Nothing can dampen the never-ending nature of transfer talk. Here’s a look at the wildest rumors making the rounds this week.
Cheapskates United make final lowball Sancho offer
Let’s just get this wrinkle from the window’s most exhaustingly protracted transfer saga out of the way first. Speculation merchants the Mirror claims that Manchester United one final take-it-or-leave-it offer for Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho.
United executive vice chairman Ed Woodward will reportedly offer roughly €82 million up front with an extra €16 million in add-ons, which remains a whisker short of Dortmund’s €120-million valuation. Woodward would be wise to pay up for Sancho while there’s no competition for the 20-year-old’s services.
Lautaro back on following Suarez exit
Luis Suarez’s tearful forced exit means Barcelona are again associated with Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez. According to Gerard Romero, the Catalans’ pursuit of Martinez is not without obstacles, with Barca desperate to make some sales before dipping into the market. A familiar tale.
Or perhaps some more financial sorcery like with the Miralem Pjanic-Arthur swap could do the trick. Coincidentally, Juventus and Barca are again in cahoots, with TuttoSport claiming that a barter between Douglas Costa and Ousmane Dembele is on the cards. Spiderman pointing at Spiderman meme.
Liverpool chase Koulibaly through mediator Mane
Manchester City lead the chase for Kalidou Koulibaly, with Le Parisien reporting the defender agreed personal to terms after Paris Saint-Germain balked at Napoli’s valuation of more than €70 million. Or it could all be a smokescreen from City amid a pursuit for Benfica’s Ruben Dias. Who knows?
Not so fast, here comes party poopers Liverpool. Le Parisien adds that the Reds will make a late push for Koulibaly, with the towering ball-stopper’s Senegal international mate and Liverpool star Sadio Mane acting as an intermediary between the involved parties.
Rice is nice, but sales are better for Chelsea
Not content with just the €250 million in transfer recruits, Chelsea continue to monitor West Ham’s Declan Rice. According to Fabrizio Romano, no formal approach has been made, though discussions have been had with the midfielder’s agent despite West Ham’s refusal to sell. Exciting stuff.
First, some sales. The Telegraph alleges that Ruben Loftus-Cheek is being eyed by eight English parties, including West Ham, Southampton and Aston Villa, while wantaway Antonio Rudiger is associated with Roma and PSG, and Callum Hudson-Odoi has landed on Bayern Munich’s radar again.
Fofana switch could spark Kounde’s Manchester move
Saint-Etienne center-back Wesley Fofana is a hot commodity. L’Equipe reports that Leicester City had a third bid of €32 million rejected, while Sky Sports says West Ham have made a €35-million advance for the 19-year-old. Both sides are also monitoring Burnley’s James Tarkowski, as well.
In Spain, Sevilla fancy Fofana as a stand-in for Jules Kounde, according to La Razon. Sevilla sporting director Monchi confirmed a bid from an English club for Kounde, and according to La Razon, a €70-million plus Nicolas Otamendi offer from Manchester City. Might as well just be €70 million and a loose sock.
Jovic gets Real stay as Mayoral hits the market
Real Madrid gaffer Zinedine Zidane told reporters Friday that he has no interest in making further additions during the current transfer window. Zidane’s first team still faces a glut of fringe forwards, and Luka Jovic reportedly wants to return to Eintracht Frankfurt, per El Partidazo Cope.
Tough luck, Luka, after Zidane proposed the idea that the Serbian and Karim Benzema work in tandem. Also, Mariano Diaz and Borja Mayoral both appear to be on the way out, and Gianluca Di Marzio says the latter could be on his way to Roma, and for less than Real’s €20-million appraisal.
Aouar nears long-awaited Arsenal switch
Lyon star Houssem Aouar has agreed to personal terms with Arsenal as the two clubs continue negotiations to determine a transfer fee for the versatile Frenchman, according to Telefoot Chaine. Hold your horses, says Lyon chief Jean-Michel Aulas, who claims Arsenal’s initial bid isn’t up to snuff.
Lucas Torreira’s impending move to Atletico Madrid will open a spot in Mikel Arteta’s midfield for Aouar. Arsenal would prefer €20 million for Torreira, who lost his job to the much-improved Dani Ceballos, though the Gunners won’t say no to a loan switch for the player also linked with Fiorentina and Torino.
Bits and bobs
RMC Sport alleges that AC Milan are in negotiations with Tottenham for Serge Aurier, who a) lost the starting right-back job to newboy Matt Doherty and b) probably has legal grounds for causing bodily harm to Jose Mourinho based on several clips from Spurs docuseries All or Nothing.
In Germany, RB Leipzig are set to send English winger Ademola Lookman to Fulham on loan, per Ronan Murphy. Elsewhere, Bayern will not loan out coveted French midfielder Michael Cuisance despite interest from Leeds United and Marseille, according to Bild.
The Philadelphia Union and RB Salzburg have reached a verbal agreement over Brenden Aaronson’s impending move to Austria to work under former RBNY boss Jesse Marsch, according to MLS’ in-house rumor mill. The 19-year-old was also linked with Hoffenheim, Celtic, and Anderlecht.