Football may be (mostly) on hiatus, but that’s not dampening the never-ending nature of transfer talk. Here’s a look at the wild rumors making the rounds this week.
Wait, now nobody wants Bale?
After months upon months of endless rumors linking Gareth Bale with a departure from Real Madrid, Marca is now reporting that the Spanish club hasn’t received a single offer for the Welsh winger. At this point, the only thing we know for certain about the 30-year-old’s future is that he’ll be spending plenty of time hitting the links, regardless of where he’s employed.
Klopp jacked up about Traore
Liverpool, partly to protect themselves in the event they lose Sadio Mane, are in talks to sign rapid Wolverhampton star Adama Traore, according to TodoFichajes. Talks are said to be at an “advanced” stage between the sides, with Jurgen Klopp personally contacting the player. No word yet if the Reds will need separate contracts for each of Traore’s biceps.
Everyone’s after Dembele
Arsenal and Manchester United are the latest to join the hotly contested race to sign Lyon striker Moussa Dembele. The Gunners’ interest is being reported by L’Equipe, while the Daily Star claims the Red Devils have been handed a boost in their pursuit after the 23-year-old’s value plummeted due to many clubs’ coronavirus-related financial struggles. Dembele has also been linked with Chelsea in recent months, and it appears a tug-of-war is on the horizon.
Coutinho available on the cheap
Barcelona are desperate to offload Philippe Coutinho and his enormous wages when he returns from his loan spell at Bayern Munich, even if that means shipping him out on another temporary deal. According to Football Insider, the Catalan club has given Tottenham the chance to sign the Brazilian playmaker on loan for £8 million, provided they pay his salary, which is believed to exceed £200,000 per week.
Barca, whose financial concerns are well-documented, are going to end up taking a massive haircut on a player that cost them a small fortune in 2018.
Barca-Juve swap deal gets complicated
Arthur’s unwillingness to leave Barcelona has thrown a spanner in the club’s proposed deal for Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic. The two sides have long discussed a swap, but the Italian club is hell-bent on receiving the young Brazilian in exchange for the veteran Bosnian.
The 23-year-old Arthur’s consistent stance that he won’t leave the Camp Nou has forced Juve to look at alternative options, including, according to Tuttosport, 17-year-old rising superstar Ansu Fati. Good luck getting Barca to sign off on that one.
PSG have cash to burn, apparently
Fresh off spending nearly €60 million to make Mauro Icardi’s loan move from Inter Milan permanent, Paris Saint-Germain are apparently looking to add more attacking firepower to their already stacked squad. When you’ve already spent the GDP of a small nation on Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, continually signing forwards is an interesting choice.
Nevertheless, Le10Sport reports the French champions are considering a move for Willian, who’s expected to be available on a free transfer come season’s end. Wages for someone earning a hefty salary in London could present an issue, especially considering the financial uncertainty casting a cloud on the sport right now. PSG don’t seem too bothered, though.
Inter evaluate Martinez replacements
As Barcelona continue to sniff around Lautaro Martinez, Inter are looking at prospective replacements, with Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette seemingly moving to the front of the queue. The Frenchman has very much played second fiddle to leading scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in north London this season, and Corriere dello Sport claims the Italian side could offer him a lifeline before sanctioning the sale of Martinez.
A covert plan to sign Havertz
Real Madrid have been linked with every marquee player under the sun over the past few months, from Paul Pogba to Mbappe. That’s standard procedure for a club with a history of making “Galactico” signings.
But the latest move tipped in the Spanish press involves a fresh face: Kai Havertz. According to Marca, the 20-year-old German, who’s been in scintillating form since the Bundesliga returned to action, was a “secret target” that Madrid were quietly working to snatch from under the noses of various peers, including noted suitors Bayern Munich. The coronavirus crisis has forced them to slam the brakes on any potential deal, though.