Summer transfer rumours: the 10 moves to watch
Current club: Borussia Dortmund • Could join: Barcelona
Barcelona are newly wealthy, or at least wealthier, so the rest of the continent should look out. They’re hunting for a new left-sided forward and are used to getting what they want.
Neymar has left some big shoes to fill, though, and although Dembele will almost certainly climb to a similar level one day, he perhaps isn’t quite ready for the challenge yet. But the rumours persist: both L’Equipe and Marca are reporting that Barcelona bigwigs will head to Dortmund next week to land the 20-year-old.
Current club: Monaco • Could join: Real Madrid, Barcelona
So, Mbappe is leaving (according to, er, everyone). Real Madrid’s Florentino Perez is a known admirer and Barcelona are also thought to be keen. The lingering suspicion is that, were he to move, Mbappe would be jumping too high, too soon, but that’s never stopped anyone before and is unlikely to deter him now.
Particularly as pitting one Spanish giant against another equates to creating an auction for his services, and the respective club presidents would relish the PR boost of seeing off the other. Like Barça did to get Neymar in the first place, for example.
Jean Michael Seri
Current club: Nice • Could join: Arsenal, Tottenham
Supposedly, Arsene Wenger has been watching Nice’s Champions League progress with interest and, had the French side been eliminated by Ajax this week, would have formalised his interest in defensive midfielder Seri.
But not so fast: Nice progressed on away goals. Still, Wenger has a deficiency in that area of the pitch and Seri, on the basis of last season at least, would seem to be a better long-term prospect than Francis Coquelin. One to watch, although perhaps not with too much expectation. Tottenham have also been linked with his services all summer.
Current club: Everton • Could join: Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester United
Can anybody remember a time when this wasn’t a thing? Probably not. The weeks go by, the rumours persist, but the deal isn’t obviously any closer to happening. Daniel Levy likes to do them late and wants Everton to drop their asking price, but Barkley himself is part of the problem: demanding wages in excess of £100,000 per week from Levy is only going to end badly (even Harry Kane agreed to that).
Ronald Koeman has resigned himself to the player’s departure, so the odds are still on him leaving Goodison Park – but for where? A big contract and a seat on a monied team’s substitutes’ bench seems a good bet.
Current club: Arsenal • Could join: Newcastle
Perez is going somewhere. Arsenal have set an asking price, given away his squad number and are more than happy for him to leave. They’re well staffed in the forward department.
Newcastle, however, are not. They missed out on loaning Tammy Abraham earlier in the summer and Rafa Benitez is rumoured to be dismayed by the lack of support he’s received in the transfer market. A deal for Perez, which would probably total around £13m, would ease those tensions and prevent the goalscoring burden at St. James’ Park from falling entirely on Dwight Gayle’s shoulders.