offering for the Belgian who is six years younger and theoretically in his prime. The price could well be a stumbling block. Meanwhile, Inter continue to be linked with Edin Dzeko as well.

Transfer predictor: 4/10

JEAN-PHILIPPE GBAMIN

Jean-Philippe Gbamin

Mainz ->  €32m -> Everton

Everton are confident of reaching a deal to sign Mainz midfielder Jean-Philippe Gbamin as a replacement for Idrissa Gueye, report the Express.

WHY IT CAN HAPPEN: Gueye had more tackles per game (4.3) than anyone else in the Premier League last season. Everton are eager to replace him and Gbamin, who is six years younger, seems like a strong candidate. It’s a great opportunity for the midfielder to make the next step in his career.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: Everton’s offer of €25m means the two clubs are still some distance away from an agreement. The Toffees have already added Fabian Delph to their roster so they’re not under huge pressure to force a move.

Transfer predictor: 6/10

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