Nothing can dampen the never-ending nature of transfer talk. Here’s a look at the wildest rumors that made the rounds this week.
Pirlo’s plans don’t include Ramsey
New Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo is keen to refresh the ranks, and Aaron Ramsey is free to leave the club, per the Mirror. Gonzalo Higuain, Sami Khedira, Daniele Rugani, and Mattia De Sciglio join Ramsey on the sale rack.
“Knowing Andrea, he will start building from midfield. The ideal gift would be Pogba,” Pirlo’s former teammate Luca Toni suggested. Ramsey, whose €280K-a-week wages will dissuade most suitors, has been previously linked with Manchester United. Cue the Paul Pogba swap speculation.
Hold your horses, because Tuttosport thinks otherwise and claims United would consider shipping Pogba to Juventus, but with Paulo Dybala – who was arguably the Old Lady’s standout player this season – going the other way. That’s actually hilarious.
Dortmund expect Real, Barca bids for Sancho
United’s failure to secure the services of Jadon Sancho could prove costly. The Mirror reported that Borussia Dortmund thinks Barcelona and Real Madrid will enter the chase for the star winger next summer.
This fanciful tale said United are “likely to interpret” this wrinkle as a ruse by Dortmund to squeeze every bit of a potential €120-million fee from the English side’s coffers. Essentially, the Mirror has assumed United’s response to something Dortmund has assumed, which is based on hearsay. Rack ’em.
Inter eye Smalling to fill Skriniar’s boots
It’s clear United are looking to move on from Chris Smalling following the center-back’s stellar campaign on loan at Roma, with reports suggesting the Red Devils rebuffed a €25-million plus add-ons offer from the Serie A side. Seems a bit steep for the 30-year-old.
According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Inter Milan shifted their focus to Smalling after refusing to meet Fiorentina’s appraisal of Nikola Milenkovic. Sky Sport Italia added Smalling’s arrival would seal Milan Skriniar’s exit. He’s been mentioned in trade talks for Tottenham’s Tanguy Ndombele.
Atletico ready to ship Chelsea target Oblak?
This one will require a vivid imagination. According to Football London, Chelsea’s pursuit of Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak could come to fruition because the Spaniards are ready to offload the elite shot-stopper.
Why? Well, because Croatian outlet Sportske Novosti reckons Atletico are about to sign Lokomotiva Zagreb’s Ivo Grbic for €6 million. Based on FIFA rules prohibiting clubs from having more than one goalie, Oblak will be sold to Chelsea, and Kepa Arrizabalaga will get a job at Blockbuster.
Lyon deny Gunners’ bait for Aouar
Matteo Guendouzi has gone from star of the future to persona non grata at Arsenal in a hurry. Guendouzi has burned his bridges at the club, notably drawing Mikel Arteta’s ire for boasting to Brighton players about how much more he makes. He hasn’t played since.
According to L’Equipe, the Gunners offered Guendouzi’s services plus €49 million to Lyon for star Houssem Aouar. Lyon wisely declined. That decision could prove rather sage after Aouar dazzled in Les Gones’ shocking 3-1 win over Manchester City, who have also been linked to the 22-year-old.
Milan, Arsenal alerted to Upamecano
Like Aouar, fellow Frenchman Dayot Upamecano has boosted his value in the Champions League post restart. According to Fabrizio Romano, the RB Leipzig center-back is again drawing attention from AC Milan and Arsenal.
Upamecano’s new terms with the energy drink hucksters reportedly has a €42-million buyout clause, a relatively modest price for the 21-year-old. Expect reported interest from Paris Saint-Germain to reappear for Upamecano ahead of the Champions League semifinal meeting between the two parties.
Bits and bobs
Watford winger Ismaila Sarr has downloaded the football version of Tinder and hinted at a move to Liverpool and reunion with “big brother” Sadio Mane. It would be a smart move for Sarr, who scored twice when the Hornets ended Liverpool’s unbeaten run. Anfield or the Championship? Sound off in the comments.
City are prepping a shock €44-million bid for Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks, who, according to The Sun, is free to leave following the signing of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. Apparently, Winks is “very much a Pep [Guardiola] and not a Jose [Mourinho] player.”
Napoli are considering a €20-million offering for Wolfsburg winger Josip Brekalo as a long-term understudy to Lorenzo Insigne. They’re also contemplating another bid of twice that amount plus Adam Ounas for Sassuolo’s Jeremie Boga, whose primary position, like Brekalo, is on the left wing.
Finally, Weston McKennie’s move from Schalke to Hertha Berlin has collapsed, alerting Wolves, Southampton and Leicester City. Speaking of footballers with MLS roots, current Anderlecht left-back and former New York Red Bulls stud Kemar Lawrence could be on his way back to the U.S.