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

Matt Jones 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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Transfer Predictor: Neymar to Real Madrid a 5, Nacho Monreal to leave Arsenal an 8

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Neymar (c).

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 judgement on whether the move really will happen – and why, or why not.

Today’s edition features Real Madrid, Manchester United and Bayern Munich:

Paris Saint-Germain -> Part-exchange -> Real Madrid

Neymar.

Neymar.

Los Blancos are seeking assurances about the condition of Brazil superstar Neymar’s suspect metatarsal before they proceed with a blockbuster transfer from PSG, according to Marca.

Why it will happen: Madrid and president Florentino Perez have coveted the 27-year-old’s signature since a spell on trial as a teenager. His disquiet at the Ligue 1 champions and Barcelona’s failure to conclude a deal presents opportunity. Neymar has suffered serious foot injuries in the past two seasons, but has been training with PSG in recent weeks after making a full recovery.

Why it won’t happen: Fracturing the same metatarsal in consecutive seasons will no doubt trouble Los Blancos medical staff – especially with the enormous transfer fee and wages required to do the deal. They will require detailed information from their PSG counterparts to sign off the complex part-exchange deal before September 2’s transfer deadline. Amid intense competition from Barca, and spectre of Juventus, there is much still to do.

Transfer Predictor: 5/10

NACHO MONREAL

Nacho Monreal (r).

Nacho Monreal (r).

Arsenal -> €5m -> Real Sociedad

La Real are pushing to bring Monreal back to the Basque country and are confident Arsenal will agree to a sale, according to Onda Vasca.

Why it will happen: Gunners boss Unai Emery oversaw significant renovations to his defence during the summer. This included a £25 million move for Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney. The Scotland international is expected to be fully fit in October and is then likely to usurp Monreal in the XI. At 33-years old, the former Spain international will be demanding regular first-team football. Sociedad are happy to offer this to the veteran, given his experience and continued fitness levels. A return home to the region of his birth should also appeal.

Why it won’t happen: Monreal has proven a steady performer during six years in north London. He has also started both Premier League fixtures this term. The case of Laurent Koscielny provides further problems. The Gunners refused to let their – now former – skipper force a free transfer to Bordeaux. They will prove similarly intransigent in negotiations for Monreal, meaning La Real may need to pay a significant fee for someone in their thirties.

Transfer Predictor: 8/10

MARC ROCA

Marc Roca.

Marc Roca.

Espanyol -> €30m -> Bayern Munich

The Bundesliga champions are back in negotiations for the Spain Under-21 international after the sale of Renato Sanches to Lille, according to BILD.

Why it will happen: A spot in Bayern’s squad has opened up after Sanches ended his awful stay in Bavaria. A €40m buyout clause also makes the deal an easy one for Bayern to complete, if they are happy with the set price. At 22-years old, his age fits in with the club’s transfer strategy of rejuvenating an ageing squad. Personal terms are reported to have already been agreed and the player has chosen Bayern as his preferred next destination.

Why it won’t happen: Bayern saw a €18m offer for the 2019 Euro U-21 winner dismissed earlier this summer. They now believe a deal can be concluded for €30m – a position Espanyol may not agree with. There is also lingering interest from Real Madrid in the centre midfielder.

Transfer Predictor: 8/10

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Zinedine Zidane confirms Gareth Bale wants to stay at Real Madrid

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Bale seems to be back in favour at Real.

Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale is set to stay at the club after a summer of speculations of a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu.

Manager Zinedine Zidane confirmed that the Welshman who was on the verge of leaving the Spanish capital has decided to stay. Bale was followed by a host of clubs like Manchester United, Tottenham, Paris Saint-Germain and Chinese club Jiangsu Suning.

After any of the transfers failed to materialise, the 30-year-old was named in Madrid’s squad that faced Celta Vigo in their opening game of the La Liga season. With Eden Hazard injured, Bale started the game and had a tremendous impact.

Zidane announced that Bale will be donning Los Merengues colours this season as they look to win big after a disappointing season.

“What has changed is that the player is going to stay, nothing else,” the Frenchman told a press conference, according to Goal.

“The important thing is that the player wants to stay, and we will count on him. He has shown he is a big player, and he must show again the player that he is.

“The other day he played a good game. But not just in what he is good at. He worked hard defensively. We have to stay on that path. Gareth, all of them.

“We know we need to improve, to achieve important things. And they all will.”

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