Nothing can dampen the never-ending nature of transfer talk. Here’s a look at the wildest rumors that made the rounds this week.
Koeman to replace Suarez with Depay?
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu claims only Lionel Messi, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Clement Lenglet, Nelson Semedo, Frenkie De Jong, Antoine Griezmann, and Ousmane Dembele are untouchable ahead of a summer that promises widespread changes in the Catalan capital.
Luis Suarez is among the absentees, and according to Fabrizio Romano, the Uruguayan has been approached by former employer Ajax. The well-fanged striker potted 111 goals for the Dutch club between 2007-11. AS reckons new boss Ronald Koeman wants to replace Suarez with Lyon’s Memphis Depay.
Pique gets surprise cottage invite
Speaking of Blaugrana exits, Gerard Pique is the subject of a substantial offer from top-tier returnees Fulham, according to Sport. Pique, 33, would probably be an upgrade over Michael Hector and Denis Odoi alongside Tim Ream at Craven Cottage, though there’s really no way of knowing.
Pique said Barca needs some fresh blood – which is precisely the kind of thing a vampire would say – and that could come in the form of La Masia product and potential Pique replacement Eric Garcia, who The Sun says will return to Camp Nou for €22 million after refusing new terms with Manchester City.
Napoli eye Sokratis entrance, Allan exit
Kalidou Koulibaly is poised for a City switch, and Sky Sport Italia’s Mario Guinta says Napoli fancy a cost-cutting move for Arsenal’s Sokratis. The Greek international has also been targeted by Roma and is surplus to requirements as the Gunners lead the chase for Lille’s Gabriel Magalhaes.
Also at Napoli, the club is saying goodbye to Allan, who is the subject of reunion talks with Carlo Ancelotti at Everton, according to Tuttosport. Allan has also been associated with Atletico Madrid as Everton and Napoli remain €5 million apart on the €30-million valuation of the Brazilian midfielder.
Costa emerges as latest Sancho alternative
In light of Borussia Dortmund’s resistance to sell Jadon Sancho, Manchester United have been linked with Schalke’s Rabbi Matondo, Bayer Leverkusen’s Leon Bailey, Barcelona’s Dembele and Ansu Fati, Fiorentina’s Federico Chiesa, and Borussia Monchengladbach’s Alassane Plea.
Is that it? Well, apparently not. Sky Sports reports that the Red Devils are keeping tabs on Juventus winger Douglas Costa, who will be allowed to leave Turin as incoming manager Andrea Pirlo eyes a roster renewal. United are also considering Bournemouth fan of frosted tips David Brooks.
Lazio find Silva lining amid Chelsea interest
Lazio angrily missed out on David Silva, though they may luck out with another Silva. A report from Corriere dello Sport claims the Biancocelesti have contacted soon-to-be free agent Thiago Silva, but the Brazilian’s current €12-million salary at Paris Saint-Germain could present a stumbling block.
One club that can certainly afford Silva’s opulent wages is Chelsea, and the Telegraph says Frank Lampard is intrigued by the prospects of luring the 35-year-old to shore up a backline that was woeful at times during the 2019-20 campaign. A return to AC Milan is also a possibility.
Spurs linked with Bale … again
Thanks to a cursory glance at Google Maps, there appear to be six golf courses within a five-kilometer radius of Tottenham’s Enfield training environs. Why does that matter? Well, it turns out that Spurs boss Jose Mourinho is keen to sign full-time golfer and part-time footballer Gareth Bale.
According to Deportes Cuatro, the Real Madrid winger is not part of Zinedine Zidane plans going forward (shocker) and could return to Tottenham this summer following seven seasons in sunny Spain. What does Deportes Cuatro have to back up this claim? Nothing, and that’s the way we like it. Fore!
Bits and bobs
Chances are Angers midfielder Baptiste Santamaria will sport a combination of claret and blue next season as Burnley reportedly consider a €13-million bid following a similar offer from Aston Villa and interest from Leicester City. The 25-year-old is likened to N’Golo Kante and has a great name – sign him up.
After missing out on Jonathan David, Leeds have joined Brighton in their admiration of Stuttgart’s thrice-capped Argentine forward Nicolas Gonzalez, who is expected to fetch at least €17 million on the market. Leeds and Brighton also remain in talks for Ben White after a stellar loan at Elland Road.
Cherubic World Cup winner and former Borussia Dortmund attacker Mario Gotze is set to cement a free transfer to Turkish monoliths Galatasaray after denying Inter Miami’s advances. Gotze, Ryan Babel, and Arda Turan all in the same team. Yes. Please.
More MLS news! The LA Galaxy could face a challenge in keeping star Cristian Pavon beyond this season as Boca Juniors’ €17-million ($20 million) purchase option is proving a bit rich. The Galaxy were, however, successful in signing shot-stopper Jonathan Klinsmann on a free transfer.