Transfer Predictor: Man United on another Foxes hunt as James Maddison move gets a 6

Matt Jones - Editor 15:00 25/08/2019
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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, or why not.

Today’s edition features Manchester United launching another Fox hunt, a French giant who might be forced to part with a prize asset and a Spain homecoming for a veteran defender.

JAMES MADDISON

James Maddison

Leicester City -> £80m -> Manchester United

Manchester United are planning to make a bid for another Leicester player, targeting playmaker James Maddison, reports the Mirror

WHY IT CAN HAPPEN: United possess a fast, fluid and hard-working attack under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but they also lack creativity in the final third, an issue that was laid bare in their 2-1 defeat at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday.

While Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Daniel James offer incision and end product, Jesse Lingard has failed to produce so far this season and the Red Devils require a lot more from a player operating in the creator in chief No10 position. Maddison, at 22, fits perfectly the mould of player Solskjaer is after – young, hungry with bags of energy and creativity.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: The fee before the transfer window in Britain closed was said to be £50m for a player who sparkled in 2018/19 after arriving from Norwich 12 months ago.

Now it could be as high as £80m. Even if United are willing to pay that much, Leicester would be loathe to send another of their stars to Old Trafford after parting with Harry Maguire just weeks ago.

Transfer predictor: 6/10

LUIZ GUSTAVO

Luis Gustavo

Marseille -> €5.5m -> Fenerbahce

Turkish giants Fenerbahce want Marseille’s midfield lynchpin Luiz Gustavo, according to La Provence.

WHY IT CAN HAPPEN: The French giants do not want to sell their rambunctious veteran midfielder, but coach Andre Villas-Boas’ hand might be forced due to financial fair play. Gustavo, 32, is one of the club’s highest earners so the top brass might well sanction the sale.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: The Brazilian veteran is still under contract for two more years at the Velodrome so is unlikely to move for a cut price fee. And the club want to keep him, with Villas-Boas’ assistant Ricardo Carvalho claiming: “We want everyone to stay, and Gustavo too, he’s a very important player.”

Transfer predictor: 5/10

NACHO MONREAL

Nacho Monreal

Arsenal -> Nominal fee -> Real Sociedad

Unai Emery has confirmed that Nacho Monreal could leave Arsenal before the closure of the European transfer window, with Marca claiming the deal is as good as done.

WHY IT CAN HAPPEN: Sociedad boss Imanol Alguacil wants experience in his back line, Monreal is in the final year of his Arsenal deal and the Gunners have just bought a new left-back in rising Scottish talent Kieran Tierney. All avenues point to a return to his homeland for Monreal, 33.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN: A deal seems imminent so there appears little that can scupper it. The only stalling point will be whether Unai Emery will be loathe to let go of an experienced option at the back – especially with Shkodran Mustafi also thought to be near an exit.

Transfer predictor: 9/10

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