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.
Inter Milan -> €65m -> Atletico Madrid
Diego Simeone’s men are among a group of clubs to register interest in the Inter rebel, according to gianlucadimarzio.com.
Why it will happen: The marriage between the Nerazzurri and their troublesome former captain broke down even before this summer’s arrival of Antonio Conte. But with the Italian disciplinarian now in situ and Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku brought in for a club-record fee, an exit seems inevitable. Atleti failed to tie up a move for Valencia and Spain forward Rodrigo a fortnight ago. Icardi could be their next target.
Why it won’t happen: The intransigence of Icardi and his wife/agent Wanda Nara is infamous. They will only leave on their terms – if at all. Other clubs are also lurking around the occasional Argentina striker, sensing a bargain prior to September 2’s deadline. These include Serie A champions Juventus and Ligue 1’s Monaco.
Transfer Predictor: 3/10
Tottenham -> €80m -> Paris Saint-Germain
PSG have identified Denmark playmaker Eriksen as a possible replacement for Neymar if a blockbuster return to La Liga does, belatedly, go through, according to Le Parisien.
Why it will happen: A chasm in the PSG attack will be ripped open if their Brazil superstar departs. A cash element to the mooted part-exchange deal with Barcelona or Real Madrid will leave the Ligue 1 champions with an ability to further invest. Eriksen is usually deployed on the right wing for Spurs, boasts supreme technical quality and is within the last year of his contract. PSG sporting director Leonardo is also a long-term fan.
Why it won’t happen: PSG have plenty of options. They are pushing to include reluctant France winger Ousmane Dembele in the deal, possibly on a one-season loan. Juventus and Argentina forward Paulo Dybala remains another option. Money could also be spent on Icardi, whose required to support Uruguay centre forward Edinson Cavani. Eriksen also made it clear to suitors Manchester United earlier this month that he only wanted a move to La Liga.
Transfer Predictor: 4/10
Tottenham -> €15m -> Bayer Leverkusen
The Belgium centre-back’s drop out of the Spurs XI and expiring contract has alerted the interest of Leverkusen, according to kicker.
Why it will happen: Vertonghen has fallen dramatically out of favour at Spurs this term. Manager Mauricio Pochettino has not handed the 32-year-old a minute of Premier League action in 2019/20, which is a huge decline from his guaranteed-starter status when fit since joining from Ajax in 2012. With only a year left on his contract, now may be the time to push Vertonghen towards the exit door. Wait any longer and he’ll probably leave on a free transfer. Peter Bosz’s side sense a bargain.
Why it won’t happen: Spurs understudy Davinson Sanchez, in particular, has endured a shaky start to the season. This may force Pochettino to turn back to his experienced defender. With the transfer window closed in the Premier League, Spurs’ inability to bring in a replacement is another major obstacle.
Transfer Predictor: 6/10
“Anything can happen” said Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel about Neymar’s possible move back to Barcelona as he spoke to the press on Thursday on the eve of a Ligue 1 match at Metz.
The Brazil star trained with his team-mates on Thursday, but Tuchel said that he is not going to play against Metz.
PSG and Barcelona presidents Nasser Al Khelaifi and Josep Maria Bartomeu met on Thursday in Monaco where they both travelled to take part to a UEFA Strategy Committee ahead of the Champions League draw.
“I can only say that I’m relaxed, calm. When it comes to soccer, everything is crazy. Anything can happen, it’s not the time to lose your mind. It is what it is. There are still four days (left before the transfer market ends). Anything can happen” was Tuchel’s comment.
Manchester United flop Alexis Sanchez has completed his loan move to Inter Milan for the remainder of the season.
The 30-year-old arrived to a huge fanfare in January 2018 in a swap deal that saw out-of-favour Henrikh Mkhitaryan head to Arsenal.
But flashes of early promise swiftly petered out and Sanchez heads to Inter having scored a meagre five goals in 45 appearances.
The Chile international has followed Romelu Lukaku in switching Old Trafford for San Siro and the PA news agency understands United will be covering around £6.5million of his wages.
The highest-paid player in the Premier League heads to Serie A for the remainder of the 2019-20, but there is not believed to be an option to buy.
The Premier League side posted on Twitter: “We can confirm that Alexis Sanchez joins Inter Milan on loan until 30 June 2020. We wish @Alexis_Sanchez the best of luck in Italy.”
Just two weeks ago manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spoke of his belief that Sanchez would come good at United but it became clear in the meantime that a move was on the cards.
The manager will face questions about the 30-year-old at Friday’s press conference previewing the trip to Southampton. Sanchez may not be the only player leaving Old Trafford for Italy.
PA understands Roma have held discussions over long-serving defender Chris Smalling, while Italy international Matteo Darmian is keen on a belated return home. Marcos Rojo has also been the subject of speculation as the European transfer window edges closer to its September 2 deadline.