Corinthians striker Gustavo is now prepared to accept a “concrete proposal” to move to the Middle East after he turned down Arabian Gulf League offers earlier this year, according to his agent.
Gustavo, 25, has performed well back at his parent club in 2019 and is their joint-top marksman in all competitions on nine goals from 30 run-outs. This followed 30 strikes in 45 matches on loan at lower-league Fortaleza last year.
Such form has not gone unnoticed. An unnamed pair of UAE sides tried to land ‘Gustagol’ in the winter and a €5 million bid from Serie A-outfit Bologna was rejected this summer.
There is still hope, however, that a comprise offer of €6-7m – down from Corinthians’ €8m asking price – would be enough to strike a deal for the Brazilian before the transfer window closes in the Kingdom on August 31 and Emirates on September 30.
“Gustavo’s name is always spoken in this market, every window we receive requests and proposals,” said player representative Clovis Henrique of Ole Sport & Intermediacoes.
“Earlier this year, we received two proposals from the UAE but decided with Corinthians to stay in Brazil, since he returned from loan having scored 30 goals in the year and Corinthians wanted to use him.
“And it worked, today he is the top scorer of the team and was the highlight of the Paulista Championship. Now in this final stretch of the transfer window we are receiving a lot of requests from Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, we are waiting for a concrete proposal.”
Saudi sides boast an advantage in the chase because of the superior size of their foreign quota. They are allowed seven non-Saudi players, compared to the UAE’s four.
The impending deadline in the Kingdom, however, complicates matters.
Any successful move this summer for Gustavo by a UAE side would likely top the 2019 market-high €5.3m paid by Al Ain to Al Wasl for Brazilian forward Caio Canedo.
The PA news agency understands United have agreed a 10-month loan deal which does not include an option to buy, with the Premier League club retaining control of the 30-year-old who still has almost three years left on his contract.
Sanchez joined United from Arsenal in January 2018 in a deal which saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan go in the opposite direction, but his spell at Old Trafford has been a major disappointment.
The Chile international, who managed almost a goal every other game during his three and a half years with the Gunners, has managed just five strikes in 45 appearances for United.
Those performances were in stark contrast to his status as United’s highest-paid player, an issue which grew into a major headache for the club as they sought to negotiate contract extensions with a number of other members of their first-team squad.
That left Ole Gunnar Solskjaer keen to see Sanchez move on this summer, despite a lack of experienced cover in the squad.
With Romelu Lukaku having also joined Inter Milan on a permanent deal and no replacement brought in, United have only Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and teenagers Mason Greenwood and Tahith Chong in their senior squad.
Sanchez will hope to have more luck in Serie A, where he starred for Udinese earlier in his career before earning a move to Barcelona.
Further departures from United could yet follow before the European transfer window closes, with Matteo Darmian and Marcos Rojo among the fringe players to have been linked with a move away from Old Trafford.
Though United opened the season with a hugely encouraging 4-0 win over Chelsea, they were then held to a 1-1 draw by Wolves before Saturday’s disappointing home reverse to Crystal Palace, who had not previously won at Old Trafford in the Premier League era.
Provided by Press Association Sport
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 a Paris Saint-Germain star (guess who), a Manchester United outcast and a crucial element of Borussia Dortmund.
PSG -> Ousmane Dembele plus cash-> Barcelona
Several Spanish publications including RAC1 and Sport have claimed that Barcelona will make what could be their final offer for PSG star Neymar. It is reported that either a loan with an obligation to buy for €170 million, a larger sum to be paid over two seasons or a reduced fee in addition to Ousmane Dembele moving the other way could be offered.
WHY IT CAN HAPPEN
Barcelona are relentless in their pursuit for Neymar and when the Spanish giants want a player, they usually get him. Philippe Coutinho, Dembele and Antoine Griezmann serve as examples.
It seems highly improbable that the Brazilian will stay at the French club and his desire to return to Spain is no secret.
Dembele was a monster under Thomas Tuchel and if he is added to the deal, PSG should be motivated to go ahead with it.
WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN
Barcelona have always been patient with the currently injured Dembele and have reiterated several times that he will stay at Camp Nou. It’s surprising that they are willing to offload the Frenchman in the first place. Also, PSG have reportedly made clear several times that they prefer a cash payment close to the amount they paid for him (€222m). Barcelona are not eager, or perhaps capable, of spending that kind of money.
TRANSFER RATING: 6/10
Manchester United -> €37m -> Fiorentina
Manchester United flop Fred could be shipped to Serie A side Fiorentina side for a €22m loss according to calciomercato.
WHY IT CAN HAPPEN
Fred is beginning to look like deadwood at the Premier League side, having not even been named among the subs’ bench in 2018/19 thus far. It’s no surprise that United are desperate to offload him, taking a loss in the process. Fiorentina have lost players in the centre of the pitch and need a midfielder who has a wide passing range and top-tier experience.
With Franck Ribery arriving at the club on a free, now could be the time for the Serie A side to invest heavily and produce a competitive squad as they look to challenge for a European spot.
WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN
Despite the desperation, United should be in no hurry to sell Fred, given his contract runs till 2023 and they should be able to get a good price next summer too. The Red Devils are in a position to hold out until a better offer arrives – and has he truly been given a fair run-out so far, having only spent a season in Manchester?
TRANSFER RATING: 7/10
Borussia Dortmund -> Free transfer -> PSG
The Borussia Dortmund left-back could move to PSG at the end of his contract next summer according to Bild.
WHY IT WILL HAPPEN
Guerreiro has reportedly not yet accepted a new contract from Dortmund, despite the increased salary. It is believed that he is waiting for PSG to make an offer when his current deal expires.
He will be allowed to sign a pre-contract in January and since Dortmund will have no say in the negotiations, this deal will be facing very few complications.
WHY IT CAN’T HAPPEN
Guerreiro is an important member of the team that Dortmund can’t afford to lose. The German side made a statement with quality signings over the summer and will make it a priority to tie the core down for a long time. They should be able to make an offer the left-back will find hard to turn down.
TRANSFER RATING: 6/10