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.
Barcelona -> £45 million -> Manchester United
The Red Devils have reportedly identified Ivan Rakitic as an alternative to Bruno Fernandes after the arrival of Tottenham in the race to sign the youngster. The Daily Mirror suggests that United might have to spend around £45 million to land the Croatian.
WHY IT WILL HAPPEN
The signing of Frenkie de Jong has created a surplus in the midfield department for Barcelona and Rakitic is likely to pay the price.
It is believed that the Catalan side is willing to listen to offers for the treble winner to fund other arrivals.
The Croatian has enough experience under his belt to assist United in their rebuilding phase. His arrival could free Paul Pogba from his defensive burden and help the Frenchman exercise the creative aspect of his game.
WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN
Rakitic has reiterated several times that he is committed to a future with the Spanish giants. It would take an exceptional offer to sway the midfielder who has already settled comfortably in Spain.
Besides, this deal will automatically be called off if United manage to land Fernandes.
TRANSFER RATING: 5/10
DONNY VAN DE BEEK
Ajax -> €60 million -> Real Madrid
Marca, Goal and other publications have claimed that Donny van de Beek’s transfer to Real Madrid is all but done and the announcement could happen soon. The two clubs are reportedly separated by €5 million in their evaluation of the player. The Dutchman confirmed to Fox Sports that the Spanish giants are pushing for his signature.
WHY IT WILL HAPPEN
Manchester United are reluctant to sell Madrid target Paul Pogba on the cheap and Los Blancos are slowly running out of time to add depth to their midfield – they need reinforcements with or without Pogba.
Currently, Madrid have just five midfielders in the squad and Van de Beek could add some strong depth and rotate with Modric in the line-up before the latter is phased out.
The 22-year-old has his mind set on plying his trade for Los Blancos and Ajax will be receiving a hefty fee. It appears that this transfer is likely to materialise very soon.
WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN
Persistence in the Pogba pursuit? Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane is adamant on having the Frenchman at the Santiago Bernabeu next season and could force the club to go to lengths in securing the United midfielder.
This could mean that the Van de Beek deal will not be economically viable in this transfer window, but the noises are that his purchase would not affect an agreement for Pogba.
TRANSFER RATING: 9/10
Juventus -> Danilo plus €30 million -> Manchester City
Juventus full-back Joao Cancelo is set to join Premier League champions Manchester City with Danilo and €30 million going the other way, according to Tuttosport. The player has been linked with a move to City for two months but is now closer than ever to joining the Premier League side.
WHY IT WILL HAPPEN
Guardiola usually gets his man thanks to his tremendous pull-factor as a world class coach and City’s recent vast success. Cancelo will be a very good upgrade from Danilo and indeed Kyle Walker as he boasts qualities that the Catalan manager prefers in his attacking full-backs.
The Portuguese reportedly agreed personal terms two months ago and the two clubs now have a deal in place.
WHY IT CAN’T HAPPEN
A swap deal can always be complicated, as evidenced by the case of Romelu Lukaku and Paulo Dybala. While this deal looks close to completion, a margin of error should always be assumed to account for failed medicals or complications in other details.
There is no reliable source suggesting that Danilo has agreed terms with the Italian giants.
TRANSFER RATING 8/10
The Londoners are looking to add a left-back and central defender to their squad before the transfer window closes in England next Thursday. While two bids for full-back Kieren Tierney have been rejected by Celtic, Arsenal are confident that the third offer will be accepted.
The Gunners have now shifted their attention to Juventus centre-back Rugani and have already had a bid rejected. Arsenal wanted the player on a two-year loan with an option to buy but the Italian club are against the idea of letting the player go.
Juventus want five central defenders in the squad going into the 2019/20 season and growing concerns over Giorgio Chiellini’s fitness have forced them to assume a cautious approach with respect to player sales.
The 25-year-old was initially tipped to be shipped away, but the latest developments at the club have taken him off the departure list.
It’s believed that the arrival of Maurizio Sarri has convinced the player to stay at the club. Rugani worked under Sarri in Empoli and is confident of making a good impression under his former coach.
Ajax boss Erik ten Hag is adamant the club will do everything in its power to keep Real Madrid target Donny van de Beek.
Though the club is still chasing Paul Pogba, Madrid interest in Netherlands international Van de Beek remains high. He was initially thought of as an alternative to Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen but the Spanish giants have dropped their interest in the Dane.
Ajax have already lost Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt to Barcelona and Juventus respectively. Losing yet another prodigious talent in Van De Beek could prove to be a move too far.
And while Ten Hag admitted the situation is ‘difficult’ given interest from arguably Europe’s most storied club, he is not letting 22-year-old Van De Beek go without a fight.
“We will do everything in our power to keep him at Ajax,” Ten Hag admitted in a press conference on Friday, according to Marca.
“We don’t want to lose him, but when clubs of that calibre enter the situation, things get very difficult.
“Donny was very important for us last season and has started this campaign with enthusiasm, freshness and lots of energy, his departure would be a loss, but we know it can happen.”