Transfer Predictor: Mauro Icardi to Napoli rumour scores a 7

David Cooper 11/08/2019
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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.

Today’s edition features potential signings for Chelsea, PSG and Napoli.

MAURO ICARDI

Inter Milan -> €75 million -> Napoli

Napoli are preparing a bid to sign Inter outcast Mauro Icardi, according to AS.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN: Inter boss Antonio Conte confirmed last month that Icardi would not be part of his plans for the new season. And with Napoli set to table an offer, it gives the 26-year-old a much-needed escape route as well as a chance to secure regular first-team football again.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: Icardi still hopes to earn a second chance at Inter but will have to accept he must leave if he wants to play. Roma and Juventus are both interested in taking the Argentine away from San Siro should a deal with Napoli not go through.

TRANSFER RATING: 7/10

BEN CHILWELL

Leicester -> £70 million -> Chelsea

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard believes Leicester defender Ben Chilwell is the long-term solution at left-back at Stamford Bridge, according to the Sun.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN: Lampard will have to wait until next summer to get Chilwell as the Blues are currently under a transfer ban, but the 23-year-old would be the ideal replacement to thrive at Stamford Bridge for years to come. With Marcos Alonso considering his future, it’s even more reason to sign the England international.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: The West London side could face competition from Manchester City, who have been keen to sign Chilwell to replace injury-prone Benjamin Mendy.

TRANSFER RATING: 6/10

SERGE AURIER

Tottenham -> £23 million -> PSG or AC Milan

PSG and AC Milan are interested in Tottenham full-back Serge Aurier, according to the Daily Mail.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN: The Ivory Coast international has made it clear to his Spurs team-mates that he would welcome a chance for a fresh start outside of England. A move back to Paris would be an easy transition having spent three years there from 2014-2017.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: Spurs only bought Aurier from PSG in 2017 so it is unlikely the Ligue 1 champions would want to re-sign him. A switch to AC Milan could be an ideal option plus it’s a fresh challenge.

TRANSFER RATING: 5/10

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Neymar's PSG exit at 'advanced stage' after Brazilian is dropped for season opener

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Neymar looks to be on his way out of PSG.

Paris Saint-Germain revealed on Saturday that Neymar transfer talks are “more advanced than before” after the Brazilian was dropped for the French champions’ opening Ligue 1 match.

Sporting director Leonardo confirmed to reporters that the Brazilian was near the exit door but that PSG were “not yet ready to give their approval (to the transfer)” ahead of Sunday’s game against Nimes at the Parc des Princes.

PSG coach Thomas Tuchel said: “Neymar did not complete training and it’s not possible that he plays tomorrow.”

The club are impatient for the transfer saga to reach a conclusion, one way or another.

“It’s important to shape our future for everyone,” Neymar’s fellow Brazilian Leonardo told a press conference.

“If he stays, he plays. If he leaves, he leaves. The quicker (we know) the better.”

Real Madrid or a return to Barcelona are the most likely destinations for the world’s most expensive footballer, with Spanish media on Friday saying that Zinedine Zidane’s side will battle Barca for the 27-year-old’s signature.

Sports newspaper AS claimed Neymar has been offered to Madrid by PSG, who are open to selling if they can either recoup the 222 million euros ($249 million) they spent on him in 2017 or receive half that amount with players included in the deal.

Barcelona-based Mundo Deportivo says that he would prefer a move back to Catalonia to play alongside former teammates Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

Neymar started the new season by angering the Qatari-backed club when he turned up one week late for training.

The player’s camp maintained he had a prior agreement to stay away but that didn’t wash with his employers who threatened to take “appropriate action”.

Off the pitch, Neymar was informed by a Brazilian judge on Friday that the rape case which has been hanging over the footballer for months had been dismissed due to insufficient evidence.

Neymar had vehemently denied allegations he raped a Brazilian woman in a Paris hotel in May.

The forward, whose time in France has been marked by injuries and controversies, has made a series of remarks that strained his relationship further with the club and sparked outrage on social media.

Asked by an online sports channel about his best memory in football, he cited Barcelona’s incredible 2017 Champions League last-16 comeback against PSG when he inspired the Catalans to a 6-1 second-leg victory after a 4-0 first-leg defeat.

Neymar was signed by PSG to bolster their hopes of a maiden Champions League title, but they have instead since lost twice in the last-16 phase – to Real Madrid and Manchester United.

He missed PSG’s last games in both Champions League campaigns through injury and twice courted controversy last season.

Neymar insulted VAR officials on Instagram after the team’s humbling by United and received a three-match ban from UEFA, and then appeared to punch a Rennes fan after PSG’s shock French Cup final defeat.

In total, he has scored 51 goals in 58 games for the capital side, winning two Ligue 1 titles and the 2018 French Cup and French League Cup.

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Transfer Predictor: Alexis Sanchez' loan move to Roma scores a 6

David Cooper 10/08/2019
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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.

Today’s edition features potential signings for Roma, Flamengo and Atalanta.

ALEXIS SANCHEZ

RUMOUR: Manchester United -> loan -> Roma

Roma have held talks with Manchester United over the prospect of taking outcast Sanchez on loan, the Telegraph reports.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN: Roma is a solid destination for the Chilean, who began his European career in Italy with Udinese back in 2006. They can offer Champions League football and a league long known for prolonging careers of aging stars. It also gives the 30-year-old a chance to secure more game time as he is likely to spend the bulk of the season on the bench at United.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: It could be seen as a risk to let Sanchez go following the departure of Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan, leaving United a little short up front. If Sanchez is to leave Old Trafford, then he is more likely to exit in January or at the end of the season.

PREDICTION: 7/10

MARIO BALOTELLI

RUMOUR: Marseille -> free -> Flamengo

Flamengo have opened talks with Mario Balotelli over a move to Brazil, according to the Daily Mail.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN: The Italian is a free agent after being released by Marseille, and is believed to be keen on the move to South America after spending his entire career in Europe.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: Fiorentina, Parma and Genoa all retain an interest in the 28-year-old, and could be viable options if a deal with the Flamengo doesn’t go through. The only problem for any club remains Balotelli’s £3.6million-a-year wage demands, especially for any team operating on a low wage budget.

PREDICTION: 6/10

LUCA PELLEGRINI

RUMOUR: Juventus -> loan -> Atalanta or Cagliari

Atalanta and Cagliari are both interested in a loan move for Juventus defender Luca Pellegrini, Calciomercato reports.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN: Pellegrini only joined Juventus from Roma earlier this summer, but appears unlikely to receive much game time with the Serie A champions this season. The 20-year-old would prefer to play with a club in the Champions League, with Atalanta the most likely to secure his services on a loan deal.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: Maurizio Sarri may want the rising star to be around the first team squad and test him against other high-profile players. If an injury does occur, then the Italian has Pellegrini to call upon.

PREDICTION: 9/10

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